There are three pillars to the software-defined data centre (SDDC): software-defined compute, software-defined storage, and software-defined networking. Without any one of these three, the whole edifice of the data centre falls down. We build all three to be resilient, “designed for failure,” and robust. Each can be built and rebuilt from scripts that are stored in distributed version control systems. But at the bottom of every application stack in our SDDC, there is a database or file store that cannot—by definition—be re-created from scripts. This is the core data that we mine and make profit from. What happens if (or when) the edifice collapses? How is that core data protected, and is traditional backup up to the task?
In my overview of Desktop as a Service (DaaS) delivery models last month, I touched on availability services, an emerging market that shows strong potential for future growth, and on DaaS services specifically tailored to disaster recovery. Now, fresh from witnessing the slightly embarrassing spectacle of San Francisco grinding to a halt after a little light rain, I thought it would be worth taking a closer look at Horizon Air Desktop DR. Continue reading Horizon Air Desktop DR: DaaS for Disaster Recovery
During a recent Twitter conversation about disaster recovery and business continuity testing, I began to consider how we communicate during a disaster. We do so not with normal communication methods, but more often than not with an interrupting form of communication—one in which constant requests for updates, criticisms, and outright demands for attention are directed at those who are doing the work of recovering a system. During a disaster recovery effort, communication breaks down. Why? Generally, not enough testing has been performed to document communication issues or any other types of issues. How can we improve this communication, or even get the proper people involved, when six feet of snow, water, or mud surrounds our place of work? Continue reading Disaster Recovery Communication
Recently, we experienced a fairly catastrophic SAN failure: we lost two drives of a RAID-5 array. Needless to say, recovery was time-consuming, but it also pointed out some general issues with many disaster recovery, business continuity, and general architectures involved with virtual environments. Luckily, we were able to start one of the drives, let the hot-spare take over for the second failure, and recover the vast majority of our data. Yes, there was corruption, so that is where our backups came in and the ultimate dependencies for restoration. How do you recover from a catastrophic failure? Do you fail over automatically to a hot-site or cloud environment? Even if you fail over, how do you recover from a catastrophic failure? Continue reading Recovery Lessons Learned from Storage Failure
VMware has been aggressively building and executing its hybrid cloud vision, extending the cloud outside of the data center. In line with this vision, VMware recently announced an expansion of its VMware vCloud Hybrid Service by adding disaster recovery as one of its offered services. This expansion will put VMware in direct competition with companies like IBM, Sungard AS, Amazon, Rackspace, Zerto, and others in the Recovery as a Service space.