Industry 4.0 – Backup and Disaster Recovery

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After lagging behind other sectors for decades, many asset-intensive industries are set to undergo a long overdue digital transformation. Billed as “Industry 4.0”, the shift is being driven by the adoption of big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT) and the cloud. The use of data to transform almost every aspect of industrial processes holds huge promise for increasing productivity, safety and efficiency. But it also creates a huge risk around the loss of data and will require these businesses to think very differently about industry data Backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) services.

Evolving Data Protection Across Industries

While the computer revolution initially transformed sectors as diverse as finance, entertainment, advertising and e-commerce, there are many others that remained relatively unchanged. Industries such as manufacturing, mining, logistics, energy, and transportation rely heavily on physical assets rather than digital processes. They have typically adopted information technologies (IT) only for administration and communications, while their basic operations remained undigitized.

As progress has marched forward, these industries are now beginning to join the digital transformation movement. Two of the biggest shifts leading to the adoption of digital operations technology (OT) are IoT and AI/machine learning. IoT sensors are enabling many physical processes to finally be digitally measured. Heavy machinery performance, physical asset movements and environmental conditions can now be carefully monitored using IoT sensors, which generate data streams continuously throughout the day.

AI machine learning analytics are then used to process this enormous amount of data to isolate patterns and draw insights on everything from when to plan maintenance, to optimizing end-to-end workflows and sensing environmental hazards. The digital data and machine learning insights can then enable the automation of extremely complex processes. Using digital twins technology, it is possible to model most physical processes using machine learning to continuously tweak operations, improve safety and find better ways to do things.

Machine learning typically relies on access to very large amounts of historical data in order to create algorithms that model the physical process. Whereas typically, logged data of this kind has traditionally been very low in terms of priority, it now becomes much more important, and thus may need to be given different priority in your backup and recovery plans. The AI machine learning programs must continuously go through the data source searching for patterns, even as new data is added. Models are continuously in a state of development and evaluation. They are constantly rebuilt as new data is added, and the model is refined. This closed loop repeats continuously.

This puts much greater emphasis on efficient and secure data storage strategies, including data backup (BaaS) and disaster recovery (DRaaS) to ensure that your systems have access to the right data at the right time. Especially at the beginning of the process during the training of the AI, it is difficult to determine what kinds of data need to be stored, since often the most relevant insights can be drawn from the sort of data that a human operator would simply disregard. As the AI model matures, certain workloads will become more important and will move from long-term, slower storage to very fast storage. AI “training processes” can access terabytes of storage per hour, putting extreme pressure on storage throughput.

Specialized Industry Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Services

For many businesses this hyper reliance on data is new territory, and it is important for them to engage a company that can provide expertise on how best to manage, protect and recover their data. One very good option is to choose a partner that provides Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). This offers a practical solution for companies of all sizes, and especially those with limited IT personnel resources and capital to handle unpredictable disaster and emergency events. Leveraging specialized DR services enables businesses to focus their OT teams on core business needs while providing stand-by supportive resources when they need a helping hand the most.

It is important to plan carefully for what gets recovered and in what order because the AI data stores can be so large. This requires careful analysis of the criticality of your operations and systems, and the necessary order in which data needs to be recovered. Working closely with your DRaaS provider, you can create playbooks for exactly how to respond to different disaster scenarios, test them and then train your personnel to follow them.

A good DRaaS partner will also have extensive experience in helping companies recover from many different kinds of disasters including cybersecurity events, which are a new kind of threat for an asset-intensive industry as IoT introduces new avenues for attack along with enhanced connectivity.

As we embrace autonomous technologies built around IoT, AI and machine-learning, we are unleashing tremendous productive potential — all based on data. We are also setting ourselves up for serious difficulties if the data is lost. A good DRaaS partner can help you to navigate and survive events of this nature and ensure that your business thrives in its new data-driven model and is not crippled by the loss of it.

Need a framework to get started? Check out our free DRaaS Plan Template.

Have questions around Data Backup and Disaster Recovery? Ask our experts today!

Storagepipe to the Rescue

Your Industry Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Heroes

Storagepipe is a trusted global DRaaS provider of comprehensive Cloud, Data Protection and Cybersecurity services and can help to provide guidance as you work through your SMB or enterprise DR planning process.

Since 2001, Storagepipe has provided these robust and secure Managed Cloud and Disaster Recovery solutions from a scalable multi-tenant infrastructure, supported by our first-class in-house technical team. Storagepipe delivers highly flexible and responsive solutions with outstanding value and service, using state-of-the-art technology to offer ultimate protection and peace of mind. Storagepipe is an accredited Microsoft Office Level 1 backup and DRaaS provider.

We are driven to be your trusted industry data backup and DR partner and to ensure that we deliver a Storagepipe Experience that meets your business requirements with the reliability, scalability and support that your business demands.

Contact us today to discover your options around data loss prevention solutions and rapid ransomware recovery with services such as Cloud to Cloud Backup for Microsoft 365 and Storagepipe DR services. Regardless of internal user error, ransomware attacks, or when a disaster strikes, ensure your business continuity by meeting your operational demands while protecting and recovering your most valuable asset – your data.

