Over the last few years, video streaming has become the preferred viewing source of content for consumers, underpinned by a rise in availability and consumer usage of streaming apps, FAST services and the continued penetration of smart TVs. Media companies have gradually adapted to deliver more content to more platforms, to find ways to better monetize their catalogs and to compete in an ever changing market. With their media supply chains becoming more complex than ever, a question lingers in the back of CXO’s minds: What happens to our content business in the event of a disaster?
We can’t prevent disasters from happening. But we can put plans in place to better protect ourselves when they do happen. Having a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) in place has become a necessity. Research shows that as many as 43% of companies that experience a major data loss event go out of business if they don’t have any recovery planning in place. Disaster Recovery is also a compliance requirement for many organizations, including public companies. For instance, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) demands that public companies have data integrity for their financial reporting by documenting the policies and procedures put in place to safeguard their data.
So there is no question that implementing a DRP is something all companies must do. If you haven’t thought about Disaster Recovery (DR), or if your plan is due for an update, there’s a solution for you in cloud-native technology. Get your content into the cloud, and it will be much easier and cheaper to future-proof your business.
WHAT IS DISASTER RECOVERY?
Disaster Recovery is a subdiscipline of Business Continuity Management (BCM), which hinges on the idea that businesses have to be able to execute their business processes, especially critical business processes. A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) encompasses the procedures, preparations, and IT systems set in place that help maintain critical business functions in the event of a disaster, natural or human-induced.
A disaster can mean several things: maybe it’s a hardware or software failure, a network or power outage, physical damage to a building like fire or flooding, or human error. While fires and floods may be less common, most disasters that are smaller in scope happen more often than you might think: Human error is the leading cause of data breaches, responsible for 55% of incidents.
Increasingly, cyber attacks including ransomware, data theft, malicious deletion, and countless others are having disastrous effects on companies. According to latest industry reports, the average impact of a data breach on organizations with fewer than 500 employees is $3.31 million with more than 50% of small businesses forced to close within six months of a cyber attack.
Whatever the case, you want to make sure you’re ready for when a crisis happens.
Disaster Recovery Dilemmas
There are two key metrics involved in a DR plan: RTO and RPO. RTO (Recovery Time Objective) is the amount of time that is acceptable for a company to recover applications in the event of a disaster. RPO (Recovery Point Objective) is the minimum amount of data that is acceptable for a company to lose in the event of a disaster. RTO and RPO are determined based on the financial impact to the business when systems are down. The goal is to figure out how to make those numbers shrink. The difficulty of developing a DRP is this: How do you get your production up and running quickly, with little to no content loss, all with a low price tag?
Sounds impossible? Keep reading. Say goodbye to the challenges of traditional Disaster Recovery Plans and step into the world of cloud-native Media Supply Chains.
TRADITIONAL DISASTER RECOVERY IN CONTENTION
For years, the most tried-and-true DR strategy was off-site tape storage. Today, there are real limitations to the efficacy of tape storage. Tapes can be lost, misplaced, or stolen, and testing them is highly time-consuming (so they don’t get tested, and deteriorate instead). Tape storage is also expensive, due in large part to the required manual processes for loading and unloading tape, which drives up labor costs significantly.
In the event of a disaster, the RTO is usually around 48 hours and the RPO around 24 hours. For medium to large enterprises, that kind of downtime isn’t going to cut it. Unplanned downtime is estimated to cost an average of $9,000 per minute (approx. $500,000 per hour). Each company should seek a comprehensive understanding of the financial impact unplanned downtime can have on its business. After getting a clearer picture of those numbers, then you can begin to tackle RTO and RPO.
If you want to shorten your RPO (the amount of expected data loss) and RTO (the amount of time it takes to restore service) using a traditional Disaster Recovery solution, you must have your own secondary data center to replicate your data and run secondary storage servers. Using this method, a short RPO and RTO would require active synchronous replication, meaning your data would be constantly copied to and updated within the secondary servers.
But be prepared to pay through the nose for this kind of efficiency, not to mention all the time, energy, and resources that you could be dedicating to your company’s other needs. Traditional DR planning that uses a secondary data center requires consideration for several requirements involving capacity, security, network robustness and much more. In the end, hardware failure causes 45% of total unplanned downtime, which makes it the leading cause of data loss and/or downtime. To break it down:
You could end up spending a whole lot of money, time, and energy on a solution that, statistically, is probably going to fail.
But it doesn’t have to be that way - you can prevent on-prem disasters.
BENEFITS OF CLOUD DISASTER RECOVERY
When it comes to Disaster Recovery in the cloud, you can expect low costs, high durability, and tight security.
Scalability & Fast Restoration Reduces Costs
The numbers speak for themselves: cloud-based disaster recovery is less expensive than Infrastructure and Operations running it in-house.
No upfront costs or capital expenses.
No capacity planning. No operational costs such as floor space, staff, software updates, or maintenance.
Replication to a cloud infrastructure makes Disaster Recovery much simpler, which dramatically reduces recovery times. For instance, Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is well-suited for housing your infrastructure and data that might be needed quickly to perform a restore. Transferring data to and from Amazon S3 is typically done through the network, and is therefore accessible from any location and can be initiated anywhere, at any time. Amazon Web Services (AWS) also provides a tiered data archiving service at a low cost with their S3 Glacier product. It is designed to be the lowest cost AWS object storage class with three retrieval options to fit your use case. With S3 Glacier, you can better manage your storage expenses. In the event of a disaster, AWS allows you to quickly change and optimize resources, giving you control over your assets when you need it most.
Applications and data can come back online in minutes with a cloud-based Disaster Recovery solution. That kind of speed is unmatched by any other solution out there.
