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Updated by Charles Bystock on 10/14/2014

datacenter_outsourcing_failover_scenarioPrivate enterprise or governmental entity, you cannot afford systems that fail, however briefly. Inevitably, though, it happens. When it does, you need to recover and get back to business as quickly as possible. Data center outsourcing can give you failover scenarios that assure the highest possible availability. Perhaps that's why, according to Forrester Research, 42% of companies currently outsource disaster recovery services.

Data center outsourcing has your back.

In today’s climate, characterized by demanding and fickle customers, it all too easy to lose sales permanently with even brief outages or slowdowns. Even a matter of seconds can seem endless to impatient customers and employees who cannot complete their transactions. Outsourcing is all about offsite and virtualized alternatives that provide maximum protection – redundancy that ensures reliable, fast failover.

For companies whose existence depends wholly or in large part on a point of sale website or the ability to support a very high volume of other transactions, failover scenarios are literally life-savers. Data center outsourcing gives you the peace of mind that comes from confidence in your ability to recover as seamlessly as possible.

Cloud-based recovery technology has spawned a new class of disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) providers. Typically located in areas where they are least likely to experience a catastrophic natural disaster themselves, they often have their own redundant facilities in multiple locations. This makes practical sense and directly addresses certain industry or government compliance requirements.

This type of outsourcing has been shown to dramatically improve recovery capability and reduce costs, by eliminating the need to purchase and maintain your own redundant infrastructure that sits unused in a secondary site “just in case.” With cloud-based recovery, you’re replicating your servers, network, applications and security offsite. It’s faster, less expensive and more reliable.

And you can tailor failover scenarios to your company’s unique needs.

Data center outsourcing doesn’t relieve you of all responsibility.

You need a comprehensive continuity plan, one that covers failover scenarios as well as recovery from a catastrophic disaster. It’s the purest form of insurance. Whereas most policies repay you after the fact for damage that occurs, arming yourself with failover capabilities that get you back up and running as quickly as possible helps avert damage -- to your ability to function, to your reputation and to your competitiveness.

You’re proactively managing risk.

Data center outsourcing works when you choose the right partner. You want someone who will work hand in hand with you to ensure every aspect of your system has redundancy and flexibility to ensure you enjoy near-100% uptime. And you’ll need to clarify who’s responsible for what when something does go wrong and you need to activate a failover scenario.

Full failover capability assures business sustainability. The more efficiently your systems are configured, the less time you’ll spend worrying about failures or dealing with them, and the more time you can devote to managing business growth. But that requires assessing impacts of failure on your ability to generate revenue, support your highest-level business drivers, protect proprietary or otherwise sensitive data and meet compliance requirements, especially if you’re in the healthcare, financial and e-commerce industries.

Initial and periodic follow-up testing is essential to assure failover scenarios work as designed. Even if your provider takes the lead with testing, you have to take part because it’s your operation that’s at stake. Testing enables your personnel who will be involved in the recovery process to see and feel how things will work under a failover scenario, because it may not be precisely the same as everyday function. Testing detects glitches you can correct and it helps keep your backup systems current as your IT environment changes over time.

Using data center outsourcing to support failover scenarios may not quite be a breeze, but it certainly can be a relief.

photo credit: Aaron Webb via photopin cc