THE NEED FOR BUSINESS CONTINUITY
Crea%ng resilience is a challenge for any business.
That challenge has become much greater, as the
amount of data businesses handle has increased
‐ and %me pressure has increased, too. Managed
service providers report that their customers’ data
is growing at 1‐2 percent a month ‐ that’s as much
as 27 percent a year. At the same %me, companies
which are doing business over the internet know
that just a couple of hours’ outage ‐ par%cularly at
peak %mes ‐ could cost them hundreds of thousand
pounds’ worth of orders.
Companies IT infrastructures have become more
complex; it’s oHen integrated with customers’ or
suppliers’ systems, and with the internet. Home
working and ﬂexible working paKerns need to be soHware to be installed on servers or clients within
provided for, as do increasing regulatory demands the customer organisa%on, or for IT maintenance
on data storage and security. and upgrade support to be provided in‐house. Using
Major customers, too, are demanding resilience as cloud compu%ng, plaVorms and infrastructure can
a client requirement from their strategic suppliers. also be provided as services.
For today’s business, oﬀsite storage of weekly tape
back‐ups is no longer enough. But full replica%on • Virtualisa%on allows a single server (physical
of the business’s data and servers, using tradi%onal machine) to run mul%ple soHware instances with
methods, can be costly. their own opera%ng systems (virtual machines). It
Fortunately, the technology has come a long way severs the link between the soHware you’re running
since the days of tape. Three technologies in par‐ and the machines you run it on.
%cular, within the new world of distributed technol‐ It’s not surprising that many businesses now prefer
ogy, oﬀer businesses ways to improve their business to use Managed Service Providers such as Quan%x
con%nuity at low cost ‐ and in the case of disaster, to rather than buy and manage their own IT assets.
recover both systems and data more quickly. By moving to an MSP, they exchange huge up‐front
• Cloud compu%ng sees compu%ng %me and capital costs for a predictable monthly cost, and can
power as a u%lity‐like resource ‐ mul%ple users can focus their IT department on strategic issues that
share the same physical resource base, paying only really maKer, using the MSP to provide support and
for what they use. It’s like being connected to the business con%nuity.
grid, instead of having your own generator. The old model of the tape backup was about a single
point solu%on if the worst came to the worst. Now,
• SoHware as a service, as prac%sed for in‐ business con%nuity has gone beyond mere disas‐
stance by CRM provider salesforce.com, hosts the ter recovery ‐ it must enable a business to respond
soHware on the vendor’s systems (or a reseller’s ﬂexibly to external impacts, whether that’s snow
systems) and allows customers to use it in return for preven%ng commuters from ge[ng to the oﬃce, a
a (typically monthly) fee. There is no need for the server failure, or unexpectedly high peak ac%vity.
www.cloud-dr.com Page 2 of 7
THE ADVANTAGES OF CLOUD BASED
HARDWARE AND MANAGEMENT COSTS
A managed cloud based business con%nuity solu%on
can provide drama%c reduc%ons in the total cost of
As with any managed service, the decision to out‐
source means there is no need to purchase addi‐
%onal hardware. We es%mate that to recreate the
same support that a typical managed service oﬀers,
the enterprise would need to commit ﬁve %mes the
annual service charge in capital expenditure. Assum‐
ing the hardware and soHware is depreciated over
ﬁve years, the eﬀect on the proﬁt and loss account
would be equal ‐ but in terms of cash ﬂow, there is a and Juniper. In addi%on, customers beneﬁt from our
huge amount of upfront investment. Future business [size] support team. Most importantly, because virtu‐
growth or changes would also require further equip‐ alisa%on oﬀers a centralised management technology
ment to be purchased. and can achieve beKer load balancing, we can u%lise
our resources more eﬀec%vely than tradi%onal data‐
By choosing a managed service, an enterprise can also centres ‐ leading to lower costs for our customers.
reduce the cost of its IT department, since the busi‐
ness con%nuity system is managed by the outsource Quan%x uses a ‘snapshot’ data capture system which
company. That frees up in‐house IT to concentrate on transfers only data which has changed since the pre‐
IT strategy which can create real business advantage, vious replica%on. This keeps bandwidth needs low
rather than carrying out basic maintenance tasks. once the ﬁrst data transfer has occurred, and also
minimises storage requirements. The snapshot is
Virtualisa%on oﬀers an addi%onal advantage in terms then conﬂated with the exis%ng data on our servers.
of cost. Backup methods which require the physical Back‐up data can also be kept to guard against cor‐
conﬁgura%on of the client’s network to be replicated rup%on of the data over %me, in accordance with cus‐
are par%cularly costly where a SAN is involved ‐ cost‐ tomer speciﬁca%ons.
