Leveraging SAP for Disaster Recovery Planning

August 10, 2020 - by Synoptek

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The risk to normal business operations has always been high. Malicious actors, natural calamities, a power outage, or even genuine insider mistakes can cost enterprises heavily. Not only can such events result in downtime, it can also severely impact employee morale, business reputation, customer perception as well as competitive position. Protecting data and business information systems from possible disasters means organizations must leverage modern tools and technologies for disaster recovery planning. This post provides insights to IT leaders on how to leverage SAP for disaster recovery.

 

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What are the Benefits of SAP?

In a world where meeting business goals and customer expectations has become extremely critical, SAP ERP is a boon for small and medium-sized businesses. Through automation of business functions across financial management, operations management, and human resource management, SAP offers several benefits including:

  • Customized Solutions

    Meet the distinct needs of different businesses in different sectors and regions

  • Workforce Productivity

    Increase employee productivity and efficiency through improved access to information and analytics

  • Improved CRM

    Gain better customer relationship management by leveraging customer insights and advanced reporting and analytics

  • Improved Inventory Management

    Received better tracking of transactions between business, suppliers, and customers

  • Enhanced Integration

    Connect other business systems to provide a birds-eye view of metrics across the enterprise

Importance of a Disaster Recovery Plan

In an age where customers expect seamless experiences with the brands they interact with, even a single second of downtime can prove very costly – not just in terms of poor customer satisfaction but also in terms of trust and loyalty. Since disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, and can affect anyone without warning, without a disaster recovery plan in place, the chances of severe consequences are many. In addition to data loss and downtime, a disaster can also lead to severe losses with many companies even filing for bankruptcy – if proper immediate action is not taken.

With a disaster capable of causing critical components of a business environment to become unavailable, having a disaster recovery plan in place helps in resuming work quickly while minimizing the impact of the aftermath of a disaster. Benefits include:

  • Reducing restore times with lower RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective)
  • Limiting losses and minimizing interruptions to critical processes caused due to unforeseen downtime
  • Safeguarding business reputation along with employee morale and customer trust and loyalty
  • Simplifying post-disaster actions and paving the way for a quick restart of normal business operations
  • Ensuring minimal impact to performance through customization of recovery tasks based on specific business needs

Leveraging SAP for Disaster Recovery Planning

Multinational software corporation SAP offers robust disaster recovery services that lets you restore your business after a disaster, while minimizing service degradation and data loss. Using cloud technology, it allows businesses to choose from a plan that best suits their needs and retrieve information from a remote server – when a disaster strikes. Businesses can either choose from Standard Disaster Recovery that restores data from backups that are stored at a disaster recovery site and offers an RPO of 24 hours or Enhanced Disaster Recovery that enables quick recovery of cloud production environment in a secondary region and offers an RPO of 30 minutes and RTO of 4 hours.

At the same time, as part of SAP Disaster Recovery Plan, organizations can choose from Synchronous recovery technology where the database at the main site stays unchanged until it receives information from disaster recovery site that the database there is updated or Asynchronous where the database at the main site is allowed to make changes – irrespective of changes updated at the disaster recovery site.

In addition, businesses can opt for different approaches to SAP Disaster Recovery Plan based on their business needs. These include:

  • Traditional data recovery which consists of two identical servers, one each at the main data center and one at the DR site. Although efficient, this approach is costly and can result in poor uptime speed.
  • Disaster recovery using cloud where data backups are done on the public server and updated as and when necessary. Although an economical option, this approach might not work for organizations with strict security concerns.
  • Disaster recovery using VMware Site Recovery Manager where full server replication is carried out – instead of database-level replication. This approach results in a quick RTO post disruption.
  • HANA-specific disaster recovery where the enterprise system runs its own application server to replicate the entire HANA appliance to another site. Although expensive, this approach offers excellent speed and performance and is ideal for businesses running critical operations.

Implementing Your Disaster Recovery Plan

Implementing a Disaster Recovery Plan is crucial for businesses who want to maintain the performance and functionality of their operations 24×7. However, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy that can work for every organization. Every plan depends on an organization’s existing IT infrastructure, the criticality of applications, the RTO and RPO required, as well as the level of security and budget available. Here are some tips:

  • Start by identifying most serious threats to your IT infrastructure and put procedures in place that will help reduce the impact of risk.
  • Prioritize your risks based on how critical they are and accordingly set realistic RTO and RPO.
  • Constantly update your DR plan as well as the associated manual with details of data backup approaches, key tasks to be carried out, and key personnel involved.
  • Make sure to test your DR plan to eliminate any surprises and ensure your plan will function as expected – in the event of a disaster.
  • Partner with an experienced and expert partner who has the knowledge and experience dealing with disasters and can help you restore your business – with minimum downtime.

Be Ready for a Disaster, Be Prepared to Recover, Leverage Your SAP

Given how vulnerable modern businesses are to disasters of different kinds, they need to be prepared to deal with them. Having a robust Disaster Recovery Plan in place is a great way to minimize the impact of a disaster – from irreparable damage to data to complete business shutdown. Since almost every minute of downtime can prove costly for a business, companies need to minimize the possible downtime as much as they can. SAP disaster recovery plan offers companies different options to protect their IT environment and restore normal operations quickly and efficiently. With SAP, businesses can not only get their business back in action, they can also maintain employee morale, customer loyalty, and competitive position.

Interested in leveraging your SAP for disaster recovery planning? Contact an expert at Synoptek today.

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