From Disaster Recovery to Continuity Management

Rather like the progression of the primate to primitive human and thence to homo sapiens, some industry pundits are now pushing this latest development in the disaster recovery chain of evolution: IT service continuity management. Whether this new concept adds much value remains to be seen, but it has the merit of being simple.

It is just the addition of IT disaster recovery and high-availability management, the idea being that this combination will provide a new foundation for business resilience, provided by IT operations. So, let’s take it apart and see what the pundits have put inside.

The combination may be simple, but the contents can be complex. Pundits include software-defined anything (SDx) features in different instances such as the software-defined data centre, storage, and more, taking a “Hype Cycle” report from Gartner as an example.

Cloud also crops up, here, there, and everywhere, in public and private emanations, while emerging technologies like containers are also present. There is also a heavy sprinkling of buzz words and phrases, including pace-layered application strategy and disaggregated systems (aka fabric-based computers.) DevOps also rears its head.

But is it necessary to make such a mountain out of a molehill, although we would certainly not belittle the importance of either disaster recovery or high availability. It’s just that there is a simpler definition that might save time and energy.

High availability is for IT components and systems that should work all the time, although if they don’t, they won’t cause the business as a whole to crash. IT disaster recovery is for IT components and systems that MUST work all the time, because their failure has an immediate catastrophic effect on the business.

Overly simplistic? Perhaps, but at least it helps to keep fundamental priorities clear, and lets us see the wood for the trees, so to speak.

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