Sometimes the smarter the people, the funnier their troubles. Like the young couple in the Hollywood comedy, The Money Pit. Tom Hanks and Shelley Long spend all their money on a Long Island mansion that falls apart slapstick style — the chimney collapses, the wiring catches fire and a raccoon moves in. Escalating fix-it costs turn their dream house into a "money pit."


A data center with a backup and recovery solution that gets too out-of-date could be the next source of material for a laugh-out-loud, what-can-go-wrong-will-go-wrong comedy. If otherwise smart people don’t factor in the hidden costs of downtime to a business, they might find themselves in a Money Pit remake.  

When things outlive their usefulness

At the bottom a money pit, you’ll often something that has outlived its usefulness — like legacy recovery tech.

For example, when Microsoft Exchange servers grow inexorably to extreme sizes, it becomes difficult to meet a recovery time objective (RTO). To recover a too-big-to-fail server using legacy methods, you would need to provision a new server, recover the OS, install applications and only then recover the data.

In the real world, you need to restore a server in minutes rather than hours.

Downtime costs how much?

Whatever numbers you look at, a solid IT disaster recovery strategy must minimize the impact of unplanned downtime. Each organization has to calculate the actual cost specific to its own operations. Gartner took a stab at an average and came up with $5,600 per minute or $300k an hour.

The “hidden” costs include declining productivity, distrust of IT, and a loss of morale and reputation if a company is seen to take unacceptable risks with business-critical data.

To avoid this situation, many data protection experts find themselves on a slippery slope, throwing ever more money into better servers and new technology to try and recover data when it’s down. But even modern imaging recovery techniques can still result in extended recovery time, since they require restoring the entire system — possibly terabytes of data — before booting.

As if the outage never happened

A next-generation disaster recovery solution, by definition, offers a near-zero RTO. How is this done? By enabling users to access target servers during the recovery process — the data they need is restored on demand, without waiting for a complete system restore.

In other words, you can ensure zero impact on your users by presenting them with the data they request instantly, during restores, as if the outage never happened. Within minutes of an Exchange Server loss, users can send, receive and access emails — even if a very large amount of mailbox and message data is being restored.

The results for any organization are immediate and measurable. And you won’t get trapped in a money pit.

See how it’s done in our tip sheet, Stop Thinking About Your Backups; It’s Time to Focus on Recovery

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