It’s time to implement a disaster recovery plan into your big data strategy

How much do you value your data? Presumably, the answer is a lot, but have you really done all you can to ensure its protection? Keeping your data safe is incredibly important, but if you haven't implemented a disaster recovery plan at your company, you may be putting it at risk.

Disasters that have a sizable impact on their victims usually do so because those affected were caught off guard. They do not announce themselves, so an incident that impacts your data could take place at any time. That's why, if you haven't done so already, you must implement a disaster recovery plan before it is too late.

That was the sentiment expressed in a recent Tech Republic article. Mary Shacklett, the article's author, says the role of big data is increasing in the workplace, which means it's more important than ever to implement a disaster recovery plan to protect it.

Unfortunately, big data managers aren't exactly jumping on board with this initiative. Lockwood Lyon, a systems and database performance specialist, asked database administrators about their disaster recovery efforts with big data. The two most commonly given answers were:

  • Big data is for analytics, not mission-critical data, so DR plans are not necessary; and
  • Big data is too big for backup and DR because of the amount of space and recovery time required to accommodate large data sets.

The key is for businesses to reverse this mindset before it really is too late and critical data becomes lost. Shacklett says that the first answer in particular will become irrelevant as big data's capabilities expand.

"This is a point of view that can last only as long as big data is not considered mission-critical in terms of continuous availability," she writes. "But with more organizations planning to run big data analytics in dynamic, online sales environments that are dependent upon analytics to respond to changing consumer behaviors (or to run transit systems based upon the ever-changing status of the system), and as companies become operationally and strategically dependent on analytics for business outcomes, it is only a matter of time before IT starts getting asked about its plans to back up, restore, and recover from a disastrous big data outage."

The second point does carry some validity, as some organizations may lack the internal resources to manage big data backup initiatives. That's why working with an IT systems provider can help organize a big data recovery strategy that mitigates the risk of losing crucial information.