An Interview With TierPoint’s Ryan Connolly
At PAG, we work with many businesses with the goal of helping them save money through our consultative process. Across industries, there’s a common concern among our customers: how do we prevent losses that are associated with downtime?
One effective strategy we’ve seen as technology has evolved is the implementation of a cloud backup and disaster recovery solution. To gain more insight on the subject, I talked with Ryan Connolly, Account Executive at TierPoint, one of our partners in providing services to PAG clients that help create cost savings.
Q: What should the average end user know about cloud backup and disaster recovery?
Connolly: A good analogy for cloud backup and disaster recovery is car insurance. Many people dislike paying for it because unless something happens, you feel like you don’t need it. But if you get into a car accident, for example, all of a sudden you’re glad you have insurance.
Disaster recovery works in a similar fashion. Businesses often don’t prioritize it because they’ve never needed it before. Unfortunately, if there’s no disaster recovery solution in place, the consequences can be catastrophic in the face of a disaster – whether that’s a hurricane or ransomware attack. Downtime of even just an hour has the potential to cost millions.
Many clients don’t realize that disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solutions are both customizable and easy to use. At a basic level, in the event of a disaster when a client loses access to their primary data center, they can contact their technology advisor who will then fail the client over to their secondary data center. Rather than days or months of downtime, it lasts just minutes, saving countless dollars and hassle. The client can continue to run their environment via the secondary data center during the time it takes to get the primary data center back up and running.
Q: Is there a connection between disaster recovery and cyber security?
Connolly: Absolutely. I’d say the most important reason to have disaster recovery, and the most likely reason businesses have to use it, is cyber crime. Zerto, who TierPoint deploys in many of our DRaaS solutions, published a graphic that said that cyber crime accounts for twice as much unplanned downtime as weather-related disasters. That number will continue to grow, too.
According to Accenture, the average organization saw an 11% increase in cyber crime over the last year alone and a whopping 67% increase in cyber crime over the last five years. Not only is the frequency of cyber attacks increasing, but the costs are, too. In 2018, the average cost of cyber crime was $13M, an increase of over 70% from just 5 years ago.
These statistics are shocking and will only continue to rise as cyber attacks become more and more sophisticated. So even though you may have a robust security posture, it is still important to have a disaster recovery plan in place in the event that someone is able to slip past your walls.
Q: We hear a lot of concern about ransomware. How can DRaaS help with those attacks?
Connolly: Here’s an example. Just last year the city of Atlanta got hit by a ransomware attack in which attackers were originally demanding $52,000, but the city was left to fend for itself. Over a year has passed and by some reports, Atlanta has spent close to $17M and continues to recover from the attack. This is a prime example of “I wish I had it when I needed it”. If the city had a DRaaS plan in place, they would have been able to restore their environment via their disaster recovery site in minutes, which would have saved them millions of dollars and countless hours in recovery efforts.
Q: What makes some businesses hesitate to adopt cloud-based solutions?
Connolly: There are two main concerns we hear when it comes to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery.
The first is budget. As I mentioned earlier, many businesses don’t realize they need disaster recovery – until they do. So it’s not a high, strategic priority, and there’s hesitation in making the investment. However, if you consider the high cost of downtime, the ROI on a disaster recovery solution is incredible when a disaster inevitably happens.
There’s a wide range of cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions out there. Businesses that don’t need a complete DRaaS solution might opt for backup as a service, so even without a full recovery service they still have peace of mind that their data is safely backed up off-site.
The second big sticking point is when a business doesn’t understand the importance of geographic redundancy. Let’s say a client has an on-prem server and then a second server that’s in a different building on campus, or even a block or two away. The issue here is that in a massive disaster, servers within close proximity to each other will both still be affected.
Therein lies the value of a colocation data center. When your cloud backup servers are 60, 300, or even more miles away, that colocation data center truly serves as a backup if there is a catastrophic event at the primary location.
Prevent Downtime and Save in the Long Run
The big takeaway from my talk with TierPoint – and one that resonates with my personal experience – is don’t wait until it’s too late to seek a cloud backup and disaster recovery solution. While some businesses in heavily-regulated industries like healthcare and financial services are proactive because of the necessities of compliance, we know many businesses that only approach us for help after an incident has already occurred. Unfortunately, this means money and time have already been wasted.
At PAG, we provide full-service technology consulting and guidance to help you make important technology decisions such as investing in a cloud backup and disaster recovery solution. When you’re ready to talk about this solution and other ways your organization can save significantly on costs, get in touch with PAG. We’re here to help.