Protecting the Modern Data Center

August 5th, 2016 by Guillermo Fernandez

You've taken the leap to modernize your infrastructure.  You are leveraging virtualization in order to create a redundant environment that is hardware agnostic.  You can spin a new server up in minutes instead of days.  You move servers between hosts without even shutting them down.  You are backing all your data up to the Cloud.  Life is great, isn't it?

Virtualization has made our computing world possible today. Imagine all the business applications you have today on bare-metal hardware. Leveraging consolidation, the Modern Data Center has allowed us to expand our computing capabilities with less hardware, less physical space and less energy. Complexity… that’s a different story.

As your business has grown up, you’ve accumulated an astronomical amount of data. Email data, document data, system (database) data, scanned data, CRM data, the list goes on. It’s all stored on your storage area network in either VM or as LUN data. It’s good that your backup plan is capturing it offsite nightly. How about your Disaster Recovery Plan? Specifically, what about your recovery time objective (RTO)?

Your RTO is the estimated amount of time it would take your business to fully recover your systems in the event of a disaster…how long are you not going to be able to conduct business. Granted, virtualization has enabled you to shrink your RTO, right? Recovering a virtual environment isn’t reliant on having the exact hardware you had before. It takes less time if you don’t have to reload operating systems, drivers, application software and data. You do need available storage and processing capacity. The last time I checked, you aren’t able to buy that down the street at Best Buy. In addition, your recovery data needs to be in the same location that your new virtual environment is.

If you are using a service to store your recovery data in the Cloud, you probably are aware that it will usually take at least 24 hours to request the data. Wouldn’t it make sense to have the capacity to start your server’s back up in the same location that your data is safely replicated?

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) May Be the Answer for You

DRaaS is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third-party to provide failover in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe. As this is a service, there is no investment in duplicate hardware. Your virtual machines are replicated (updates are as frequent as you wish but are contingent on bandwidth between the data centers). The VM’s are stored on fast storage in a restful state. The provider also commits to the ability and capacity to host your servers on short notice. The service is typically provided on a fixed-monthly-cost basis.

Recovery times can vary, but the objective is usually to be able to spin up, if not failover, so that minimal downtime is experienced by users. Van Ausdall & Farrar is poised and ready to provide the necessary guidance with your disaster recovery planning.

Posted in: Insights from VAF Blog, Data Security & Compliance Solutions