Q: How do I determine which disaster recovery solution to deploy?
If you have your business in California and you have earthquakes, you need to take earthquakes into consideration. If you're in Florida along the south coast, you need to think about hurricanes and what types of things could create those regional disasters and how far you really need to move.
For the most part, what most businesses really need to do is associate their business needs with the [disaster] recovery [solution] that needs to happen. They should conduct a business impact analysis. This means they should really look at the applications they run and determine what impact it would have if those applications were no longer available to the business, and for how long.
Once they're able to do that and go through on an application-by-application basis, what they want to be able to do is determine their RPOs and RTOs. RPO is their recovery point objective: How much data can I afford to lose? RTO is recovery time objective: How quickly do I need to be able to recover that operation?
Once they've been able to go through and do that, that's when they can start figuring out what kind of disaster recovery [solution] they need to implement. The biggest thing, I think in this case, is for the company to make sure they've got adequate communication between the application owners and the technology owners. It's really common to talk to an application owner who says, "I can recover my operations within five minutes," but when you talk to the technology people, they say that operation is backed up to tape, and you wouldn't be able to recover the data for three or four days.