In the latest HOSTING webinar, Disaster Recovery (DR) in the Cloud: Finding the Right Tool for the Job, HOSTING CTO (who has admitted to experiencing many disasters!) weighed in on the pro’s and con’s of common approaches to cloud-based DR. Missed it? You can view the on-demand webinar anytime. Following are some highlights.
Five reasons why bad things happen to good applications
Before you create a DR plan, it’s important to understand why bad things happen to good applications. Darrell listed five common risks to application availability.
- Human error – Despite recent headlines about cyber attacks, human error is one of the most common factors behind application downtime. According to Darrell, “the ratio of clinical (e.g. manmade) versus clinical outages is staggering.”
- Network failure – these include outages that disrupt Internet connectivity.
- Cloud provider downtime
- External threats – While most outages are due to human error, external threats shouldn’t be ignored. Ransomware, distributed denial of service (DDoS) and cyber security attacks are all real.
- Application scalability limitations – This is a key issue for many organizations that have seasonal traffic patterns (e.g. – Mothers Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.). Resource management can be challenging as companies struggle with managing their spend during their down season(s) while ensuring that they have enough resources for their peak buying seasons.
Most organizations lack a tested disaster recovery plan
The majority of IT leaders acknowledge the importance of having a DR plan. In fact 83% of them have one in place. Whether or not their DR plans are tested regularly is another matter. Seventy-two percent of DR plans are never tested. And 25% of DR plans tested, fail.
So why aren’t DR plans being tested, or being tested more often?
Forty percent of small- and midsized businesses fear that DR testing will impact their business operations, sales and revenue. Forty-eight percent clam that they lack the resources to test their DR plans on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, many IT organizations don’t list DR planning and testing as an “official” project, and don’t include it on their team’s project management calendar. There is often an assumption that IT will take care of it during off hours or at their annual, department BBQ. The result? DR plans that are put in a binder for any auditors to peruse once a year.
“DR planning and testing should not negatively impact customers, employees or revenue,” Darrell emphasized. “And it should never be an excuse to drink with your coworkers – the days of the “annual DR planning BBQ” are long gone.”
New approaches to cloud-based disaster recovery
Darrell outlined some new approaches to DR planning in the cloud, including:
- Hypervisor-based replication (HBR)
- App-native replication
- Active/active application architecture
Of the different approaches, Darrell singled out HBR as a viable option for many cloud-based workloads. Having gained mass popularity over the last five years, HBR is a good alternative to many current solutions, including EMC RecoveryPoint. Some popular implementations of HBR include:
- VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM)
- PHD Virtual (acquired by Unitrends, 2013)
While HBR isn’t a fit for all workloads, there are many advantages to it. For example, HBR is hardware, storage and OS-agnostic. There is no need for matching hardware or storage. Workloads are also managed centrally. Finally, HBR offers RPO (recovery point objective) adherence monitoring with configurable replication intervals. RPO-adherence monitoring also lets IT know when the rate of change exceeds the amount of data that can be shifted at a given replication level.
On the flip side HBR is “application unaware” and doesn’t integrate with some applications, including Single Server and Exchange. It also unable to replicate non-local storage.
Wondering which DR solution is the best fit for your organization’s workloads? Listen to Darrell’s webinar for additional advice and insights. And remember, HOSTING cloud experts craft hundreds of cloud-based disaster recovery solutions for their clients. Contact HOSTING today for expert guidance on selecting the right DR solution for your specific needs.