If you ask 100 different executives what business continuity is, you'll get 100 different answers and chances are they'll all be partially correct. The category of business continuity encompasses a broad range of business drivers, technologies, and real world applications. Details aside, the common thread is this: the practice of business continuity brings an arsenal of technical resources to bear in order to ensure the proper functioning of business, regardless of the source of potential disruption.
Many organizations first awaken to the necessity of business continuity when they're faced with a potentially disastrous event for example, a hurricane. However, in today's global, always on economy, disasters can take a number of different forms and may not always reveal themselves quickly. Application failures, system malfunctions, hacker attacks, and human error are far more likely than natural disasters to interrupt normal business operations. In addition, businesses now need to worry about corporate compliance, data protection, and privacy regulations as both legal necessities and potential points of failure in the enterprise.
Business continuity solutions aim to minimize external threats and operational risks while responding to more stringent demands from corporate stakeholders and government regulatory agencies. They do this through management and technology strategies that help maintain service levels for essential business functions, preventing or minimizing interruptions.
For Hitachi Data Systems, business continuity means first understanding their key business challenges and requirements, including risk exposure, regulatory compliance, and best practices. Then, it calls for solutions designed to protect against loss of data access while increasing business resilience and operational efficiency.
Large, customer-centric enterprises and many businesses define themselves as such rely heavily on their technical infrastructure to deliver service to customers. Such companies cannot tolerate more than a few hours, or even a few minutes, of downtime without a serious impact to the bottom line. Imagine, for example, an inbound call center that prides itself on minimizing hold times for callers. If those hold times suddenly get longer regardless of whether it's due to a downed power line, a failed CRM application, a hacker, or a tornado calls will be answered less efficiently and the business will suffer.
Meta Group estimates that businesses lose an average of $1 million in revenue for every hour of downtime. Contingency Planning Research estimates losses as high as $6.45 million per hour for retail brokerages.
The impact on business can extend beyond lost revenue, of course. Sporadic outages can lead to lower employee productivity, negative headlines, and eventually diminished valuations.
The government and assorted regulatory bodies acknowledge data's expanded role in business, and have taken measures to govern and protect it. In the United States, data protection regulations now apply to health care (HIPAA), financial services (SEC Rule 17a-4), corporate accountability (Sarbanes-Oxley Act), life sciences (21 CFR Part 11), and government (DoD 5015.2-STD). Elsewhere in the world the story is similar, from the New Basel Capital Accord (Basel II) globally to RIPA and FAS in the UK and to COB in France.
The Hitachi Universal Storage Platform™ family helps organizations to meet business continuity challenges cost effectively, protect and leverage existing technology investments, increase service levels, and reduce management complexity and operational risk. The key features and benefits of the Universal Storage Platform family include:
Management of externally attached, heterogeneous disk storage enabling data
migration and replication to lower cost disk when appropriate, and providing
consistent tools and procedures for operational resilience.
Replication with data integrity and consistency with Hitachi Universal Replicator
software, a solution based on Hitachi asynchronous replication technology
Advanced replication capabilities using disk-based journaling to increase
resilience, while improving performance of production applications and reducing costs.
Advanced multi-data center configurations combining synchronous and
asynchronous replication technologies to meet business needs more effectively, and at lower cost.
Unique Virtual Tape Library and data de-duplication solutions that optimize backup processes by leveraging the Hitachi platform and software from partner Diligent.
Also, the Hitachi Data Protection Suite powered by CommVault provides high-performance data protection, data management, and universal availability of data on complex heterogeneous storage networks. With Hitachi Data Protection Suite, customers can solve challenges like shrinking backup windows, rising tape costs, recovering critical data, and meeting regulatory compliance requirements.
Data is a business's most vital asset. Without the proper infrastructure, processes, and strategies to support it, series risks lie ahead. Hitachi Data Systems approach to business continuity takes this idea as its starting point and from there proceeds to practical strategies that ensure the safety and the efficient use of data no matter where it's stored, how it's accessed, or what threats it faces.
83% of IT organizations want the higher levels of data protection provided by disk-based backup and recovery solutions but want to optimize the volume of data being protected by leveraging cutting-edge data de-duplication technology. Hitachi ProtecTIER Virtual Tape Library enables customers to get all the benefits of backing up to disk without changing established backup policies or procedures. Replacing slow tapes with high speed disk, enables customers to increase backup/recovery performance, optimize their storage infrastructure, and achieve their business resilience objectives. The data de-duplication capabilities provided by ProtecTIER delivers streamlined backup and recovery operations, greatly improved RPO and RTO objectives, and a drastically reduced total cost of ownership.