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Managed Disaster Recovery using Microsoft Azure

Most enterprises have a complicated relationship with their on-premise Disaster Recovery (DR) ecosystem. Not only is it expensive to build and maintain in-house, but it provides little value to day-to-day business operations. It’s only saving grace is that it is invaluable when the unthinkable happens.

Naturally, lowering the cost of DR and improving its utility are key goals as the enterprise transitions to the next-generation digital services economy. Fortunately, with modern virtual and cloud environments readily available, this is not only possible but can be done quickly and with no disruption to existing operations.

Take the case of a large Canadian privately-owned passenger transportation company. The transportation service provider is a long-time OnX Canada client, which is why they turned to us when it came time to streamline their DR infrastructure that supports more than 4,000 employees in four operating divisions located at numerous sites across Canada.

Serious challenges

The challenges the client faced were considerable. First, they needed to reform their cost structure to reflect a diminishing bottom line brought on by the downturn in the oil and natural gas industry. This required a wholesale re-examination of their IT spend on critical infrastructure.

What we found was that capital expenditures were being made in a self-serve manner that lacked clarity and produced a highly inflexible recovery environment. In essence, the client’s DR was composed of dedicated hardware and collocated resources, resulting in an internal IT environment in which the client had to carry the full burden of risk management even though substantial costs were devoted to renting space at an off-premises data center.

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The solution was to move DR to a public cloud destination where it could be provisioned under a utility-style, consumption-based model. Not only did this provide a lower price point than the existing dedicated model, but it also came as a fully managed service leveraging the latest Zerto replication software linked to Microsoft’s Azure cloud. Rather than purchasing a technology solution, the transportation company was able to purchase the desired outcome for its DR requirements, leaving the responsibility for recovery document creation, testing, and other services to OnX.

The solutions provided by OnX allow the client’s internal staff to focus on mission-critical initiatives, such as onboarding new customers and tapping new markets, rather than managing the risks associated with legacy infrastructure. At the same time, the company is rewarded with a far more flexible, scalable, secure, and efficient DR program that will be there when it’s needed.

Flexible and operational

The transition from a fixed capital model to a flexible operational model for DR services is one of the key value propositions of the cloud. While many organizations are bringing the same approach to a wide range of critical and non-critical functions, DR is one of the primary beneficiaries precisely because it exhibits such a high-cost/low-utilization ratio under the traditional dedicated equipment data center model.

In the cloud, crucial DR functions like data backup, automatic failover, and replication receive the latest cutting-edge technology support. While these same tools are available to the enterprise, they usually come at a high price premium that is too expensive for a support function like DR. But in the cloud, DR is the profit center, which means paying for the latest and greatest technology is just good business. And since these technologies are shared among multiple clients, everyone receives the benefits of these technologies at the most attractive price points.

As the digital economy unfolds, of course, flexibility and attractive cost structures will not be just luxuries for the lucky few, but downright necessities for organizations across the board. As the case of the transportation company has shown, a quick and disruption-free transition is possible, but it requires a high level of expertise to provision and deploy the appropriate resources using proven methodologies.

OnX is ready to assist organizations across multiple industry verticals make the change to cost-effective, cloud-based DR service models.

Learn how we can assist with your journey to cloud-based Disaster Recovery.

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