State IT consolidation to drive disaster recovery efforts

The heightened focus on critical infrastructure protection across various state governments is driving increased investments in disaster recovery solutions, according to new analysis from Frost and Sullivan.

The state government disaster recovery market is set to grow from $1.5 billion in 2004 to $2.5 billion by 2010, the Palo Alto, Calif., research and consulting firm said.

With critical data dispersed across numerous offices over a heterogeneous storage environment, identification and prioritization of mission-critical data within and across agencies remains a hurdle, the firm said. Agencies want solution providers that can manage various storage technologies and help transform storage environments into a consolidated architecture.

Traditionally, state agencies operate in a decentralized manner, and an unconsolidated IT architecture is a hindrance to an efficient disaster recovery plan, the firm said. A consolidated IT architecture reduces redundancy and adds the ability to reallocate and add storage without downtime.

Once agencies have a consolidated IT architecture in place, devising a disaster recovery plan will become easier, the firm said.

"Since the goal of disaster recovery is to minimize costs resulting from loss or damage to IT facilities, the success of any data recovery plan depends a great deal on being able to determine the risks associated with data loss," said Roopa Shree, an industry analyst with Frost and Sullivan.

Backup and recovery solutions often are devised in a vacuum without much regard for the needs of the business. To ensure a foolproof disaster recovery system, the recovery scenario must be designed with the agency's needs in mind, Frost and Sullivan's report said.

Agencies will look to vendors to provide disaster recovery plans with additional services, such as need assessment, storage architecture, configuration consulting and integration planning.

Those providers capable of offering a full range of storage products, as well as pre- and post-sales professional services, can expand their reach in such an environment, the firm said.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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