Disaster doesn’t differentiate between a small-sized business or a larger enterprise. It metes out the same treatment to everyone and everything in its path, irrespective of size and type of data.
When that ensues, we, as a business, need to be prepared to face the unexpected. From nature’s fiercest storms and hurricanes to Humans’ silliest spilled coffee, disaster in any form could have a catastrophic effect on your business if your Disaster Recovery(DR) plan isn’t ideal.
This article will throw some light on the different Recovery Strategies available so that you can choose the one that best fits your business needs.
Factors to be considered before choosing a DR plan
The two important business-critical factors to be considered, based on which your DR strategy should be built are:
Recovery Point Objective – RPO
Some businesses that aren’t customer facing could tolerate losing upto few hours’ worth of data. Others, such as banks, where transactions occur every second, could not afford to lose even minutes’ worth of data.
RPO determines the amount of data that a business could afford to lose when a disruption occurs.
Recovery Time objective – RTO
It is the time window between the occurrence of a disruptive event and a return to fully operational business status, essentially, the downtime. It basically determines how long you can afford to stay out of business.
A short RPO and RTO, like 15 minutes, indicate that the business services are high in demand, while businesses that adopt longer RPOs and RTOs indicate that they could do with a few hours of downtime.
So ideally, while adopting a DR strategy for your business, you need to keep the above two metrics in mind depending upon the impact of your business.
Essential features to be considered for good backup and recovery
Let’s get into the detail now!
What features do you think a good recovery software should possess?
Obviously, something that is easy and simple to use, and most importantly, secure
Additionally, the following are some of the most widely adopted and looked for features while adopting a suitable DR software:
- An all-encompassing solution
- Flexible recovery options
- Quick and agile recovery
A brief look at the different recovery options available and why they are needed
This can be achieved by adopting very short RPOs and RTOs.
So under what circumstance would a business need to recover instantly?
Consider a bank for instance. Everyone would be scuttling and scrambling to secure their money and belongings in the event of a disaster. And which is one place that could do that for them? Banks obviously!
In this scenario, banks would lose out on major business if they cannot get running in a few minutes.
Instant recovery options ensure that they can get their business up in no time and serve their customers’ needs, thereby ensuring business continuity as well.
Instant recovery can be achieved by replicating the production data continuously to another server, preferably offsite. The replication can be done synchronously or asynchronously depending on the needs of your business (Synchronous meaning immediate transfer from the primary server and asynchronous meaning data transfer done in chunks at specific time intervals).
In most cases, instant recovery only restores the data temporarily to either the same or different host, so that it could be worked upon until ‘things cool down’.
Once the situation is back to normal, the data has to be restored completely, along with all the changes made after the temporary restoration.
Permanent recovery takes more time, it could even take up few hours depending on the size of the data.
Now, you might wonder – Why do we have to go for instant recovery if it’s not a permanent solution?
Instant recovery is for highly critical businesses that cannot afford even few minutes’ worth of downtime. Less-critical businesses, that can survive with a few hours of downtime, can directly go with the permanent recovery option.
An instance of less-critical business could be a company that sells bouquets and flowers. Such businesses are not extremely demanding and do not require continuous backup and immediate recovery to serve their customers. They can afford to spend some time on recovering their data permanently before getting down to business.
Have a look at Vembu’s Live Recovery feature to know how you could adopt it for your business.
File/Folder level Recovery
Has a power outage rendered you unable to work? Or a flood has completely flooded your business location that you can’t work there anymore?
Backup and recover only the important files, folders, and applications necessary to keep your business running. This could sometimes prove to be a bit time consuming but it is the go-to choice when it comes to cost-savings.
This is the most optimal choice when you only have a low volume of data. But the major con of this recovery is that the full system cannot be recovered, even if the need arises. You have to restore the files and folders to a different machine or device for future use.
With Vembu’s File/Folder/Application level recovery, you can recover only what you need and leave out the rest.
If recovering your entire system from scratch, including the partition information is what you want, then Bare-metal Recovery should be your choice.
For instance, consider a power surge has fried all your systems, including the hard disk where everything is stored. This is most useful for businesses running critical applications (like ERP).
Such applications have certain specific hardware requirements for which the servers are usually custom-made. When those machines crash, everything is lost. Or is it lost really?
Bare-metal recovery will come to your recovery in such a scenario. You can backup and restore the entire machine information (boot info, hard disk partition info, etc.) onto a completely new hardware through this method.
Though the process is a bit complex, it is well worth the trouble to be assured that you can get back all your system information with everything inside it intact.
Want to get into more details? Refer to Vembu’s Bare-Metal Recovery
Offsite and Cloud Disaster Recovery
It is estimated that the recent Hurricane Irma that swept across North America affected at least 300 data centers standing on its path.
Now, imagine that happening to your business! Though you would never want to.
Considering that, it is always advisable to have a redundant copy of all your critical data either in the Cloud or in a datacenter that is situated at least 20 miles away from your primary production location.
Recovery from an offsite datacenter could take a significant amount of time, considering that the transfer will occur through WAN, but in the light of catastrophic events that could destroy everything, it is well worth the amount and time spent.
Eager to know more on which Backup and DR strategy to adopt for your business?
Attend the live webinar by Vembu highlighting the different recovery options available and how to make the best use of them to keep your data centers shielded. Click here to register.