Looking to the Cloud to Resolve the Pandemic’s Ripple Effects on the Workplace
The COVID-19 pandemic forced an unprecedented shift to employees and suppliers working remotely for organizations across all sectors, including federal agencies. Work-from-home (WFH) directives created plenty of challenges as physical access to systems and datacenters became unavailable and newly deployed collaboration and communications tools added strain to networks.
Still, as a federal agency, you must carry on with your work while making sure your data is protected. Minimizing data loss and downtime is no doubt easier said than done, considering many agencies weren’t quite ready to shift workforces to remote environments.
However, there is a way to support remote environments by leveraging the memory, storage and processing power of the cloud. By moving applications to cloud infrastructures and having the ability to dial capacity up and down as needed, you can make quick adjustments to accommodate fluctuations in numbers of remote workers. Presumably, many will return to the office once the pandemic has run its course.
Placing assets in the cloud delivers the flexibility to give employees access to applications at any time from anywhere with any device so they can still do their jobs and continue their work uninterrupted. But it presents a challenge. How do you go about the process of shifting those applications to the cloud? How can you accomplish that without seriously disrupting daily operations? That’s where Zerto comes in.
Even in normal times, cloud migrations present some challenges, such as planning, execution while avoiding downtime and compatibility issues. While the cloud can offer significant cost savings in the long term, such as hardware and real estate cost reductions, there can be very real short-term budgetary concerns. These budgetary challenges come into play if proper planning and execution aren’t completed, resulting in a downtime situation that can easily run up costs.
If that isn’t enough pressure, the pandemic adds a layer of urgency to migrations. Now you’re trying to accomplish a major shift in a shorter timeframe – and in many cases you aren’t adequately prepared for the move because it was not in your immediate plans. But the benefits of leveraging cloud infrastructures are hard to ignore, so it pays to go through the process.
Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR) removes most challenges associated with migration with a fast, seamless approach that minimizes risks and downtime. ZVR turns migration into a simple point-and-click affair to deliver true mobility for agencies. It’s as simple as selecting an application and pointing it to the cloud target site through a process that automates steps such as IP-reconfiguration and the creation of cloud instances with on-the-fly format conversion.
Zerto uses an agentless model for migration that reduces overhead. And because the migration platform is cloud infrastructure-agnostic, Zerto can move entire applications made up of multiple VMs without requiring deep application knowledge, both reducing complexity and accelerating the process.
You can also conduct failover tests that let you ratify a migration before committing to a move. At any point, a single-click rollback capability makes it possible to return everything to a pre-migration state. Even after the migration is complete, Zerto allows you to roll back to pre-migration settings, giving you a sort of insurance policy in case the move doesn’t turn out as planned.
Protecting Investments in New Collaboration and Communication Tools
Because of the boost in WFH prompted by the pandemic, agencies have been deploying collaboration and communication tools to bring teams together to work on their projects. Just like any other technology assets, these tools need protection. Zerto delivers protection for all your agency’s applications with fast recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) that legacy backup tools cannot match.
RPOs and RTOs provide the foundation for a backup strategy by determining how quickly an agency can resume normal operations following data loss or downtime. With the Zerto platform, you not only benefit from the fastest possible recovery times but also avoid most data losses. Zerto accomplishes this through continuous data protection (CDP), which replicates data changes on a continuum as opposed to the more common snapshot method that leaves time gaps, often many hours or days long, that exposes potential data loss.
With team members dispersed over multiple locations as a result of the pandemic, federal agencies need this type of protection more than ever. And to make it even easier, Zerto enables virtual “lift and shifts,” eliminating all the manual effort normally associated with cloud migrations.
Now more than ever, true IT resilience is essential for federal agencies. No one knows how long the pandemic will last, which makes it hard to forecast when employees will return to their offices. Some may remain in remote environments permanently. Accessing cloud resources effectively, therefore, is paramount to efficient operations and worker productivity. Zerto helps you achieve that in safe, straightforward, affordable way.
To learn more about how federal agencies are partnering with Zerto, download our IT Resilience for Government Overview and Federal Use Case Ebook.