DR in a cloud infrastructure can lower your company’s RTO and RPO, meaning more cash in your wallet. In terms of cutting costs, cloud-based Disaster Recovery has no rival.
Durability & Constant Testing
Not only does cloud-based DR cost less, but it also maintains the integrity of your content better than a traditional solution does. The data being protected in the cloud infrastructure is constantly indexed and tested for recoverability. DR simulations can be created faster and cheaper in the cloud than in an on-premises or co-location facility, which means testing happens frequently.
You can rest assured that your applications will function once you initiate recovery. As an example, Amazon S3 provides a highly durable storage infrastructure designed for mission-critical and primary data storage. Durability is measured by the amount of tiny errors that occur in files. When you write, read, and rewrite gigabytes, terabytes, and petabytes of information to the same drive, sometimes individual bytes can get corrupted or lost. Methods like object storage and deduplication that many cloud infrastructures support prevent data loss or content corruption--and top cloud service providers make it a point to emphasize this durability. With AWS, content is redundantly stored on multiple devices across multiple facilities within a region, designed to provide a durability of 99.999999999% (eleven 9s).
When it comes to ensuring the quality of your content, those eleven 9s matter.
Confidence In Security
Another main reason why cloud infrastructure is so durable is its tight security.
Not only is your data encrypted in the cloud, but top cloud service providers abide by several comprehensive security compliance measures. AWS, for instance, has built their services on an environment with extensive and validated security and controls.
You can take advantage of several AWS safety features. They provide Object Storage Features like S3 Versioning, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), S3 Cross-Region Replication (CRR), and Identity and Access Management (IAM), which all serve to enforce permissions and help prevent accidental deletions or mistakes with your data.
Amazon also runs global regions, and within each region they have multiple Availability Zones that protect your applications from failure of a single location. As a result, a cloud-based DRP has layered resilience to ensure the security of your content. Your company would have to spend billions of dollars in order to get the kind of resilience that the top cloud service providers like AWS offer.
At the end of the day, you get access to the same highly secure, reliable, and fast infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of websites. By leaning on AWS for your cloud-based Disaster Recovery needs, you take advantage Amazon.com’s very own multi-billion dollar online business, which has been refined for nearly two decades.
HOW ATELIERE CAN SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY
It is clear that a DRP and Business Continuity Plan involving cloud services is the way to go if you want your business to be protected and avoid losing productivity and revenue. For creative media companies, content owners and distributors with on-premises or hybrid on-premise/cloud infrastructure, Ateliere’s solutions are tailor-made to ensure that if a disaster happens, you're back on your feet as soon as possible.
Leveraging Ateliere Connect as your media supply chain platform, all the contained media and metadata is already known and available in the Disaster Recovery backup site. No need to manage any physical infrastructure for DR, and no degradation.
Ateliere’s Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery solution brings unique advantages with two configuration options:
- Near Real time - Ateliere Connect is up and running in AWS, using only resources when needed, ready to run in a DR scenario.
- Dormant site - turned on only when needed. It brings cost savings with the peace of mind that business operations can be back up and running quickly.
Ateliere Connect’s cloud-based asset repository works alongside primary on-premises or hybrid systems, facilitating seamless failover and ensuring uninterrupted media asset access in the event of a system failure.
Additionally, Ateliere’s FrameDNATM video deduplication technology reduces cloud storage footprint by 70% and more, enabling customers to implement cost efficient DR storage in the cloud. Backing up without deduplicating first would be cost prohibitive.
And if you end up moving your media supply chain to the cloud, Ateliere Connect can make it even more cost-and-time-efficient and elastic thanks to the Interoperable Master Format (IMF). Put simply, IMF-driven, component-based workflows allow you to create dozens of versions of the same title, to be delivered to dozens of different endpoints, all out of one master package.
What does this mean for Disaster Recovery? You could go the traditional route and store 30 individual media files created for 30 destinations, each weighing in at 1 TB of space, totaling 30 TB or or you could store one master IMF package, that’s capable of making those same 30 versions, for a total of 1.5 TB. We think it’s a no-brainer.
You can learn more about the Interoperable Master Format here, and the benefits of using IMF in your content hub for title management, here.
DISASTER RECOVERY AS AN INSURANCE POLICY
The bottom line is this: Disaster Recovery is like an insurance policy. You want the most coverage for the least amount of money. If you want to reduce the costs of your DR plan, have the highest durability, and rely on the tightest security in the game, the cloud is your friend.
If you want to get ahead of the competition with a solution that will save you the most time and money possible, a media supply chain solution like Ateliere Connect, with deduplication technology and component-based workflows is your best friend.
At Ateliere, we’ve seen our clients make the transition from legacy data centers to the cloud, and they tell us they’re satisfied with cost and time savings, plus the flexibility that a modern media supply chain solution provides.
So you’ve decided to switch to the cloud for your Disaster Recovery needs, but are unsure about how to actually get to the cloud? Amazon has a whole host of native services that make it easy to ingest your content into AWS. Learn more about how to get your content from on-prem to the cloud here, or reach out today and we’ll help you decide on your best migration strategy.
To find out how to protect your business against disaster, schedule a demo today.
Ateliere Creative Technologies is a leading cloud-native media supply chain company that empowers media companies and content creators to reach consumers on a global scale. The Ateliere suite of SaaS solutions incorporates cutting-edge workflows and formats to make the vision for a studio in the cloud a reality. The nucleus of the Ateliere platform, Ateliere Connect™, delivers core competencies in IMF, parallel scaling, and geographically distributed workflows. Ateliere is built by a team of experts with decades of combined experience at companies such as Amazon, HBO, Netflix, and Microsoft.