As an IT leader, you’ll have personnel to consider in your business continuity plans, with additional considerations for any data center space you operate, perhaps some critical heavy equipment, and desktop and mobile hardware. But your primary role within business continuity is likely to be disaster recovery focused, simply because you must keep crucial applications and data available to those stakeholders and operational sites deemed essential.
Your DR plan should focus on recovering key essential technical functions while also considering the supporting tools, applications, data collaboration, and potential workforce displacement.
But how exactly do you identify which systems are critical – and in need of faster time to recovery – and which can rely on more simple backup methods? Here are four key questions to ask yourself as you prioritize within your continuity plan.
Cloud-native automation and orchestration tools make IT administration easier — at least once you know what you’re doing. While there is also some concern among the ranks of cloud technicians that automation could lead to job losses, by mastering the tools available you make yourself more valuable, while also finding and executing on efficiencies. Cloud automation is a win-win.
But where should you begin when it comes to automating your cloud environment? There are many moving parts in an enterprise cloud deployment, even within specific application clusters.
These are the three easiest targets for automation and orchestration.
You need IT infrastructure that you can count on even when you run into the rare network outage, equipment failure, or power issue. When your systems run into trouble, that’s where one or more of the three primary availability strategies will come into play: high availability, fault tolerance, and/or disaster recovery.
While each of these infrastructure design strategies has a role in keeping your critical applications and data up and running, they do not serve the same purpose. Simply because you operate a High Availability infrastructure does not mean you shouldn’t implement a disaster recovery site — and assuming otherwise risks disaster indeed.
What’s the difference between HA, FT, and DR anyway? Do you really need DR if you have HA set up?
Moving to the cloud, changing service providers, upgrading your host hardware, consolidating data centers, or switching to new software — they all might necessitate a database migration.
Moving a database is not a task to be taken lightly, but it can lead to more centralized and efficient management, lower storage costs, and/or reduced license requirements. To minimize your risk and downtime, follow these database migration tips.
One of the best ways to introduce your MSP customers to the cloud is to implement cloud-based backup or disaster recovery infrastructure. As we have previously explained here on the blog, DR is an easy first step into the cloud and can in fact be used to migrate entire applications to cloud as the primary infrastructure.
Disaster Recovery as a Service is a solid avenue to add recurring revenue to your bottom line, then, and it also provides peace of mind for your customers, as they know their data and systems will be accessible even if their primary servers go down.
The first step to selling a disaster recovery plan is the discovery step. Use these twelve questions to learn the needs of your customers and what kind of service level they will need for their DR.
In the past decade, alongside the increased importance of digital tools for business, a new category of insurance has sprung up to cover digital data breaches and liability. With the average total cost of data breaches reaching $4 million dollars and the average cost of each lost or stolen digital record increasing to $158, it is clear that experiencing a data breach is an expensive affair.
While dedicated security response teams and encryption do decrease these costs, and IPS/IDS systems and other security measures can help reduce the risk, many organizations will still experience a data breach at some point.
Cyberinsurance can help mitigate the cost of a data breach by reimbursing your company for legal fees, helping with the cost of crisis management and investigation, notification costs, extortion liability fees, and third party damages relating to network or system outages. But does every organization need cyberinsurance?
Disaster recovery and DRaaS solutions are intended as a method to keep a constant, or near-constant copy of your IT infrastructure in the cloud, ready to turn on a moment’s notice in the case of downtime at your primary data center site. But DR tools can also be used for your initial cloud migration, providing an on-ramp to the cloud that is cost-effective and relatively fast. You also get the bonus of a ready-to-go DR plan, if you continue to maintain the DR environment after your production servers turn on.
Green House Data provides a 100% SLA – which means your cloud infrastructure is guaranteed to be online 24/7. But errors in application deployment, cyber attacks, configuration mishaps, heavy network traffic, and other issues can still cause your virtual machines to crash, if you are managing them yourself. One tool in the arsenal to fight cloud downtime is VMware Fault Tolerance.
Fault Tolerance (FT) increases availability of virtual machines by creating an identical copy of the production VM that is continuously updated and ready to replace the original VM in the event of downtime. VMware FT is part of vSphere High Availability and works with it to keep the backup VM in tandem.
FT is often used for applications that require constant availability, especially if they have continual or near-constant client connections, or for custom applications that require clustering.
Read on to see host server and VM requirements for FT, plus the difference between FT and VMware High Availability.
Backing up your enterprise data and applications is a no-brainer. Most everyone has experienced that moment of panic when a hardware failure sinks in and you realize the project you’ve been working on is never coming back. When we’re talking about an entire company’s IT infrastructure, an outage means dozens or hundreds of projects with hefty downtime costs.
You might have a backup plan in place, but backups are not disaster recovery (and disaster recovery is not ideal for backup, either). Backup is intended as a long-term, low cost solution for storing data, applications, configurations, etc. Disaster recovery is designed to get only the most critical portions of your IT infrastructure back online as fast as possible.
That means storage and bandwidth costs tend to be higher with DR, but recovery times are measured in minutes rather than hours or days. Let’s take a look at the other ways the two methods differ.
Cloud storage, especially object storage, is often marketed by touting its “durability,” with many providers boasting eleven or thirteen “nines”, in other words 99.999999999% reliability. It sounds great—as close to 100% reliable as you can get. But what is durability in relation to storage, and do you really need those eleven nines?
Not every service provider even offers a durability rating as it can be difficult to measure and guarantee. A more important question to ask your cloud hosting provider is about how they are protecting against data loss generally. What technologies are in play? What are your odds of recovering data? How can you tie in backup?