Greg Ewald, vice president of marketing, SteelEye Technology (, says:

How do you know if your disaster recovery plan is up to date?

Businesses should determine if the data protection solutions they have in place support the various operating systems, applications and virtualization platforms that form the core of the enterprise IT environment. Deploying data protection solutions that handle diverse requirements is important.

When evaluating disaster recovery and business continuity solutions, businesses should consider platforms that not only satisfy current data protection requirements but also can be adjusted to meet the changing needs of the enterprise over time.

Businesses should have in place a business continuity solution that enables automated recovery of critical business functions and IT systems. This reduces or eliminates reliance on time-consuming manual recovery processes, allowing the organization to exceed recovery time objectives. Testing of business continuity solutions also are conducted through automation.

How can enterprises handle performance and capacity requirements?

To address data protection as well as performance and capacity requirements, small and medium-sized businesses can use an organization’s internal private cloud platform or a public cloud to protect data generated during peak operating periods. Leveraging virtualization technology which forms the foundation of these clouds minimizes additional hardware requirements and optimizes utilization. These choices can lower operational expenses while at the same time addressing performance and capacity demands in addition to ensuring data is protected and available at all times.

How can enterprises handle recovery time objectives?

For enterprises that require high-availability solutions for protecting data, they must carefully assess their risk to determine whether their business can function with minimal downtime or if they require 24×7, 365 days a week regardless of the nature of the failure or the type of system, application, storage or IT infrastructure. Recovery time should not be an issue. Disruptions should be minimized so businesses can get back to normal operations quickly, with little or no impact on and with appropriately managed intervention to address downtime. Small and medium-sized businesses and organizations have another requirement: They need solutions that are affordable and easy to install, yet provide the highest level of data protection. SteelEye provides solutions for high availability and data replication for continuous monitoring at the application, storage and infrastructure levels, and is cost-effective for the small and medium-sized enterprise to deploy and operate.

How can enterprises handle changing requirements?

The cloud can be viewed as an elastic or fluid compute and storage platform that provides enterprises with the flexibility to address changing requirements in a quick and efficient manner. This includes ensuring data protection and availability of data and applications. There are a number of elements to consider when formulating a disaster recovery plan. It is essential for the IT organization in small-, medium- or enterprise companies to have a clear understanding of their requirements and objectives in instituting a plan. Additionally, the plan needs to be audited, tested and managed to assure that their data protection solutions are up to the task of protecting IT resources in the cloud as demands change.