High Availability and Disaster Recovery: Does Your ERP Implementation Measure Up?

Ali Jani | December 3, 2015

You want an ERP solution that can handle anything you throw at it - that includes having a load balanced approach, frequent backups, multiple storage locations, and protection against a disaster that could leave your systems down for an extended period of time.

When it comes to your business, thinking ahead can save your company from losing data and losing revenue.

The big question remains: how do you ensure you’re choosing an ERP solution that can protect your business and satisfy your needs? A system that focuses on high availability and disaster recovery is a great place to start. Let’s dive into why these two topics are important for your ERP selection.

High Availability and Disaster Recovery: Does Your ERP Implementation Measure Up?

High Availability

Times are changing, and a range of cheap hosting “solutions” are popping up. Unfortunately, these new options cannot realistically provide high availability for complex solutions such as ERP.

When you purchase a hosted environment versus subscribing to an ERP SaaS offering, it is typically your responsibility to ensure that your data is being backed up. You’re also held responsible for making sure you have multiple machines that are load balanced. This is critical in case one of the machines goes down; another machine needs to be available immediately to continue serving your requests. In a hosted environment, you’re responsible for figuring this out. (gulp!).

An additional downside is that, with a hosted environment, the process of backing up your data is really up to you. You must ensure that it is being backed up accurately. Some hosters claim they will take snapshots of your data and environment, but this is usually not a full picture and often will not capture real-time changes, leaving you with a slew of data inaccuracies.

Because of these things, we highly recommend you choose an ERP SaaS offering. It will let you take advantage of a multitude of virtual machines that are all load balanced and can service your requests and ensure that your data is backed up in real-time. This takes the responsibility off of your plate and places it on the SaaS provider, freeing you up to work on the tasks required to move your business forward.

Another thing to consider is that even if you tried to implement the hosted model on your own, you would quickly find that the cost will be substantially more than choosing a SaaS offering. The SaaS options are able to scale costs, which are then passed on to you, and frees up the rest of your budget for other critical business decisions.

Disaster Recovery

It’s not surprising that many businesses do not think through disaster recovery for their data. It’s not a fun topic. However, while hoping for the best is great, preparing for the worst is the necessary other side of that coin.

Take a minute to think through these questions: Can you continue to do business if there is a hardware failure or if a place you’re hosting your solution goes up in flames? If you do experience a fire, what just happened to all of your data? How quickly can you recover from that? If your system is down for 2-3 days, what kind of business are you losing?  Are you going to be able to give your customers the same level of customer service that you would be able to give them under normal circumstances?

It’s all too common to hear of a hardware failure story where the business’ last backup was over 3 days ago. The 3 days of data is gone and is most likely not coming back. Customers aside, how frustrated will your employees be if vital information that they need in order to perform their jobs has simply vanished?

When you subscribe to a SaaS offering, your data is replicated into multiple geo zones. There are regular processes that take place to ensure you can get back up and running immediately, even in the event of a disaster. The data backups that are performed are tested regularly to ensure that the data is recoverable. There is also 24/7 outage customer service teams, ready at any moment to help you get your business backup and running in minutes.

As an example, AME Corporation kept their business moving along after Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012. President and CEO Ehren Dimitry had this to say about his foresight into making the leap to a cloud-based ERP solution:

We made it through the biggest natural disaster in recent history, and cloud computing made it possible. I encourage all businesses to migrate to the cloud, not just for risk mitigation, but for better collaboration, communication and up-time. Do it now, as you never know when disaster will strike.

To read a little bit more about AME Corporation's story, go here.

So, what’s your plan?

Not all ERP solutions are created equal. Availability and disaster recovery should be at the forefront of your mind for your ERP implementation. It’s a bad assumption to make that a cheap solution will save you money in the long run.

Do not get caught off guard. Make sure your ERP solution measures up to your needs! Click to tweet

Ali Jani

Vice President, Partner Strategy, Enablement, and Services at Acumatica

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