Catastrophic failures are, by definition, unpredictable. It is, however, safe to predict that at some point in the life of a company, it will suffer a failure of its primary infrastructure. However redundant and well-architected a company’s IT systems are, unforeseeable events ranging from natural disasters to mistyped terminal commands can cause business critical applications and services to become unavailable–which is why disaster recovery and business continuity plans are so important.
Take a moment to consider what it would cost if your business’ systems weren’t accessible to customers and employees. Would employees be able to do their work? Would customers be able to reach support services or make a purchase? Outages as short as a few hours can cost millions.
Disasters are low-probability events, but potential costs are so high that it makes sense to put redundant systems in place that can smoothly take over if disaster strikes.
Many businesses choose to base their disaster recovery solution on colocated hardware in a geographically distant world-class data center. Colocating hardware has several advantages compared to alternative solutions, including on-premises data centers and cloud platforms.
Building a data center is a significant investment, and it almost always makes business sense to colocate disaster recovery systems in a pre-existing data center built to house enterprise-grade infrastructure.
Colocated infrastructure benefits from redundant bandwidth from multiple providers, redundant power systems, round-the-clock physical security, and sophisticated fire prevention systems.
Installing colocated hardware in one or more geographically separated colocation data centers allows businesses to build a rock-solid disaster recovery infrastructure at a fraction of the cost of building a similarly robust system from scratch.
Complete Hardware And Data Control
If a company is outsourcing the hosting of its disaster recovery infrastructure to a third-party data center, why not go all the way and use a managed disaster recovery service or even an infrastructure-as-a-service platform.
In short: control. With colocation, companies have the same control over their hardware as if it were located in a data center they own. They choose the hardware, the software, and the system architecture. Unlike with cloud platforms, companies can be sure that they’ll get the optimal performance and availability from their colocated servers.
The two most important features of a disaster recovery system: it’s sufficiently distant to be unaffected by the event that impacted primary systems, and it can be relied on to smoothly take of the place of primary systems.
Disaster recovery systems should be a simple as possible, while being capable of supporting critical business operations for hours or even days. The greater the complexity, the greater the chance that something will go awry. Dedicated server clusters are substantially less complex than cloud platforms and give their owners greater insight into and control over their infrastructure.
Physical hardware — as opposed to virtual servers — offers the most reliable, performant, and flexible solution for disaster recovery.