Questions? Ask Our Experts!

Find Your DRaaS Partner and Make Disaster Recovery a Strategic Part of Your Service Portfolio

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You may already be managing backup services for some of your clients, but haven’t yet expanded to offering a complete disaster recovery service. Or you simply haven’t added Managed Backup or Disaster Recovery (DR) to your service portfolio at all. Either way, there are good reasons to consider offering your customers DR, not just as a source of recurring revenue, but also as a sticky service that can create a more trusted advisor relationship that leads to new business. It has become easier to add DR to your portfolio with the advent of Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), especially when working closely with a DRaaS partner.

DRaaS is a perfect example of an on-demand cloud service that is always-on and scales with your client’s needs. For you and your customers, there is the added benefit that you don’t need to keep a second data center for redundant servers and communications services. An additional perk for you is that DR brings in new customers, such as SMBs, that will find it easier to start small and scale as they grow.

DRaaS offers three other main benefits to your customers:

  1. Immediate recovery from any kind of disaster with system failover to a secondary infrastructure within minutes.
  2. Depending on needs and resources, customers get the flexibility to customize the scope of recovery from all types of disasters, from malware and ransomware to hurricanes and wildfires.
  3. DRaaS offers seamless redundancy and no single point of failure to keep data securely protected in the cloud and away from the primary site.

Working closely with a customer to plan for recovery from a disaster that could jeopardize their business, requires that you get a clear understanding of their key operations and those parts of the business that are mission-essential. This disaster recovery planning approach is more strategic and collaborative between provider and customer than with a managed backup service, and requires you and the customer to predefine playbooks for exactly how to respond to different disaster scenarios. This is your opportunity to take your relationship with your customer to a new level. If you are able to add value and insights, you can earn their trust and develop a longer-term relationship with greater revenue potential.

Working on the disaster plan will involve taking the customer through a thorough risk assessment to identify vulnerabilities in their infrastructure. You may ask, which components are the most important and how do they impact their critical business functions? You will need to calculate both the financial and non-financial costs. Besides loss of revenue, there is the potential loss of opportunity; for instance, companies that recover faster, gain a competitive advantage.

The goal of all this analysis is to develop with the customer what they believe is their realistic recovery time objectives (RTO). In other words, how long can their infrastructure afford to be down? This is often a compromise between what they view as ideal and what they can afford. Similarly, you will also set the recovery point objectives (RPO), which define what level of data must be recovered and at what time-based increment or schedule, which should follow directly out of the analysis of critical business functions.

How strong is your safety net? Download our Ransomware and Disaster Recovery Insights for Hybrid IT Environments report to discover the concerns, predictions and challenges of engineering, security, IT and operations leaders in hybrid IT environments. 

Qualities and Benefits of a Reliable DRaaS Partner

Having a technology partner that is focused on providing disaster recovery can be helpful during this process. A good DRaaS partner will have extensive experience in helping companies recover from many different kinds of disasters. This experience can be leveraged in formulating a sound disaster plan. And should the time come that a disaster does occur, it’s good to have team members onboard who routinely handle disaster situations and are able to meet the challenge with a measured and effective response that only comes with experience.

Your DRaaS partner will be particularly useful in the setting and defining of RTO and RPO objectives. These objectives set the parameters for the SLA you agree to and defines your relationship and your obligations going forward. This includes identifying the cost-effective services and configurations that are recommended for your customer to meet their RTO and RPO, including full or partial failover, and hot site or warm site replication. It is critical to get it right at the beginning, and this is where the extensive experience of a DRaaS partner can be drawn upon to ensure that the defined service achieves the customer’s objectives as well as your own.

Finally, your ultimate objective in defining a DR plan for your customer is to identify where they are most vulnerable and to help them to address those weaknesses to prevent disasters altogether. Again, you will have to move the needle on your relationship to go beyond reacting to their needs to anticipating them, and as a result positively shape the way they operate their business.

This is why DRaaS is much more than an additional revenue stream or a sticky service, although it is both these things. It is above all an opportunity to move you from being regarded as just a service provider to being a trusted strategic long-term partner for their business.

Storagepipe to the Rescue

Your Backup and Disaster Recovery Heroes

Storagepipe is a trusted global provider of comprehensive cloud, data protection and security services and can help to provide guidance as you work through your SMB or enterprise DR planning process.

Since 2001, Storagepipe has provided these robust and secure Managed Cloud and Disaster Recovery Services from a scalable multi-tenant infrastructure, supported by our first-class in-house technical team. Storagepipe delivers highly flexible and responsive solutions with outstanding value and service, using state-of-the-art technology to offer ultimate protection and peace of mind.

We are driven to be your trusted partner and to ensure that we deliver a Storagepipe Experience that meets your business requirements with the reliability, scalability and support that your business demands.

Contact us today to discover your options around partnering with us to provide your customers with data loss prevention solutions and rapid ransomware recovery with services such as DRaaS Veeam managed appliance for VMWare and HyperVDRaaS physical server replication, and other Storagepipe DR services. Ensure your business continuity by meeting your operational demands while protecting and recovering your most valuable asset – your data.

Questions? Ask Our Experts!