How do you get your Organisation to be DR (Disaster Recovery) - Ready ?
By Nathan Steiner, Head of Systems Engineering ANZ, Veeam Software
Efficient and optimal business continuity in the event of a disaster is a matter of design, not default. Disaster Recovery (DR) needs investments not just in time and planning, but also in the right disaster recovery orchestrator. DR helps businesses recover quickly and ensure they are able to continue operations with minimal downtime.
Nathan Steiner, Head of Systems Engineering for ANZ at Veeam lists six ways in which organisations can be DR-ready, so if disaster strikes, they can be confident that their DR plan will actually deliver.
A good DR plan accounts for every possible disaster that can occur, lists the various scenarios and outlines a set of processes to help minimise disruption to business activities if and when an outage occurs. It assigns responsibilities to employees and details the duties they need to perform to ensure the business doesn’t come to a standstill and can resume with minimal disruption to services. Effective DR planning is a function of optimal training and effectively simulating and testing recovery scenarios.
Organisations need to use a combination of automation and process innovation to drive effective simulation of repeatable recovery scenarios. They must invest in and make use of technology platforms. This will allow for the creation of a highly effective, comprehensive and simple set of simulation plans through a ‘single pane of glass’; as part of automated as well as process-driven recovery scenarios.
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Advanced Replication: Ensuring the simulated use of replicated backup files and data between the source and target hosts to perform recovery testing of services across onsite and offsite data centre infrastructures.
Optimised Network Acceleration: Offsite replication would help manage the recovery of critical workloads in case of a primary data centre outage. However, in order to make it effective, regular repetitive simulation is required.
Verified Recoverability: The single most important factor in any simulation of DR scenario testing is making sure the underlying technology has the capability of automating and validating the integrity and recoverability of the applications, data and resources it is backing up and replicating. Automated verification of every replica with scripted tests against applications means that recovery scenarios are tested both consistently and automatically as part of operations. This can deliver significant cost savings.
Automated Failover Orchestration: Effective simulation of DR scenarios also have built-in failover orchestration to offer easy one-click site failover invocation testing of entire services, applications, workloads or virtual machines. The ability to create predetermined failover plans for groups of resources ensures all required failover and failback scenarios simplify data centre migrations and planned DR testing. Planned/simulated failover will move resources from the production site to the disaster recovery site. Migration or maintenance operations can also run with minimal impact on its users and without any data loss. Policy-based failover can synchronise all changes and also encompass failback to the primary data centre scenarios can be covered as part of simulations. This capability allows a business to initiate a saved failover plan with one click. What’s more, with such automation and orchestration, DR plans can be simulated remotely.
Planned Failover and Failback Simulations: Failover and failback scenarios simplify data centre migrations and planned DR testing. Planned/simulated failover will move resources from the production site to the disaster recovery site. Migration or maintenance operations can also run with minimal impact on its users and without any data loss. Policy-based failover can synchronise all changes and also encompass failback to the primary data centre.
Cloud Based DR Capability: Being able to simulate the recoverability of services, data and applications into various cloud based environments is now also a key requirement for effective DR scenario testing. Simulations that can test and ensure availability of mission-critical applications with fully integrated, fast and secure cloud-based DR are critical. This caters for customers who do not have a secondary data centre facility, but would rather employ cloud-based services to provide DR. Instead of building and maintaining a second facility for disaster recovery, a customer can simply use any cloud-based environment.
Today, when companies across the globe need to be ‘Always-On’ 24x7x365, any form of downtime comes at a substantial cost. Every minute down translates into lost sales and an impact on reputation, especially if the company is engaged with customers online. In the age of round-the-clock customer service, customers’ expectations run high. It is inevitable for businesses that are available online to be always present, contactable and function optimally, even when disaster strikes. That’s why DR has become an integral component of business planning and plays a critical part in ensuring optimal business continuity.