5 Mart 2014 Çarşamba

By Stephen J. Bigelow, Senior Technology Writer

  • By Stephen J. Bigelow, Senior Technology Writer
    Network disaster recovery (DR) relies on software products that can send critical data to the remote site or recover that remote data for return to the client. Once implemented and configured, the disaster recovery software system needs to be routinely tested to ensure that all of the parts involved work properly. All of this activity needs to happen while maintaining the client's regulatory compliance or other corporate governance position, further complicating network DR planning for solution providers.
    The first part of this Hot Spot Tutorial introduced critical WAN issues and site planning points for DR. The second chapter detailed WAN bandwidth factors, redundant connectivity concepts and the use of other technologies like VPNs and virtualization for disaster recovery. This third installment discusses changing trends in disaster recovery software and highlights the importance of regulatory compliance.
    Changes in disaster recovery software


    Disaster recovery software should satisfy the data protection needs of the client and their business. The most important consideration in disaster recovery software selection is the recovery time objective (RTO) -- understanding how quickly the DR software can retrieve and restore data from the remote site. The product should accommodate the customer's data load and change rate in synchronous or asynchronous mode, pass that data within the available effective WAN bandwidth, support all of the client's mission-critical applications or data types, and still fit within the client's budget.
    "Time to recovery is the main goal, and then balancing against cost," said Dave Sobel, CEO of Evolve Technologies, a solution provider located in Fairfax, Va.
    In the past, DR software solutions often proved complex and difficult to configure fully. But disaster recovery software is changing. "The trend I can clearly see is simplification of the infrastructure," Sobel said. "Customers are looking for fewer tools in the environment." Solution providers can teach clients how to use their existing infrastructure and tools for new tasks wherever possible, rather than changing or adding to their infrastructure. In other cases, solution providers must help the client ensure that any new iteration of tools they already have will solve emerging problems or changing DR needs.
    The push toward simplification is reflected in a trend away from third-party products. "Movement is away from snapshots and third-party replication products such as SAN Snapshots or DoubleTake, or VMware VMotion," said Rand Morimoto, president of Convergent Computing, a network solution provider in Oakland, Calif. "The movement is to built-in replication like SQL 2005 Mirroring, or Exchange 2007 Stretch Cluster Continuous Replication, or DFS-R -- where the replication is in the application, thus failover and failback is native to the app and fully vendor- and auditor-supported." This approach reduces the number of DR tools in the environment and eliminates vendor finger-pointing when replication doesn't work as expected.
    While virtualization tools like VMware may not be desirable for disaster recovery alone, clients that already employ virtualization for consolidation or management purposes may also see benefits in DR.
    "Another application that we see playing a bigger role in DR … is VMware," said Bob Laliberte, analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass. Laliberte noted that virtualization enables far greater flexibility in site design and equipment, allowing for cost savings, which some clients may leverage to establish a third DR site (such as a restoration site in addition to a traditional DR site). Additional tools like VMware's VMotion enable the migration of one virtual machine to another, allowing failover between host servers without disruption. Similarly, VMware's Site Recovery Manager automates the recovery of virtualized environments for SMB/SME clients.

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