New Threats Require Better DR – CloudEndure Briefing Note

Despite the rising concerns over cyber-attacks like ransomware, humans are still the number one cause of disasters. We need to look no further than the Amazon “typo error” of 2017 that knocked out service on AWS for proof. According to a recent survey conducted by CloudEndure, humans are the cause for 23 percent of outages, network failures are second at 17 percent, cyber-attacks is third at 13 percent and cloud provider downtime followed closely at 12 percent. Because organizations are made up of humans, making sure the organization is ready for a disaster remains a top IT priority.

Simplifying DR Prep

Assuming IT uses the right tools and processes, preparing for a disaster is significantly easier than it was even five years ago – even given the increasing expectations of users and organizations. All data needs to be copied several times per day to an alternative storage devices in its current location and then replicated to another location. This includes cloud-based data. It should be either replicated out of the cloud to the organization’s primary data center or to a different cloud provider.

Then, key applications need to be identified and have their data and their boot volumes (operating system, application software and code) copied much more frequently to an alternate location so they can start quickly with minimal data loss. For on-premises applications, the cloud is an ideal destination. Cloud-based applications should have data and boot volumes copied to either the organization’s data center or to another cloud.

It’s important to realize copying data and boot volumes to the cloud is not enough. In most cases, virtual machines moved into the cloud need to be transformed in some way to operate in that provider’s cloud. There is a difference in hypervisors and other architecture components, and those differences may cause an issues if transformation is not performed.

While most cloud providers have these tools available, manually transforming them, especially during the stress of a disaster, is not ideal. IT needs a solution that will perform the transfer automatically as well as provide other orchestration capabilities (starting machines in the right sequence for example) to automate the recovery process as much as possible.

CloudEndure

CloudEndure is a software solution that works across platforms and clouds to mobilize almost any workload. While disaster recovery is an obvious use case, the solution can also be used to migrate application to the cloud or from the cloud.

How Does CloudEndure Work?

CloudEndure works by installing an agent on each Windows or Linux server that needs protecting. Then, the administrator follows the instructions to configure the replication job for the target provider. Once the first replication process is complete the software enables a test step so the organization can make sure the machine conversion works and the application starts up correctly in the cloud. The entire testing process is sandboxed so it won’t conflict with production.

The target copy is continuously updated via CloudEndure’s block level replication and should deliver sub-second recovery point objectives. All replicated data is encrypted and compressed for secure bandwidth efficient transfers.

Finally, when disaster strikes, or when it’s time to complete cloud migration, a cutover process starts, which is automated to ensure correct boot sequences and network updates. The result should be a recovery time of minutes.

Target Flexibility

CloudEndure can send data from on-premises to all major public cloud providers including Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. It can also reverse replicate to protect cloud-hosted applications to any source infrastructure – physical, virtual or cloud-based.

StorageSwiss Take

While the nature of disasters will change, the process of planning for disaster will never go out of style. Today’s IT professional has an unprecedented number of choices of where to send the organization’s data and where to host a recovery effort. The key is to find a tool that exploits all of these options, CloudEndure is certainly one of those tools worth considering.

Eight years ago George Crump, founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal. To educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is and a heavily sought after public speaker. With 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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Posted in Briefing Note

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