Dell Software Survey Results Show Organizations Unprepared for Active Directory Disaster Recovery
- 87 percent of respondents indicate they have had incidents or disasters with Active Directory, more than half occurring at forest/domain level
- More than half of organizations surveyed do not have a robust AD disaster recovery plan in place; 45 percent either don’t test or have regular testing schedule
- Most who do not test for disaster preparedness cite difficulty in establishing testing environment
- Virtual AD lab simplifies testing of AD disaster recovery plans
IT disasters are both unpredictable and inevitable, but a recent Dell Software survey shows that not only are IT organizations unprepared to cope with disaster recovery, but even more alarming, management is less aware than frontline employees of the number and types of Active Directory incidents or disasters in their infrastructure, and the associated potential risks to the business.
Dell Software commissioned Dimensional Research to poll both IT leaders and professionals responsible for Active Directory (AD) health at companies with more than 2,000 employees. The goal of the survey was to evaluate existing recovery capabilities among Active Directory users, as well as concerns with those capabilities.
- While less than half of organizations surveyed said they have a robust AD disaster recovery (DR) plan in place, 45 percent either don’t test their DR plan or have a regular strategy for testing it, opening up the organization to incidents or disasters that could potentially harm the business.
- Those who do have a DR plan, but don’t test it frequently, cited difficulty with setting up the test environment as the primary reason why.
- When it comes to the discrepancy between management and frontline employees on the number and types of incidents or disasters, management respondents indicated forest level incidents/disasters occur at half the rate noted by frontline staff.
- Given that the cost of AD downtime can soar to $5 million per hour for organizations with 2,000-5,000 employees, and above $5 million per hour for organizations with more than 5,000 employees, it’s important that all IT staff be aware of the risks.
In many enterprises, AD is the core authentication method. As a result, mission critical applications, email, access to files and many other functions on which the business relies are impacted by AD failures. The cost of an AD disaster begins mounting the instant disaster strikes, making it critical to recover everything, and quickly. That’s why it is crucial, first, to have a robust disaster recovery plan and, second, to have the capability to regularly test that plan. While IT disasters are unpredictable, disaster recovery should be planned, predictable and controlled.
Key findings from the Dell Software survey include:
- 87 percent of respondents said they have had incidents or disasters with Active Directory. However, only 41 percent said they have a robust disaster recovery plan in place.
- 45 percent said they don’t test or have a regular testing schedule for their disaster recovery plan, either because of difficulty in setting up the testing environment, or because they don’t have the resources to run the test.
- 66 percent of respondents said they are reluctant to make major changes to applications that use AD because they don’t have a valid environment in which to test the changes first.
Dell Software recommends creating a virtual Active Directory lab that mirrors the production AD forest. This enables an organization to be more efficient in testing its AD recovery plan, gain confidence in making application changes, and have a more accurate view of how the DR plan will work in the actual production environment. Of survey respondents, 80 percent agreed they would be more efficient in testing their DR plan if they could easily create a virtual lab that accurately mirrors their production AD at the forest level.
Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition Simplifies AD Disaster Recovery Testing
Manual testing of AD disaster recovery plans is complex and time-consuming. Dell Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition is a complete AD recovery solution that can easily set up a Disaster Recovery test environment by automating the creation of a virtual Active Directory lab that is an exact replica of the organization’s production environment. With this virtual AD test lab, Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition helps accelerate the testing of disaster recovery plans, software patches, and more, providing IT with a clear view of how the disaster recovery plans or new software will work in the production environment.
Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition validates AD health by watching for warning signs of possible Active Directory issues before they become disasters. In the event of a major disaster, Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition automates and simplifies the recovery of a forest or domains simultaneously, quickly restoring the environment to a point in time before the corruption occurred.
Recovery Manager for Active Directory was a finalist in t he 2014 American Business Awards (the “Stevies”), in the category of “ New Product or Service of the Year - Software - Systems Management Solution.”
Michael Tweddle, senior director, product management, Dell Software
“Mission-critical applications, systems and email all rely on Active Directory, and, as a result, an AD disaster can have a costly impact on the business. Disaster recovery plans and regular tests of those plans are key to being ready when the inevitable disaster strikes. Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition streamlines DR testing by automating the creation of a fully functional virtual forest that’s a mirror image of the production environment. This not only accelerates DR plan testing, but also provides IT with a more accurate depiction of how the DR plan will work in the actual environment.”
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