Disaster recovery is the process and methodology by which a company regains access to its IT infrastructure after a disaster. Disasters can be caused naturally (i.e. Earthquake, Wind, Fire, etc.), or by equipment failure (storage drive failure, server failure, power outage, internet outage, etc.) or by Cyber terrorism (disgruntled employee, Malware, Ransomware, etc.). Whatever the cause, the result is the same: the IT infrastructure goes down, it must be mitigated and recovered to maintain business continuity.
Due to recent advances in immutable snapshot technology, companies that provide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can now provide DRaaS as an affordable option for mid-market Enterprise. Nfina’s implementation of DR successfully implements the recovery portion of the NIST Cyber-Security Standard.
How is DR implemented?
Disaster recovery relies upon the geographic redundant replication of data far enough away from the primary site so as not to be affected by the disaster. In most instances, 600-1000 miles away is often recommended as a best practice for this purpose. When the infrastructure goes down (for whatever the reason), the business needs to recover lost data from a second location where the data is backed up.
A backup is a very crude form of disaster recovery, but its RPO (Recovery Point Objective) is usually insufficient for most organizations to avoid financial losses. This is because the typical backup schemes are very compute and I/O intensive and can only be run daily (typically after hours) and will result in subsequent data loss (up to 24 hours) if restoration is necessary.
For a disaster recovery process to work efficiently and minimize data loss, the system should be designed to duplicate compute and storage resources and keep them synchronized with an active-active replication scheme to minimize downtime. This active-active scheme must also be reversable to maintain maximum protection while running out of the DR site.
Cost of Downtime
The average downtime that organizations are experiencing is on the rise. Recent reports show a 16x increase. Recent surveys show that 91% of the polled IT executives estimate average downtime of the IT ecosystem to be $300,000/hr, and 44% of those surveyed say its over $1M/hr for their respective companies.
Since downtime is so expensive to bottom line, doesn’t it make sense to go beyond the traditional once a day backup and implement a true active-active business continuity plan?
Typically, a group of highly qualified technical staff members at Nfina will meet with the client to explore the current IT Ecosystem and propose a Disaster Recovery solution. The data exchanged usually includes a copy of the results from running the application RVTools. RVTools is a Windows .NET application which uses VMware vSphere Management SDK and CIS REST API to display detailed information regarding the customers IT Ecosystem.
Once the information is obtained about the clients compute and storage environment, an offsite active-active quote is formulated to implement the DRasS solution. The three reference architectures that are typically deployed are shown below: