Disaster Recovery You Can Afford


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Disaster Recovery You Can Afford

  1. 1. W H I T E P A P E R Disaster Recovery: You Can Afford It
  2. 2. Disaster  Recovery  You  Can  Afford     Preparing  for  a  data  disaster  is  one  of  those  projects  that  is  always  getting  delayed  in  small  and  medium   sized  businesses.  The  daily  p  roverbial  “fires”  take  precedence  over  getting  ready  for  an  actual  fire,  server   crash,  earthquake,  theft,  or  hurricane.         Implementing a disaster recovery strategy is critical, but is often delayed for two reasons: • • Despite Complexity, Tapes Work It’s complicated to evaluate business operations to find critical data that needs to be made available first after a disaster, then calculate the target RPO and RTO for that data. The perception that a disaster recovery solution that meets targets is too expensive As Storage Switzerland noted recently, tapes are holding their position as an affordable backup solution that can also be used for disaster recovery. So, if you are using tape for backup here’s how to set up for recovery after a data disaster: 1. Optimize Tape Rotation For Recovery: There a 2 main ways to use tapes for DR. The most common way is to keep Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday tapes with full overnight backups of everything and take them offsite each day. The second option to do a full backup over the weekend and add incremental each day to capture changes is generally more efficient. The granularity of recovery is the same for a lower cost and less time spent managing the tapes. Then, depending on the needs of your business, have another tape backup copy, for example each Friday of the month. They can stay onsite in a fireproof safe, for recovering an accidentally deleted folder, for instance. Most safes aren’t melt proof, so after a certain amount of time the tapes will still be vulnerable. Then, for archival purposes, make 6 (or 3 or 9) monthly tapes, that can go to a bank safety deposit box, these are the last line of defense and should definitely be offsite. Geography and environment will limit your recovery capabilities after a disaster 2. Consider The Recovery Environment Are you in a tornado prone area? It may take days to receive a new server after a storm damages road and communication infrastructure in the area. In this case, an extra auto-loader and server could be kept offsite with the daily backup tapes. The  offsite storage location might also be where you’d personally go during an evacuation, for example. In a fire or theft scenario, new hardware can be overnighted, but that still puts zetta.net      2  
  3. 3. Disaster  Recovery  You  Can  Afford   company data at a 24-36 hour recovery window. This may be a manageable risk or totally unacceptable, depending on the nature of the business. Using tape backups for disaster recovery can be pretty complex, but are a good way to leverage existing equipment to put a DR strategy in place. The Costs of Tape, Replication, and Cloud The 3 main options that a medium sized company has when building a disaster recovery strategy are: 1. Physically moving tapes or drives offsite. 2. Replicating data between offices or to an offsite co-lo data center 3. DR-as-a-Service from the cloud This section will address the best situations for each solution, the disadvantages, and the always crucial – costs of each. 1. Physically moving tapes or drives offsite. The best situation for a tape-based DR strategy is when a company’s RTO can be comfortably in the 2-5 day range. A retail business or a school that will be closed after a natural disaster, fire, or major theft is an example of an organization that can comfortably leverage offsite tape backups for DR. The main disadvantage of tape-based DR is in day-to-day operations. The amount of effort it takes to replace a single accidentally deleted file or folder means that some user files just go unrecovered. The cost of tape DR creeps up over time The cost of maintaining a tape DR plan is low when you consider that the hardware has already been paid for, but it also creeps up over time. For example, it costs about $5,225 a year for weekly tape pick-up and drop-off according to an analysis we did using a sample environment with 2TB and 20 endpoints. 2. Replicating backup data between offices or to an offsite co-lo data center. This is a popular choice for IT directors who have multiple offices with IT assets in each. There’s a lot of flexibility for “roll-your-own” solutions with this approach, and it’s possible to use existing hardware this way also. There are plenty of   backup software options that will let you use old fileservers as a backup target and then replicate the backup server in the main office to one in a remote office. Companies  with  data  sizes  above  5TB  may  also  consider  the  “rep  and  break”  tactic,   by  replicating  data  over  the  LAN  between  two  arrays,  then  moving  one  of  them  to  a   remote  location.  This  effectively  “seeds”  the  remote  copy. zetta.net      3  
