While most organizations today understand that regular backups are their best insurance against losing critical data, there is a growing emphasis on making sure that backup data can be restored quickly and reliably. Until the last few years, most backups were written to tape backup media, and companies might easily go months or even years without attempting to restore from their backup media. As more and more organizations move to backups written to disk, whether local or in the cloud, they recognize that backup data must be readily available for restoring services at a moment’s notice. As a result, failover, failback and testing have become top priorities in assuring disaster recovery and business continuity in the event of outages or disasters.
As a business process, backups to a local or cloud target satisfies data retention needs around compliance and quick restore of data elements, such as fi les, mailboxes, attachments, and database records. It can be used to restore data elements quickly, or to keep auditors happy about long-term data availability.
Disaster recovery through failover, failback and testing, on the other hand, is emerging as a high value-added business process. This helps assure business continuity by focusing on full service recovery and not simply on item level data restores. To fulfill its potential, disaster recovery must orchestrate across all components involved in service delivery, from storage to hypervisors, operating systems, databases, middleware and applications. This means that if an outage occurs, disaster recovery processes must be in place to failover and failback as rapidly as possible—the life of the business may depend on it.
In 2013, PHD Virtual introduced ReliableDR, a software solution that automates disaster recovery processes in virtual server environments providing assurances around the restoration of IT services to users. ReliableDR offers a unique capability to “orchestrate” the virtual resources involved in the delivery of services, collaborating with hypervisors, storage systems, applications, etc., to provide certified recovery points. This automation also allows for DR testing on demand—a significant advantage compared to the way any other existing tools manage DR.
Fully automated and guaranteed disaster recovery
ReliableDR leverages the synergies between the VMware virtualization and storage layers to orchestrate and fully automate Disaster Recovery. Disaster Recovery tests can be executed without any human intervention and without impacting production systems. ReliableDR delivers automated enforcement of RPOs (Recovery Point Objectives) and the continuous measurement and compliance of RTOs (Recovery Time Objectives).
This above diagram illustrates how ReliableDR provides Disaster Recovery Assurance for two datacenters. The left datacenter is running production, and the one on the right is providing DR protection. As a zero footprint solution, there is no ReliableDR software installed in the production site, no agents and absolutely nothing running on the virtual machines or the hypervisor.
ReliableDR is a process orchestrator with two distinct functions: The first one specifies the disaster recovery test exercises that need to be carried out. The second performs the execution of these test exercises. To specify recovery exercises, ReliableDR speaks to the hypervisor in the primary site and discovers the virtual assets running there. Using a very simple drag-and-drop interface, the DR administrator selects VMs and defines the boot order for the test.
All managed from a convenient, intuitive dashboard:
ReliableDR records all its activity and displays it in an intuitive, easy to manage operator dashboard. Each DR testing exercise is reported in a line with a traffic light. Green means the test was successful. Yellow means the test was successful but the recovery objective was not met, so RTO or RPO misses can be caught at a glance. Red means recovery failure and therefore a compliance threat.
ReliableDR can conduct as few or as many test exercises as you want, and each test can be for one VM or dozens – there is no limit to the scope of your testing. Additionally, you can easily drill down to see the details of the test execution process to quickly interrogate and remediate any undesirable results.
Find out more in this video: