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How Much Data Loss and Downtime Can You Afford? Hint: 0

By Ines Marjanovic

Picture this: You’re going about your normal business operations, you’re running like a well-oiled machine, when all of a sudden...an earthquake hits!

Most businesses, understandably, don’t want to imagine the worst-case scenario an unplanned disaster can bring about. Complete data loss, unrecoverable operations, and a damaged reputation are the nails in the coffin for many businesses who haven’t been able to get back on their feet after just a single disaster. 

But nowadays, the goal isn’t to just protect against total data loss—we should be protecting against any data loss.

Disaster Recovery: Must-Have or Maybe?

To put the effects of a disaster into perspective, here’s a harrowing figure: 93% of organizations who were hit hard by a disaster were out of business in just a single year. This is due to multiple factors, such as not being able to revive operations or suffering from a massive financial loss. But for many businesses, a reputational loss hits the hardest.

This is due to two possible reasons. First, during a disaster, your customers will likely notice your business is not operational, and they may choose to use your competitor’s services. And second, even if you do recover from a disaster, your customers may not see you as a secure business to invest their money into. Even worse, if customer credit card information is compromised during a crisis, their chances of returning are slashed.

And despite the devastation a disaster can bring, 23% of organizations who do have a disaster recovery plan never test it. Why is this a problem? Here’s an example: Let’s say a natural disaster strikes. Your organization has—what they think is—a strong DR plan in place. But in the middle of trying to initiate the strategy, a bad internet connection makes it impossible to communicate with your team members about the incident, or to notify your third-party vendor of the crisis. The result? A failed recovery attempt. 

To summarize: DO have a disaster recovery solution, and DO test it frequently.

The True Cost of Data Loss and Downtime

Nearly all businesses nowadays are IT-dependant. Unless you’re a fruit stand accepting cash only, chances are, you need technology to keep your business running. You need technology to enable transactions, to communicate with and provide customer service to your clientele, and to keep your website online and operational. 

So, even if your data recovery plan is mostly successful and you’re mostly able to recover most of your data, a loss of any kind can be paramount. 

In the moments following the disaster, you will need to identify and fix damaged files, which can set back productivity timelines. Even worse, if sensitive data has been compromised, you will need to disclose this information to your customers, which may result in lost trust. 

Not to mention, any amount of downtime can be risky, too. Even a minor outage can result in $1,000s lost, and a major event could cost in the upwards of $1M. And as we mentioned, any disturbance in your business trickles down to your customers. Bain & Company found that a customer is 4x more likely to turn to a competitor due to service-related challenges—i.e., challenges that can occur during downtime. 

And while these challenges are applicable to any industry, financial institutions are most at risk. Due to their revenue-generation, business-centric applications, losing out on critical financial data can create major reputational and fiscal damage. 

Ensuring 24/7/365 Availability

So, how exactly can organizations ensure ‘round-the-clock data availability?

At .NEXT Copenhagen this year, we announced our 3-part solution designed to deliver just that.

For mission-critical applications, the ideal RPO is 0, but to achieve zero data loss, you need to maintain real-time copies of all data, so there’s no data loss when disaster strikes. Even a gap of just a few minutes can set you back. That’s why our solutions will allow for real-time synchronous replication, which helps ensure your data stays up-to-date and where it belongs: Out of the grips of a disaster and out of the hands of security attackers.

By using a datacenter recovery site (or two, or three, or however many you want), even when your primary datacenter goes down, your recovery site can be configured to have a full copy of all the data. That way, you can plan to have real-time or near-real-time copy of the data, spanning across multiple sites. So even if your datacenter AND your recovery site happen to be on the same fault line during an earthquake, your data stays available. Different organizations from various industries can orchestrate this based on the mission criticality of their applications and what their appetite for data loss is.

Can—but don’t have to.

While this is a necessary activity, it can be too complex, costly, and time-consuming for an organization to do this on their own. Because Nutanix’s infrastructure will have these capabilities natively integrated, you’re free from complexity and premium costs. Because in today’s environment, there’s no reason to pay a premium for features that should be included de facto.

Second, let’s make sure “downtime” isn’t something you’ll ever have to deal with again. Here’s how it works: In addition to moving your data to the recovery site, your virtual machines (VMs) can be automatically moved over, as well. This means your VM attributes can stay live the entire time, resulting in zero time lost—i.e., an RTO of 0.

And the magic technology that will make this all possible? You guessed it: Automation! During a disaster, there simply isn’t time to alert a recovery site (or alert anyone, for that matter) as you’re scrambling to put things in order. By automating your disaster recovery with Nutanix, the third-party witness automatically transfers information onto your recovery site. This means even your most mission-critical applications can be configured to maintain 100% availability, so you can keep functioning as if nothing ever happened.

Disaster, who?

Forward Looking Statements
This blog includes forward-looking statements concerning our plans and expectations relating to new product features and technology that are under development, including disaster recovery solutions, the capabilities of such product features and technology and our plans to release product features and technology in future releases. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and instead are based on our current expectations, estimates, opinions and beliefs. The accuracy of such forward-looking statements depends upon future events, and involves risks, uncertainties and other factors beyond our control that may cause these statements to be inaccurate and cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied by such statements, including, among others: the introduction, or acceleration of adoption of, competing solutions, including public cloud infrastructure; a shift in industry or competitive dynamics or customer demand; and other risks detailed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2019, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, on September 24, 2019. Our SEC filings are available on the Investor Relations section of the company’s website at ir.nutanix.com and on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this blog and, except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or subsequent events or circumstances.

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