ing upwards of £30,000. Since virtualisa%on means
there is no need for replica%on, this duplicate cost SIMPLICITY
can be avoided. Many tradi%onal disaster recovery solu%ons require
soHware to be installed on the customer’s site. We
ECONOMIES OF SCALE require, simply, an agent to be installed on each serv‐
Because a cloud‐based system is a shared service, er that handles data transfer to the cloud in order to
rather than using dedicated servers, our customers take the ‘snapshot’ of data that is required. It is a sim‐
beneﬁt from reduced costs as key resources are u%l‐ ple standard process taking 20 minutes or less. Client
ised by mul%ple users. We are able to oﬀer best‐ computers within a client/server environment do not
of‐breed technology, using DoubleTake, VMware, require any soHware installa%on at all.
www.cloud-dr.com Page 3 of 7
SPEED across diﬀerent physical devices, both within each in‐
Tradi%onal backup methods are notoriously unreli‐ dividual datacentre and between two or more data‐
able and can prove diﬃcult to restore. The original centres. This creates a fully resilient environment in
physical hardware needs to be recreated, if it has which failover of all or any server is possible, as there
been damaged ‐ poten%ally leading to delays if cus‐ is total data replica%on across the cloud, using a pri‐
tom‐built items are required or inventories are low. vate network on the cloud infrastructure.
The opera%ng systems and soHware applica%ons then
need to be loaded back on to the servers, and ﬁnally Virtualisa%on also allows failover to be transparent
the data needs to be recovered. It can take from 3 to to the user. For instance, a worker who is unable to
7 days to rebuild a server completely from scratch ‐ access the corporate site, whether due to inclement
meanwhile the business has no data accessible. weather or destruc%on of the site itself, will be able
to access exactly the same applica%ons using a lap‐
With tradi%onal systems, therefore, only warm or hot top. Applica%ons can be published to any machine,
stand‐bys enable an organisa%on to recover its full anywhere.
func%ons quickly ‐ and these are extremely costly.
Using a cloud based solu%on, systems can be restored Virtualisa%on allows seamless scaling up and down,
much more speedily. Virtualisa%on enables applica‐ avoiding the need to engineer the system for peak
%ons and plaVorms to be restored on to diﬀerent levels of business; extra bandwidth or storage space
hardware in a diﬀerent conﬁgura%on ‐ though there can be picked up as and when needed. Bandwidth on
will need to be some manual adjustment. the CPU, storage devices or network can be allocated
Because the whole server is replicated at the total on demand.
block level, rather than just the data, as a single im‐
age, means there is need to rebuild servers of appli‐ We have found that some customers are now asking
ca%ons, or to reapply patches. The whole system is to create addi%onal short‐term mirrors of their net‐
restored, including all applica%ons, and all changes works in order to test new applica%ons or upgrades.
made up to the date of the last replicated image. The The bandwidth can be turned on for just a couple of
Quan%x SLA states that service will be restored within weeks, as cloud compu%ng gives so much more ﬂexi‐
an hour ‐ in fact, it can oHen be done in minutes. bility than with tradi%onal packages. 15 to 20 percent
of clients are now using these facili%es.
Virtualisa%on allows rapid provision of new applica‐
%ons, since management of all systems is centralised. The use of virtual technology also allows expansion
Any virtual machine can be rapidly moved from one in small increments, rather than the rela%vely lumpy
server to another, enabling resource pools to be ef‐ investment that was previously required. For compa‐
ﬁciently managed. nies that are growing their business, managed cloud‐
based business con%nuity systems oﬀer a clear, and
cost‐eﬀec%ve, expansion path.
By using cloud compu%ng, a single point of failure
can be avoided. Virtualisa%on provides resilience
www.cloud-dr.com Page 4 of 7
APPLICATION INDEPENDENT can easily move from a physical to a virtual network
Server data is stored as an image on the SAN, so on their own site without the need to change the BC
there are no licensing issues with any applica%ons solu%on. That gives a clear upgrade path to gain the
used, which can add an unwelcome cost on top of beneﬁts of virtualisa%on ‐ and we can help clients
tradi%onal contracts. This also allows customers to with the process.
run any soHware applica%ons they wish ‐ the system
is completely applica%on‐independent.
IN REAL TIME
In today’s business world, yesterday’s data is not good
enough. Near real %me mirroring can be achieved
using cloud‐based systems, which in addi%on to a
Recovery Time Objec%ve of less than an hour (and
poten%ally an actual recovery %me of just minutes)
keeps businesses working 24 / 7.
We also monitor all servers in real %me; we can even
monitor the temperature of CPUs to spot problems
developing. Invoca%ons can some%mes be avoided
by quick ac%on to address problems we have picked
up, saving our customers money. This is where a real
business con%nuity solu%on diﬀers from pure disas‐
ter recovery ‐ by managing resources wisely to en‐
sure con%nuity, rather than wai%ng un%l there is the
need for an invoca%on.