  4. 4. Disaster  Recovery  You  Can  Afford   Regardless of the method used, the key benefit is replication. In case of a disaster in the main office, you can VPN into the remote backup server and start to recover. This works just as well for production server crashes in the main office and helping users with their accidentally deleted folders. DR from a co-lo data center includes space, power, and management costs The costs of this solution vary widely. If you happen to have multiple offices with existing IT assets then, just like above, it’s possible to get disaster recovery ready with just a few extra licenses for the backup software. However, if you don’t have a remote office, renting rack space in a local co-lo data center can get really expensive with the space, power, and management fees. Alternatively, buying multiple backup appliances for different offices to replicate between can be a way to get strong data protection. Over a few TB, the price of multiple appliances starts to get pretty high, but some CFOs prefer a big up-front cost they can amortize, rather than a regular monthly bill. 3. DR-as-a-Service from the cloud. A cloud, or online, disaster recovery strategy has the most advantages for small IT teams with over 1TB of backup data that don’t have time manage multiple data centers or tape rotation schedules. Double that for companies that have remote offices without their own IT assets. Cloud DR needs a replica file system, not just a backup To really use the cloud for DR the data has to be a replica of your live file system in its native format. Having a replica file system lets end users recover their own individual files over the web, and lets IT recover to dissimilar hardware, and have complete control over which files and databases are restored first.   The costs for cloud disaster recovery are mostly driven by the size of data being protected and the level of security and support available. For example, Zetta costs $225 a month to replicate 500GB of data in the cloud. An enterprise-grade security infrastructure, SSAE-16 audited service processes, and 24x7 U.S. based support, costs more than using backup software with one of the big cloud storage providers. A Note About Instant Recovery One of the biggest advantages of cloud disaster recovery is the ability to instantly recover files, folders, and databases. However, the term “instantly” has 2 meanings in this context and it’s important to be aware of each. 1. Fast data transfer technology makes recovery feel instantaneous Recovering an individual file from the cloud can seem to happen instantly, if the file is small and it’s being recovered over an internet connection with 10MBps of bandwidth, for example. Recovering a whole server or entire office worth of data is a different story. Consumer-grade cloud backup services aren’t designed for high-speed recovery, and will significantly extend recovery time. zetta.net      4  
  5. 5. Disaster  Recovery  You  Can  Afford   Zetta is the only cloud disaster recovery service that uses the WebDAV protocol to transfer data over HTTP, just like the internet itself. This means data transfer speeds are unmatched by competitors. 2. Replicated file systems can be recovered instantly because data isn’t kept in a proprietary backup format Disaster Recovery solutions that use a “snapshot & replicate” strategy can be instantly recovered because data doesn’t have to be unpacked, and IT can choose just what to recover, instead of having to download big chunks of data then pull the critical files out. A  Note  About   Security  and   Compliance   Businesses that have data with sensitive IP or compliance requirements like FINRA or HIPPA and want to use a cloud DR strategy need to pay particular attention to the security level provided by vendors on their shortlist. 1. Ask about SSAE-16 audited policies SSAE-16 is an auditing standard that verifies service providers (like cloud DR vendors) are following their published data integrity policies. This becomes very important for compliance standards or legal situations when chain-of-custody has to be established for data. 2. Ask about technical penetration testing Security is always important, but having a cloud DR vendor with regular 3rd party penetration testing means it won’t be your company’s data splashed on the front page of TechCrunch. About  Zetta.net   Zetta is an enterprise-grade online server backup, cloud storage, and disaster recovery solution for SMBs. The key features are: • • • • • • Multi-platform support (18 Linux, Windows, and Mac platforms) Appliance-free (can be deployed in 15 minutes) Enterprise-grade Security (encryption, SSAE 16, SAS 70) Fast data transfer rates (over 1TB/day) Reliability (RAID-6, RAIN-6, Geo-dispersed data centers) Secure data access and recovery via the web For more information, contact info@zetta.net  or visit www.zetta.net. zetta.net      5