Data backup, replication and disaster recovery (DR) are often, mistakenly, used interchangeably. Let’s start first by saying that neither data backup nor data replication constitutes a DR plan. Second, data backups involve data recovery but not disaster recovery. Third, replication has everything to do with DR, but there are many more components to a quality disaster recovery plan.
Back it All Up
Data backup is making a copy of your data files. It is a scheduled event recording all changes to your data. The backup is often made onto physical hard drive, disk or to a virtual tape library (VTL) that is kept offsite. Backup serves multiple purposes:
- To retrieve the lost or damaged critical data without interrupting company workflow
- Rebuilding the server in its entirety during disaster recovery
- Adhering to critical compliance requirements
The Limitations of Backup
Additional factors also need to be considered in deciding whether backup is sufficient to restore your business in a timely fashion.
- If you have strict compliance requirements and don’t restore data as quickly as required, your company may pay penalties.
- Hurrying the data restoration process often results in coding errors, which can result in further downtime.
- The rest of your workforce will be in limbo, unable to work while the data is restored.
- Customers can become frustrated, lose confidence in your company and possibly go elsewhere if they are unable to get online access for purchases, support, services or information.
How Much Backup is Enough?
- Recovery Point Objective (RPO) – the age of the data you want the ability to restore in the event of a business interruption. This answers the question “How much data can you lose?”
- Recovery Time Objective (RTO) – the time needed to recover from a business interruption. This answers the question “How long can this application/function be down?”
Replicate the Critical
A key component of a data replication strategy is to define recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO)
iON Management provides customers with solutions according to their needs, tailoring the most cost-effective and efficient means possible to achieve their objectives. Using industry best-practice software and procedures, iON will manage data replication between one or more pairs of Windows or Linux servers. This includes asynchronous, near-synchronous and synchronous replication. iON’s Recovery Cloud employs continuous data protection (CDP) versus scheduled replication happening a few times a day, which results in less data loss in the event of a failure.
Equipped to Recover, But Ready?
A huge benefit of DRaaS is that it affords the ability to regularly test your DR plan, which is one of the most ignored aspects of self-provided DR planning. Once you have defined your RPO and RTO, tested your plan and clearly defined the parameters necessary to declare an emergency, the rest happens automatically with DRaaS. This includes another frequently overlooked aspect of DR … failing back to the production site once the emergency has passed.
Understanding that the nature and purpose of backup, replication and DR are complementary but not interchangeable IT functions will help you design and implement the right combination of each to the advantage of your entire organization. It’s the business requirements that define how you construct your backup and DR plan.
The DRaas Option
- Mission critical production is restored in a matter of hours
- Your staff and customers can keep doing business throughout the DR process
- Backups help restore the entirety of your data with minimal data losses