Ron Keschner (front), Sales and Marketing Director of Go Rentals, and Founder / CEO, Evan Berger.

Of all the grudge purchases out there for business owners, IT disaster recovery (DR) has to be close to the top of that dreaded list. The current lean economy doesn’t allow for an unnecessary expense.

The problem is we need it now more than ever, and not having it can cost you big in lost business. In South Africa, navigating a continuous IT environment can feel like playing an arcade game. As you grow, more challenges get thrown at you. Power outages, surges, burglary, fraud, cyber threats, industrial action, fire and flood are just a few of the challenges in the way of providing continuous business to your customers.

In the likely event of experiencing a big claim, you are in for a long wait with insurers to recoup your physical costs, and you cannot wait to continue trading.

Hardware innovator Go Rentals recently launched an affordable, and more effective, DR service, known as IT Hardware DR that suits the pockets of SMEs and large business.

Before we get there, how does ‘traditional DR’ work?

A typical DR centre, simply put, is a building equipped with hundreds of seats and computers, ready to be used by corporates in the event of business interruption (assuming, of course, your staff can get to the designated DR centre).

Rapid deployment of imaged PCs for disaster recovery to a client nominated site.

The DR centre sells a monthly subscription for the seats (much like a gym membership).

The subscription includes the use of the premises, computers, electricity, power, generators, insurance, access control, network and all the overheads of the facility. You have a choice of either your own dedicated space, or sharing the service, as follows:

Dedicated seat: This refers to a seat that is reserved for you only in the event of a disaster. It’s essentially a ‘spare’ fully equipped office, selling at around R3 500 per seat per month.

Syndicated seat: This is a seat that is effectively shared with other companies, and sold many times over. It is a lower cost than a dedicated seat, but means if three or four clients all experience a disaster simultaneously, they may be allocated on a first come, first served basis. A syndicated seat sells for between R400 and R1 200 per seat.

If you can’t risk any downtime, you are in for a hefty monthly bill for something you may simply never use.

How does IT Hardware DR work?

There is another option that many IT heads may not yet be aware of. It is IT Hardware DR, an innovation by Go Rentals, and it comes at an absolute fraction of the cost.

IT Hardware DR distributes IT hardware directly to your employees, or nominated venue anywhere in the country on the next business day (or sooner) in the event of a disaster, complete with LTE Internet access, wireless access points and switches, and a host of other hardware. Your company’s software and security policies can all be rapidly pre-installed on its way out so employees can immediately work from anywhere.

Temporary infrastructure can be rapidly deployed and set up at any venue.

With the combination of cloud hosting, LTE connectivity and prevalence of fibre at many venues, is it still necessary to have to go to into a DR centre?

“With this model you are not paying for a venue that you don’t use,” says Ron Keschner, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Go Rentals, “so the cost is radically cheaper than traditional DR. It has opened up more possibilities for companies, and transformed the way IT managers look at DR.

“Unlike rental finance companies and traditional DR providers,” Keschner adds, “Go Rentals has an impressive logistics network, workshops, multiple storage locations countrywide, and proven ability to roll out massive projects quickly. Examples include rapid deployment of temporary infrastructure for SABC news events, alternative exam centres to allow students to write exams in the midst of protest action, and work-from-home equipment for offices that have been destroyed.”

The Go Rentals DR solution is available to large and small clients, via a partner channel.

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