A failover solution is related more to business continuity than disaster recovery. However, some failover solutions like Datto’s SIRIS device provide integrated continuity and disaster recovery options.

Hardware Failover

The Datto SIRIS device is a perfect example of a hardware failover solution.

If one of your critical servers fails, your SIRIS device can create a virtualized instance of that failed server and allow you to run your business operations from it temporarily while the issues impacting your primary system are being resolved. 

It’s important to understand that while your virtual server is running, changes will be made to your system both by users and from regular system updates. When the issue with your primary server is resolved and you spin down the virtual server, the SIRIS device will merge the two copies together so that you get to keep working with the most updated version.

If the disaster destroyed the original server and you end up having to purchase new hardware, you’ll be able to reimage the virtual system onto the new servers. 

Cloud Failover

Your company might be small enough to need only one or two servers, but if you have an entire room full of them, you’ll need more than a hardware failover solution for some scenarios.

If, for instance, there was a power surge or lightning strike, you’re not going to be able to run all the programs and workstations you normally would be able to form one piece of hardware like Datto’s SIRIS device.

The best practice in this scenario is to spin up the servers via cloud virtualization. This allows your business to leverage the scalable computational power of the cloud to run as many server instances as necessary to maintain normal operations while your local infrastructure is fixed. 

Cloud virtualization also enables remote work capabilities as well. With your servers on the cloud, you can remote into your cloud-based office with a VPN for added security. If you end up requiring more space, your cloud-virtualized infrastructure will be able to expand to meet your needs. 

Failover solutions are not meant to be permanent because it can be costly to run your business from the cloud in this way. They’re intended to keep your operations functioning as you wait for the complete restoration of your primary servers.

A more permanent and cost-effective approach would be to implement a geo-redundant cloud solution so that you can continue business operations despite any disruptive scenario one of your server locations might be experiencing. 

Internet Failover

Like the previous failover solutions we’ve described, which solve for failovers in your server infrastructure, an internet failover solution activates whenever your primary internet network goes down. It’s a way to maintain internet continuity.

If you use a BCDR enabled network firewall like Sophos XG, it should have an automatic failover which ensures that, if one internet network goes down, your devices will quickly switch over to the backup. We suggest having two separate connections, from two different providers, using two different types of technology. 

For instance, one connection might be via cable while the other is DSL. This way, you’re not only covered if one provider goes down, but if there’s a problem with the networking infrastructure that both providers might share, you’ll still remain connected. 

Power Failover

Simply put, a power failover solution provides backup power when your primary power source goes out through the use of Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs). 

For most businesses, we recommend having a power backup at every workstation. Even just a 1,500VA backup will offer you a good amount of time to continue working during small power interruptions or to save work and safely power down. 

Keep in mind that UPS batteries degrade over time, so you’ll want to get replacements every few years. Your Managed IT MSP services, like your BCDR plans, shouldn’t be “one size fits all,” which is why we prefer to invest time in understanding your company’s unique needs.