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Edge Computing Requires Updated Disaster Recovery


Now that companies have embraced edge, updated disaster recovery plans are needed to offer assurance that a company can survive a disruption.

Traditional disaster recovery (DR) plans must consider new challenges as the use of edge computing grows. Rethinking these plans will require companies to acknowledge the difficulty of their distributed systems and write disaster plans like none they’ve had before. Don’t worry; it’s completely doable with the right framework.

In the past, IT was responsible for all systems, making them also solely responsible for the recovery plan. Traditional approaches that were developed in a data center-centric era fall short in the age of edge computing and other distributed computing strategies. IT can’t control all of this distributed compute with a standard centralized DR plan that is built around the data center.

Now, data culture has introduced more departments into the IT process. Disaster recovery is now a company-wide responsibility.

Companies can prepare by:

  • Leveraging IT’s expertise in technology: IT offers the knowledge base required to get the plan started. It’s up to IT to get the ball rolling
  • Involve other departments: As companies integrate IoT solutions, IT needs the input and documentation of these different groups.
  • Sort out disconnect: In some cases, enterprises may have implemented different solutions across departments that don’t communicate, and IT may not even be aware of these devices. Companies need an audit of technology to make sure loose ends don’t cause catastrophic failure.
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As companies implement more cloud apps and solutions, disaster recovery plans must also include valuable systems off-premises. Companies must include detailed DR specific to each cloud vendor involved with the business.

Plans should include details about the vendor’s guarantees should the cloud fail and the timeline for reinstatement or replacement. Ideally, each vendor should have its own DR, but companies shouldn’t rely solely on that and call it a day. If vendors do not have a DR plan in the contract, consider adding it to the next contract negotiation. The plan should also include annual testing to verify.

Plan for the realities of the distributed network

With edge computing, satellite branches and field offices must have clear lines of communication should anything happen. In addition, a focus on the physical security of these distributed systems helps mitigate risks that make DR necessary in the first place.

DR plans should incorporate language and provisions specific to the location instead of falling under a single umbrella developed with only the corporate center in mind. An edge-appropriate plan considers multiple geographies and includes the full commitment from the C-suite for testing, deploying, and maintenance.

Even more important, the plan should contain natural redundancies to ensure that if a failure occurs, it doesn’t have the capability to topple the entire system.

Rethinking disaster recover at the edge

Today’s disaster recovery plans must include the realities of edge computing and distributed systems. Now that companies have embraced what edge can do, updated disaster recovery plans offer assurance that a company can survive a disruption.

Elizabeth Wallace

About Elizabeth Wallace

Elizabeth Wallace is a Nashville-based freelance writer with a soft spot for data science and AI and a background in linguistics. She spent 13 years teaching language in higher ed and now helps startups and other organizations explain - clearly - what it is they do.

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