Disaster Recovery (What? Disaster?)
What? Disaster? It’s not something I need. Why would I spent a lot of money on this? My building is secure and fireproof.
An IT-disaster is often the result of human error and ransomware (link: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransomware). When someone installs a patch on the main production systems without proper testing and the system fails. There are many examples of ransomware cases, unintendedly caused by one of the users, but with serious impact.
Luckily, there are many options to prevent the impact on the business. The general rule: save two on-site copies and one remote copy (3-2-1 rule).
General description disaster recovery (DRaaS)
In the perfect world, the primary site has an offsite copy and the primary failover will be to this offsite location (both customer owned). These sites normally have replicated storage and often a stretched network. When this is not possible (or a business requirement), the DRaaS location can serve as the secondary site.
The cases of unforeseen outages are making businesses painfully aware of the preeminence of disaster recovery (DR) planning. However, anticipating a data center outage is not just about an effective DR strategy, it is more about lessening the business impact.
Failover/ DR planning is a multi-step process.
- The primary site fails, the secondary site kicks in
- Primary and secondary site fail, the DR copy kicks in.
Advantages and disadvantages DRaaS
|No investment in hardware and maintenance costs (only monthly payment)||Costs (monthly fee)|
|External party, no impact on current employees||Possible data location (data compliancy)|
|Guaranteed RPO and RTO||Requires planning and testing|
To ensure availability, the data is copied to an offsite location within a remote datacenter. This copy is called a DRAAS (Disaster recovery as a service), only to utilize in case of primary and secondary site failure. This site a geographically distant location (40km+). Data is written with delay (a-synchronically). It is also possible to do a partial DR-failover. For example: only mail services or the ERP system.
Often the public cloud is used as a DRaaS location (MS Azure, Amazon AWS). See our blog about The Hybid cloud (https://www.itvalidation.nl/blog-post/de-hybride-cloud/).
There are several scenarios in which case the secondary site will not be capable of serving users. These scenarios include:
- Power failure in the region;
- Internet failure in the region;
- Virus / malware infection;
- Natural disasters.
In case of a disaster recovery, the following global steps are taken to ensure availability:
- Ensure primary site and secondary site are down and not likely to recover within reasonable time;
- Start the recovery environment (contact DRAAS provider and start servers);
- Test accessibility;
- Restore service.
Test scenario DRaaS
It is recommended this scenario is tested at least once a year (preferably more often). In a controlled environment, a real-life situation can be simulated.
Please contact ITValidation if you would like to discuss the options for your business environment.
More contact details see our contact page https://www.itvalidation.nl/contact/.
Or click here to send us an e-mail for more information on DRaaS or for information about our other services.
Auteur: Thomas Franken