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?
Articles Tagged with Replication
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.
Recently at Dell World, I was part of a conversation about what would be utopian disaster recovery and where we are today in the state of the industry. But where we are today is transforming, with a new name that encompasses many technologies. We are now using the term “data protection” (DP) to mean much more than just disaster recovery (DR), backup, business continuity (BC), replication, data loss prevention, and replication, but also the basic functions of confidentiality, such as encryption. The main goal of data protection is to provide a way to use your data as quickly as possible wherever it is needed and with minimal or no loss.
Data Protection techniques should be implemented and tested long before they are needed. This is a necessary component of any IT organization. However, the most recent VMware communities podcast brought to light several implementation aspects of Data Protection, specifically about Disaster Recovery: organizations still do not test their DR plans and organizations are waiting for a hardware refresh to implement a DR plan.
The first issue is about services that are too important to fail, and the other is about planning. However, what they both boil down to is dollars and the Fear that either loss of money, or that data protection is too expensive to implement properly without the latest hardware. In both cases, it is a political debate.
This week I have been paying close attention to the developments of Hurricane Irene. In the beginning, Hurricane Irene looked like she was going visit Florida on her journey to the north. Even though it looked like Florida was going to get hit by this storm, it was still early and there was time for the storm to change course. It was also time to go out and make sure my Hurricane Supply Kit at least had the basics like batteries and flashlights as well as filling up the gas tanks of the cars. I have different levels of preparedness which depends on how close the storm is and the projected path. Just like I have steps in place to be prepared for the storm, most companies that I have worked for in Florida have a storm plan in place and like myself, do not sound the real alarm until the storm is 48 – 72 hours away from a hit but start to prepare for the alarm in case it is needed.