“Hot” or “cold” was a decision that every small and midsize enterprise (SME) faced when it came to determining how to best recover their applications in the event of a disaster. So, while nearly every SME may have wanted a “hot” recovery for their applications, looking at the price tag associated with delivering that option almost always gave them cold feet. However, new backup solutions such as the Revinetix Sentio™ now make it feasible for SMEs to significantly “warm up” their recoveries while keeping the price of recovery very cool.
It was not long ago that small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) only had two practical choices when it came to doing application recoveries – “hot” and “cold”. “Hot recoveries” were and continue to be the “crème de le crème” of recoveries with the disaster recovery (DR) site possessing all of the hardware and software needed to recover the application with minimal or no disruption to the business.
“Cold recoveries” are at the other end of the spectrum. In this situation, all an organization may have is a backup copy of the data stored to tape and a secondary site designated to do the recovery.
However, a recovery, should one be needed, is essentially little more than a fire drill as the SME scrambles to try and recover its production applications at this DR site. While economical, the risk that an SME runs is that it is betting that it can purchase all the hardware it needs should a disaster occur and then recover the data before it goes out of business. This is a big betas these recoveries can take days or even weeks to complete.
Trying to avoid the costs of “hot” recoveries and the consequences of “cold” recoveries, many SMEs took steps to make their “cold site” warmer by re-purposing old network, server and storage hardware for DR or even entering into agreements to use another organization’s facilities in the event of a disaster. However, the burden of recovering these applications from tape was still theirs to manage and execute upon.
Today’s world of disk-based backup, server virtualization and replication changes that as it opens the door for these same SMEs to adopt solutions that offer “warm” recoveries that lean more towards the “hot” end of the spectrum. Further, by choosing the right “warm” recovery solution, SMEs can achieve recoveries at the same or lower cost than “cold” recovery solutions and enable recoveries to be accomplished in hours or, at most, days.
To accomplish this objective, here is what SMEs need to do:
First, select a disk-based backup solution such as the Revinetix Sentio™ that includes all of the features and licensing that SMEs need to cost-effectively and quickly implement a warm recovery configuration. These features would include:
- Backup software
- Capacity based licensing that includes all backup software features
- Agents to protect applications such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server
- Disk-based target
- An unlimited number of backup agents
- Replication software
Second, implement the disk-based backup solution’s replication feature. One of the most difficult aspects about doing any recovery is getting the backup data to the DR site in a timely fashion. Using a solution such as the Revinetix Sentio, SMEs can place a Revinetix appliance at both the production and DR site and then automatically replicate backup data to the DR site.
In this way, the organization always has a copy of data that is readily accessible and no more than 1- 2 days old available at the DR site for recovery. Since the Revinetix Sentio houses the backup software as well as does the replication, SMEs also avoid the need to first have to recover the backup software before they can recover their applications.
Third, use server virtualization at the DR site. Server virtualization makes it extremely economical and practical to use a minimal amount of hardware at the DR site but still recover most if not all of an organization’s applications to these virtual machines (VMs). Using the Revinetix Sentio, organizations can immediately focus on the recovery of their applications to these VMs, since the needed data is already at the DR site, and achieve warm recoveries that can be reasonably completed within hours or, at most, days.
SMEs no longer need to look at their application recovery options as only being “hot” or “cold”. The advent of disk-based backup, server virtualization and replication have made it possible for SMEs to significantly warm up their DR configurations to the point where they are almost “hot” at a price that is at or below to what SMEs are accustomed to paying for “cold” recoveries. Further, by adopting turnkey backup and replication solutions such as the Revinetix Sentio, they can quickly transition to an environment that solves their day-to-day backup problems while making their DR configuration one that everyone can have a warm feeling about.