The scope of a disaster is based on its sphere of influence. A major disaster impacts a wide region and causes hundreds of businesses to go into disaster recovery mode. A minor disaster impacts only a single organization and often a single application or storage system. Ironically, IT is under more pressure to recover more rapidly during a minor disaster than a major one.
In this StorageShort, we explain why the expectation of a speedy recovery is higher during a minor disaster than a major disaster.
Developing a Minor Disaster Recovery Strategy
Rapid recovery during a minor disaster requires the frequent protection of production data and it requires local recovery. While cloud providers are an excellent location to initiate recovery from a major disaster, the organization should not have to fail over all operations to the public cloud because one server or storage system went down.
To meet the requirement of frequent backup, the organization needs a solution that can perform a low-impact backup, where only a small fraction of data is copied from production storage to data protection storage. This type of backup is often called “block level” or “incremental forever” backups. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions generally use this backup technique to minimize network traffic, but it also has the side benefit of having a very low impact on the production server and its storage, which enables a more frequent backup.
To meet the requirement of rapid, local recovery, IT needs to have access to a secondary server and secondary storage, which for many organizations is an expensive investment in technology that will go unused. An alternative is to leverage backup software that can instantiate the fallen servers on the backup server or present volumes to servers that have lost their production storage. DRaaS solutions provide this capability in the cloud. A few provide this capability locally, leveraging their on-premises appliance.
DRaaS a fit for Minor and Major Disasters
Many organizations have invested only in the capabilities to recover from a major disaster, which means they can meet the rapid recovery expectations of users during a minor disaster. There is often too much data loss, too much time to recover or in the cloud only option there is too much work involved to fail the application to the cloud and figure out how to bring it back again.
Other organizations created a separate process for recovery from minor disaster using either replication or clustering. The problem is they still need another process to help them recover from a major disaster. That means the over-worked IT team has two critical processes to manage.
DRaaS, as long as it has local recovery capabilities, is able to meet the demands of both minor and major disasters. It has to perform low impact backups so it has a small incremental data set to seed the cloud. In a major disaster, with all the data in the cloud and leveraging cloud compute, the organization is well prepared for a major disaster. If these solutions, then, add the ability to instantiate applications or volumes on the appliance and they are then able to provide protection and recovery during a minor disaster.
To learn more about how DRaaS can help recover from both major and minor disaster check out our on demand webinar “DRaaS – It’s Not Just For Disasters Anymore”.