What are the Benefits of Unified Continuity Solutions?
A unified system brings together the fundamental components of a BC/DR system—hardware, software and cloud—to create a single, fully-integrated solution, right out of the box.
But what exactly are the benefits of unified continuity? How does it compare with the existing status quo of disaster recovery?
Here’s what you need to know.
Overview of Unified Continuity
To understand the benefits of unified continuity, it helps to first understand the key differences between UC and a traditional business continuity solution.
A traditional data backup system is generally comprised of multiple, disparate components developed by different vendors. For a robust BC/DR deployment, that could include:
- On-premise backup device or a dedicated server for backup storage
- Backup software that controls the backup process
- Off-site / cloud / datacenter infrastructure for off-site backup replication and storage
- Virtualization software or servers that enable backups to be restored as virtual machines
- Web-based data recovery platforms / dashboard tools for locating lost data
Traditionally, several of these components (if not all) are developed by different companies, requiring IT managers to configure everything together.
When done properly, this method certainly works. A well-integrated business continuity solution can provide dependable data protection and recovery. But it comes at an expense …
Disadvantages of the traditional BC/DR approach
Even when configured properly, traditional BC/DR solutions can be costly to deploy, due to the complex and time-consuming nature of the deployment. Plus, there’s little room for error. Configuration errors in any one part can put the entire system at risk.
- Cost & complexity of deployment: Integrating multiple BC/DR components takes time and money. Most tech vendors will promote their backup technology as being easy to integrate with various private clouds and disparate hardware, but that’s not always the case. Connecting it all together can be tedious and costly work for any IT teams.
- Cost & inefficiency of management: Ongoing management continues to be burdensome for IT when dealing with disparate components, especially when you run into problems. Troubleshooting issues within the BC/DR system can sometimes mean dealing with multiple vendor support teams. Your IT folks end up spending more time managing these systems, which ultimately costs you money.
- Configuration errors & risks: A more complex BC/DR deployment increases the risks of misconfigurations and other unforeseen problems during the backup process. In turn, these issues can mean that backups are unable to be recovered during a disaster.
To be clear, stakeholders at many organizations may feel they’re getting by just “fine” doing it this way. It may be costly and inefficient, but some may be reluctant to transition away from the traditional model simply because that’s how they always did it. Or, they may not fully realize all the benefits of unified continuity solutions.
With that said, let’s uncover all the advantages of a unified approach.
9 Benefits of Unified Continuity
1) Simplified deployment
By packaging everything into a single, all-in-one system, your BC/DR system becomes far easier to deploy.
The complexities of configuring multiple technologies are effectively removed, because instead you only have a single unified system, all developed by the same provider. Unified solutions like the Datto SIRIS are already configured right out of the box. It’s ready to begin backing up to the local device and the cloud as soon as it’s connected, while also allowing for simple customizations to meet your specific continuity objectives.
2) Faster installation
A simplified deployment also means that the installation is much faster.
Unified systems dramatically reduce the time to deployment, because there’s far less to configure. The software, hardware and cloud capabilities are already seamlessly integrated. So essentially all you need to do is identify what data to protect, and the backup process begins.
A faster deployment is great news for IT teams that are already strapped for time, allowing them to focus more on the big-picture projects that propel business growth. Additionally, it’s a smart move for businesses that need to quickly transition to a more robust BC/DR in the age of ransomware and remote working.
3) Cost efficiency
A faster and easier deployment will naturally translate into big savings.
Whenever you’re dealing with a complex and tedious technology deployment, the costs will continue to balloon with each passing hour (and they’ll multiply for each additional employee or contractor who helps complete the deployment). Expanding backup storage, for example, can mean having to reconfigure local devices, cloud servers and other systems, just to make sure it’s all working and that data can be recovered or virtualized as needed from different locations. All that time costs you money, regardless of whether the work is being done in-house or by a managed-service provider.
By unifying the entire system, you eliminate the time-consuming configurations that cost you money. That savings applies to the deployment as well as the ongoing system management, as we explain further below.
4) Infrastructure efficiency
Larger businesses know the pain of managing a sprawling IT infrastructure that is growing out of control. It’s costly, difficult to manage and unsustainable.
Complex BC/DR systems, made up of numerous disparate components, only contribute to the problem. And as your data storage grows, it only gets worse. If the backup system isn’t easily scalable, then you’ll need to constantly reevaluate and replace the components as the rest of your infrastructure expands.
One of the key benefits of unified continuity is that it drastically simplifies your backup infrastructure.
For example, with Datto’s BC/DR solutions, you deploy a local backup device, which protects any physical, virtual and cloud infrastructure, and all data is replicated to the Datto Cloud. Everything is seamlessly integrated from the get-go.
Additionally, if your organization is restricted from using third-party clouds, you simply add a secondary Datto device in your off-site datacenter to create your own private cloud.
5) Seamless backups
It’s true that a robust backup infrastructure can help to enable multiple recovery options in a disaster, from file-level to bare metal restores, off-site virtualization and beyond. But when you’re using a hodgepodge of different technologies patched together, then errors are inevitable.
When disaster strikes, for example, you may find that some recovery options aren’t working. That’s bad news in a ransomware attack, which can derail your options for weeks if you’re not able to recover data quickly enough.
A unified system enables all of those recovery methods through a single integrated solution. The result is seamless, dependable backups that aren’t built like a house of cards.
6) Reliable, validated recovery
Backup verification is a must for any business using a BC/DR system. Automated verification ensures that backups are viable and able to be restored if needed. However, verification can sometimes be limited if your BC/DR system is built with a patchwork of different technologies.
For example, you might be able to verify that your local backups are viable, but not your cloud data. Or, maybe you can validate that your file-level restores are fine, but you have no insight into your virtualization recovery, because that’s an entirely different system.
An all-in-one backup system solves this problem by unifying all aspects of the disaster recovery solution, so that backups can be fully verified to ensure every restore method is working as it should. No more surprises.
7) Shorter time to value
Time to value is the length of time that it takes for an IT investment to deliver value, whether via the effectiveness of the system or monetary value.
Traditional disaster recovery systems tend to have a much longer time to value, due to the complexity and cost of the deployment. Yes, these systems are still better than having no backup in place at all. But as we explained above, they can be costly and time-consuming to deploy when multiple disparate systems need to be carefully integrated.
In contrast, unified systems are far quicker and less costly to deploy – and the data protection is often stronger too – making the time to value much shorter.
8) Better performance
Unified continuity solutions can offer far better performance and reliability since the entire system has been designed to work together seamlessly.
From cloud virtualization to the speed and frequency of on-site backups, an all-in-one system is typically faster in every regard.
Speed and reliability are critical to the backup and recovery processes. If backups take too long to perform, or protected data takes too long to restore, then it becomes impossible to meet your continuity objectives. Meanwhile, unified continuity solutions from Datto offer backup frequencies of up to every 5 minutes, along with near-instant restore options from on-site and the cloud.
9) Single-vendor support
When something goes wrong, it can be a nightmare having to reach out to multiple vendors for support. A good IT provider will of course do this legwork for you, but ultimately it will still take some time before the problem is resolved.
A critical benefit of unified continuity solutions is that you only have to deal with a single vendor when you need support. This saves time and ensures that the vendor is able to support any aspect of your BC/DR system.
Request a free demo to see how Datto’s unified continuity solutions can bring stronger disaster-recovery protection to your organization. For more information, contact our experts at Invenio IT by calling (646) 395-1170 or emailing success@invenioIT.com