Orchestration is Key to Cloud Disaster Recovery

The cloud is an ideal location from which to execute a disaster recovery. It eliminates the need for a secondary DR site and the processing power required by recovered applications because the organization purchases cloud storage and compute at the point of recovery. However, there is still a process involved with cloud disaster recovery, and before shutting down their DR sites, IT professionals need to understand how to document and execute the cloud recovery workflow. No matter the recovery location, there are a series of steps IT needs to follow to successfully recover applications, so users can access them. The cloud actually adds a few steps to the disaster recovery process.

In the event of a disaster, IT needs to allocate the cloud resources needed for the recovery of operations. In cloud recovery, this means the instantiation of cloud virtual machines and allocating the appropriate storage to those VMs. It then means moving data from the cloud backup or replication repository to the storage allocated for the recovered systems. IT also needs to re-map IP addresses so that users can seamlessly log into the recovered applications.

Most of these steps happen very quickly, if not instantaneously, but they do need to occur. The problem is that most cloud recovery solutions lack orchestration to automate these steps. The lack of orchestration also means that IT needs to document these steps separately and update them as the environment changes. It also, of course, means they need to perform these steps when the time comes for recovery. When the entire process is considered, the DR easy button that many cloud recovery solutions claim to have, becomes very complicated.

Another part of the DR workflow is operating the DR site while it has assumed the role of the production data center. Questions like, will IT be able to manage it, will they be able to protect it and will they be able to move back to their original environment quickly, become increasingly important the more prolonged the recovery site functions as the primary site.

Many cloud disaster recovery solutions transform protected systems to run natively in the cloud. The problem is the IT professionals, who in most cases are coming from a VMware environment, may not know how to administrate the environment using cloud tools. They may also not know how to protect it or upgrade it. Living with the recovered state is one of the critical advantages of VMware Cloud on AWS. With it, organizations recover to an environment that is almost identical to their original production environment.

In this LightBoard video, Storage Switzerland and Datrium discuss the importance of a disaster recovery orchestration capability and then show how Datrium’s new CloudShift solution enables customers with an on-premises DVX storage solution to recover into a VMware Cloud on AWS. DVX is the next generation of hyper-converged architecture which creates a split storage tier by placing flash storage inside the server and capacity hard disk drives in a centralized storage node. The result is an HCI (Hyper Converged Infrastructure) architecture that scales more closely to the needs of the enterprise. To learn more about HCI, read our briefing note “Hyperconverged for the Enterprise and the Cloud.”

For a deeper dive on the HCI architectures, watch our on demand webinar “Considering Hyperconverged for Your Enterprise? Three Key Questions to Ask”.

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Twelve 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 a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 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 of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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