Jerome Wendt, president and lead analyst of DCIG Inc, an independent storage analyst and consulting firm, outlines 10 criteria for selecting the right enterprise business continuity software

The pressures to implement business continuity software that can span the enterprise and recover application servers grow with each passing day.

Disasters come in every form and shape from regional disasters (earthquakes, floods, lightning strikes) to terrorist attacks to brown-outs to someone accidently unplugging the wrong server.

Adding to the complexity, the number of application servers and virtual machines are on the rise and IT headcounts are flat or shrinking.

Despite these real-world situations, companies often still buy business continuity software that is based on centralized or stand-alone computing models that everyone started abandoning over a decade ago.

Distributed computing is now almost universally used for hosting mission critical applications in all companies.

However business continuity software that can easily recover and restore data in distributed environments is still based on 10 year old models.

This puts businesses in a situation when they end up purchasing business continuity software that can only recover a subset of their application data.

Organizations now need a new set of criteria that accounts for the complexities of distributed systems environments.

Today’s business continuity software must be truly enterprise and distributed in its design.

Here are 10 features that companies now need to identify when selecting business continuity software so it meets the needs of their enterprise distributed environment:

• Heterogeneous server and storage support.
• Accounts for differences in performance.
• Manages replication over WAN links.
• Multiple ways to replicate data.
• Application integration.
• Provides multiple recovery points.
• Introduces little or no overhead on the host server.
• Replicates data at different points in the network (host, network or storage system).
• Centrally managed.
• Scales to manage replication for tens, hundreds or even thousands of servers.

The requirements for providing higher, faster and easier means of enterprise business continuity have escalated dramatically in the last decade while the criteria for selecting the software remains rooted in yesterday’s premises and assumptions.

Today’s corporations not only need to re-evaluate what software they are using to perform these tasks but even what criteria on which they should base these decisions.

The 10 criteria listed here should provide you with a solid starting point for picking backup continuity software that meets the requirements of today’s enterprise distributed environments while still providing companies the central control and enterprise wise recoverability that they need to recover their business.

To read the full criteria please go to DCIG Inc.

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