Because data is replicated at the total block level, it
can be restored on any hardware. In the event of the
hardware being damaged (for instance in a ﬁre), the
same hardware or conﬁgura%on does not need to be
duplicated. This gives the enterprise great ﬂexibility
in deciding what infrastructure is most appropriate
and cost‐eﬀec%ve to purchase at the %me.
TIME TO UPGRADE?
Virtualisa%on allows beKer load distribu%on between
computers and contributes to beKer resource u%lisa‐
%on and improved resilience. Because our business
con%nuity service is already virtualised, customers
www.cloud-dr.com Page 5 of 7
THE BUSINESS CONTINUITY
AND DISASTER RECOVERY MARKET
The cloud business con%nuity/disaster recovery mar‐ low, with commodity‐style ﬂat fees oHen used; few of
ket is emerging and now divided into three main them oﬀer SLAs. OHen, they oﬀer only daily back‐ups,
sectors; tradi%onal large vendors, managed service rather than a real %me service ‐ obviously not suﬃ‐
companies serving mainly the mid market using dis‐ cient for some companies’ requirements.
tributed technologies, and online back‐up companies
which are extending their opera%ons to data recov‐ We believe technological leadership lies with the
ery, mainly targe%ng smaller businesses. ‘distributed players’; they are now oﬀering ‘corpo‐
rate quality’ business con%nuity to the mid‐sized or‐
The major tradi%onal vendors are involved heavily ganisa%on. In addi%on, as their business is increas‐
in ‘physical’ disaster recovery, providing oﬃce space ing, they are able to oﬀer higher levels of service and
and secure infrastructure as well as managed servic‐ greater resource to their customers, while remaining
es. Their datacentres tend to use dedicated servers, cost‐eﬀec%ve.
and have a high total cost of ownership compared to
the distributed players; they also oﬀer BC/DR soH‐
ware as part of the package. Typically, they are focus‐
ing on FTSE 250 companies and major ﬁnance clients,
with a high average deal size and high complexity of
systems. Though they appear to have made some
moves towards a cloud based solu%on, the majority
of their business is s%ll in tradi%onal services.
The ‘distributed players’ include Quan%x and several
small start‐up companies. They use cloud compu%ng
and virtualiza%on technologies, as described above,
to oﬀer more cost‐eﬀec%ve managed services to the
mid corporate sector, and to improve the resilience
of their opera%ons. Some of the established market
leaders, such as Quan%x, are able to ally their exis%ng
applica%on management skills in Oracle & SQL Serv‐
er to their cloud‐based DR services, to create hybrid
solu%ons that meet more than one need and drive
down costs further.
Finally, many online backup companies have now
added disaster recovery to their opera%ons, a natu‐
ral extension of their original business. Most of these
companies are fairly small, and are using Asigra soH‐
ware to operate the service; they do not have the in‐
depth resources of the larger players. Their pricing is
www.cloud-dr.com Page 6 of 7
ABOUT QUANTIX FURTHER INFORMATION
Quan%x is one of the UK’s leading IT Managed Servic‐ RapidRecovery: www.cloud‐dr.com
es and Solu%ons providers, specialising in the ﬁelds Quan%x Corporate: www.quan%x‐uk.com
of Applica%on and Database Management, Cloud Email: dr@quan%x‐uk.com
Compu%ng, Disaster Recovery, IT Security and Server
Infrastructure. Our success is based on the quality of Loca%ons:
our people & processes, the quality of our porVolio Quan%x House 23 Aus%n Friars
and our dedica%on to customer service. Chetwynd Business Park LONDON
No[ngham NG9 6RZ EC2N 2QP
RapidRecovery from Quan%x is a high resilience, low 0115 983 6200 020 3178 4567
cost, oﬀsite DR & Business Con%nuity service that of‐
fers 30 minute invoca%on, regular DR tes%ng capabil‐
i%es and ul%mately 24x7x365 peace of mind. U%lising
over 15 years experience in the UK managed services
marketplace and leveraging its strong rela%onships
with market leading vendors such as Oracle, Mi‐
crosoH, VMware, Juniper, NetApp and DoubleTake,
Quan%x has created a robust range of cloud services
that can serve organisa%ons of any size and in any
market. RapidRecovery is one such cloud service and
was developed to ﬁll the gap between “old style”
hardware replacement strategies and in‐house data
replica%on / backup services.
Quan%x has a contracted client base of over 250, rev‐
enues of circa £10m and serves both public sector
and commercial organisa%ons.
www.cloud-dr.com Page 7 of 7