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 recoving data? How can you tie in backup?
Disaster recovery is a vital part of any backup strategy, but sometimes it's not clear how it differs from your everyday backups. A Microsoft survey discovered most organizations experience 4 or more disruptions each year with an average cost of $1.5 million an hour. To fight the high cost of downtime, 43% of IT professionals are planning to invest in or improve their business continuity with cloud-based disaster recovery, citing reduced costs and expanded coverage as their primary reasons, according to IDG.
With disaster recovery (DR) taking such a high priority in the IT world right now, we asked our resident expert Josh Larsen, Sales Engineer, to answer some of the most common DR questions.
Much has been written about how to plan for disaster recovery, but why do you need to consider disaster recovery at all? What is so important about it to a business? Why can’t you just copy everything to a secondary device and stop worrying? IT departments often get caught in the trap of relying on physical backups, thinking, “I back up everything on external storage and our systems are in a safe area. What more do I need?”
When it comes to disaster recovery, you can never be too prepared. I worked for one company—we’ll call them Company A—who thought that they were ready for the worst. But even the best laid back up plans can go wrong when you rely only on physical media.
As faster network speeds, MPLS networks between data centers, and software-defined technologies proliferate, it becomes easier than ever to host some applications across the country—or even across the world—without any negative impact.
However, for other cloud computing uses, data center location can have major implications when it comes to performance, compliance, and disaster recovery. There are two camps on the issue of data center locations for cloud infrastructure: yes, it matters, and no, it doesn’t make much of a difference.
Uh-oh. A virtual machine is down. Or a user accidentally deleted a project they’ve been working on for weeks. Or an application has become corrupted. Or…you get the picture. Good thing you have virtual machine images ready to go in storage (you can create backups using the VMware Consolidated Backup tools, which takes your latest snapshot as a basis for the full image backup). Now all you need to do is decide on a restoration method.
For a full VM restore, you’ll use VMware Converter, while for file-level restoration you’ll use VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB), which also has the choice for centralized, per-group, and self-service restoration.