Consolidate Your Virtual And Physical DR Under One Roof

Posted by Philip Bindley

Most businesses today have some form of data backup or Disaster Recovery (DR) plan in place.

Most businesses today have some form of data backup or Disaster Recovery (DR) plan in place. For larger companies, it usually involves a series of desks, telephones and a replica IT environment housed at a secondary site under an expensive Business Continuity Plan (BCP). Such an approach has been beyond the reach of most Small and Medium sized Businesses (SMBs), which have tended to rely on tape storage to backup their most important data.

Despite being a reliable technology, a magnetic tape gets less stable each time it’s loaded into a machine, so there’s always the risk it won’t be readable after several years of use. There’s also a danger that the drive and the technology within the machine the data is being restored to will not be compatible with older types of tape.

Moreover, tape storage is only a basic form of backup. To be fully protected, organisations need to be able to backup, recover and restore applications and data, as well as the underlying server capacity and business services those servers support. This has become more complex with the widespread adoption of virtualisation and Cloud computing.

DR is no longer a case of restoring data onto replacement physical hardware, but making virtualised resources available for the period of time a disaster or outage lasts. This is why IT environments have grown organically to include a patchwork of DR provisioning built loosely around a mixture of physical servers, Virtual Machines (VMs), and Cloud solutions.

DR as a Service

Unsurprisingly, many firms harbour doubts as to whether their DR will actually work should it be called upon. Moreover, they often lack the expertise or capacity to test their DR. This means they’ve no way of knowing how well their processes would perform during an outage or disaster. Little wonder then that a growing number are re-evaluating their current approach – especially with the advantages now available via Cloud computing.

Cloud computing specialists such as The Bunker are now able to build a contingency site for SMBs using dedicated infrastructure to host their primary production and DR instances while enabling them to backup to, and rapidly restore to and from, the Cloud as required.

Known as ‘DR as a Service’ (DRaaS), this form of Cloud computing turns the conventional DR model on its head – eliminating the cost of managing an off-site DR environment, and enabling organisations to consolidate their backup and DR within a single, secure and highly available environment for a fixed monthly cost, safe in the knowledge they will only have to pay for DR should they use it.

What’s more, The Bunker has introduced sophisticated new features such as partial restore and automated testing. We offer selective and bare metal options that means we can backup part or all of the applications and data running within a firm’s IT environment – and restore them instantly with minimal disruption. Invoking a DR event is no longer a case of hitting the big red button and restoring an entire site, it is now a controllable and scalable event where firms can partially restore down to just a single server or file.

Driving down the cost of DR

Partial restore is one of the key benefits delivered by our DR as a Service. Given that the majority of DR scenarios are short-lived and localised, why pay to maintain DR capacity you may never use? Think of it like deleting an app from your smartphone accidently: if you go to the app store or backup Cloud facility, you can restore just that app rather than your entire phone.

We’ve also developed a unique sandbox facility that allows us to perform DR testing of your entire environment. Tests can be performed as often as you like, with QSA auditable reports enabling you to demonstrate compliance with data protection and business resilience mandates. Best of all, the fact this facility is sandboxed means there’s zero disruption to your live IT environment – or your business.

Crucially, we recognise that one size doesn’t fit all. Our experts will work together with yours to ensure all of your backup and DR requirements are documented, defined and locked down under change control before the solution goes live. This provides your business with the assurance that your data will be available rapidly and on your terms should the worst happen.

If you are currently revising your DR strategy, or simply want to consolidate your backup and DR to realise a dramatic reduction in cost while guaranteeing the availability of your business critical applications and data, talk to The Bunker’s DR experts today.