Disaster Recovery and Data Protection as Time Travel

Hollywood has created many, many movies about time travel. It’s no surprise or secret why. Who wouldn’t want to go back in time to right a wrong, stop an event from happening, or just to do something differently. Imagine if you could travel back in time to be able to turn off the hot mic before you made that ill-timed comment that everyone heard. This is the luxury that having a well-planned, documented, and rehearsed Disaster Recovery (DR) plan gives to you.

Let’s follow the basic plot points of 12 Monkeys, Star Trek 4, The Terminator series, or Back To The Future. An event occurs. Our hero notices this event and determines the only solution is to travel back in time and resolve the issue by creating a future in which the event never occurs. This is a DR plan utilizing people and time machines instead of backup devices and data protection strategies. The end goal of any DR plan is to create a future in which the disaster never occurred.

The way to create this future is to utilize your DR plan and infrastructure devices as time machines. In the stories mentioned above the hero’s use a device to return to a time when their situation was normal. This is the RPO or recovery point objective. The reason to travel back in time is to avoid a disaster event. The next step in the process would be actual time travel. The amount of time it takes our heroes to travel back to the recovery point is the RTO.

Let’s go over that again. A disaster event occurs. We determine we need to travel back in time to correct the situation. While traveling (RTO) we arrive back in time to a point before the disaster (RPO). If the travel is successful we do not experience data loss. It’s as if the event never occurred from a data and infrastructure standpoint. This is a fun example of how a perfect DR plan would be implemented successfully in the event of a disaster. Backup and DR plans are merely a way to avoid future consequences of events that are unexpected, harmful, and disruptive to your business from a data and infrastructure perspective.

The beauty of our modern age is that it’s never been easier, or less expensive, to have an up to date and effective DR and Data Protection solution. The current state of cloud technology offerings enables us to extend Data Centers into the cloud thereby isolating them from events occurring at your work site or city. We also have the ability to clone data centers and store them in distant portions of the same country or on separate continents. Cloud providers are offering long-term storage per GB at the rate of less than a ten-thousandths of a penny a month. Redundancy is built in as well as the patching of underlying infrastructure supporting those apps or virtual instances. All of these advancements make having a time machine, excuse me, DR plan very simple and cost-effective.