Recovering from a ransomware attack doesn’t have to take days
It’s one thing for a user’s files to get infected with ransomware, it’s quite another to have a production database or mission-critical application infected. But, restoring these databases and apps from a traditional backup solution (appliance, cloud or tape) will take hours or even days which can cost a business tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Dean Nicolls, vice president of marketing at Infrascale, shares some tangible ways disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) can pay big dividends and quickly restore systems in the wake of a ransomware attack.
Quickly pinpointing the time of infection
With a cloud backup, it takes a while to determine if your application has been corrupted. Admins must download the application files from the cloud (based on your most recent backup), rebuild, and then compile the database or application. If the application runs, then you know you have restored a clean copy; otherwise, you need to go back to your next recent backup and recompile. This can take hours or even days. With DRaaS, admins can boot a production server and immediately verify whether the application is infection-free. If it successfully boots, then you have a clean image. This takes the guessing game out of “Is this a clean backup?”
Dramatically faster recovery time
DRaaS solutions equip you with the ability to quickly failover productions systems by spinning up VMs or images in the cloud (or a local appliance) in minutes. Restoring your files from a clean backup will take 4-5 hours and that’s if the stars align. That’s a big difference -- minutes vs. hours – and that difference can be catastrophic depending on the business and the transactions feeding your production databases.
When it comes to restoring applications and production databases from a backup requires some planning and coordination. Leading DRaaS solutions include built-in failover orchestration that let you create predetermined failover plans for a group of replicated VMs, which can be booted simultaneously or in a specific order.
Unlimited recovery testing
Disaster recovery provision is worthless unless you test out your plans. Unfortunately, almost two-thirds of organizations say that they either test their disaster recovery plan either less than once a year, or don't test it at all. While some DRaaS solutions still limit the number of DR tests you can perform in a calendar year, leading solutions are now offering unlimited DR tests and disaster recovery days. When disaster strikes, IT should know that their DR systems will work and not just hope for the best.
Multiple recovery options
If your business gets attacked by ransomware, the impact can vary. Sometimes, personal files will get encrypted. Other times, applications and systems may get infected. Ransomware is an equal opportunity offender. With traditional backup solutions, you should be able to recover files and folders – recovering applications and running systems is another matter. With DRaaS, IT admins have the flexibility to quickly recover files, folders, applications, and even encrypted VMs.
More and more, IT admins are demanding push-button failover when systems crash or get infected by ransomware. With many DR solutions, admins must formally declare a disaster with the vendor before they will trigger a system failover. Unfortunately, if disaster or a ransomware infection strikes at 2 a.m. on a Saturday morning, you’re left hoping you can reach your solution provider and declare the disaster -- more than likely, your provider is sound asleep. Modern DRaaS solutions are increasingly putting the control in the hands of the IT administrator and letting them spin up a backup image whenever disaster strikes.
In the olden days, if you wanted warm or hot site failover, you could expect to pay through the nose. Traditional failover services are hardware centric -- whatever hardware, servers, databases, and load balancers you had deployed at your production site would have to be mirrored at a secondary (failover) site. This is seven-figures expensive, and requires a lot of upfront investment and manpower. DRaaS’s subscription pricing equips every SMB with enterprise-class failover and the ability to recover from ransomware attacks affordably.
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