By Jiwon Youm
A disaster recovery solution is a must-have in today’s 24/7 business environment, but how do you actually do disaster recovery? How much disaster recovery protection is everyone seeking? What data, apps, virtual machines and workloads are being protected with disaster recovery tools? Everyone knows that the cloud is a good disaster recovery target, but which cloud – or clouds – should I use?
Recognizing that business continuity is critical and leveraging our experience and industry expertise, we hosted “Beyond a Backup Target: Using Cloud Effectively for Disaster Recovery” and conducted a poll during the webinar that gave us valuable insights from hundreds of live attendees. I’ve included those poll questions and responses below, which provides readers an inside perspective right from the source on what our customers are saying, thinking and doing around disaster recovery in the cloud.
Cloud Disaster Recovery – How Do You Compare?
Question No. 1: What is your current target for disaster recovery? (Multiple choices allowed)
It was interesting to see that many of the webinar participants are using their current data center as a disaster recovery target (29.9%). In case of a regional disaster, this would lead to an outage. There are definitely opportunities to leverage public and private clouds or other disaster recovery targets to implement a more robust disaster recovery solution.
Question No. 2: What Recovery Time Objective (RTO*) is desired? (*Time to get the environment back up and running after an outage event)
Many of the webinar attendees acknowledged that they have multiple tiers of RTO (33.6 percent), and most would like a four hour RTO.
Given how recovery processes are never smooth during a disaster recovery scenario, these customers would need a disaster recovery solution that provides a lot of automated features. When I worked with enterprises on disaster recovery tests or actual disaster recovery events, small hiccups such as incorrect access rights or firewall inconsistencies meant a delay of half a day or more (true story).
Commvault Live Sync features workflow engine and other disaster recovery features can definitely help shorten the RTO.
Question No. 3: What Recovery Point Objective (RPO*) is desired? (*How often should you backup/replicate, or how much data can you afford to lose?)
Again, the webinar participants shared that they have multiple tiers of RPO (37.5 percent). This is natural as most organizations run multiple application groups with different degrees of importance. Unlike RTOs, you may not want to have the fastest RPO solution (i.e., real-time replication) for the entire mission-critical environment as it will be very costly to do so.
In the webinar, we shared how the Commvault disaster recovery solution can provide multiple tiers of RPO options from one comprehensive data management platform. With the Commvault platform, you can have a cost-effective disaster recovery plan by mixing and matching the right RPO option for the different groups of applications.
Another thing to take note is that real-time replication tools will not be useful if a ransomware attack corrupts the latest data. In many cases, it is necessary to have a dual RPO structure so that you have the latest replicated data as well as an uncorrupted snapshot image of your data, which is something Commvault provides.
Question No. 4: What needs to be recovered using the disaster recovery solution? (Multiple choices allowed)
The webinar attendees chose multiple answers, which shows the scope of today’s data management and disaster recovery challenge. When you participate in disaster recovery tests, the disaster recovery team will ask the admins from the OS, storage, network, virtualization, database and application teams, plus technology vendors and core end users complete their respective disaster recovery test activities.
Since these tests cannot happen in parallel, it always means long wait times for many of these teams. In a real disaster, some of those team members will not be available. In order to really recover from a disaster, it’s important to have automated disaster recovery processes for key core components (VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Microsoft SQL, Oracle, SAP, etc.).
Poll Result No. 5: What clouds are you using or considering for disaster recovery? (Multiple choices allowed)
Attendees showed Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure as the top cloud disaster recovery targets (55.7 percent versus 53.6 percent). Private cloud came in third (35.1 percent).
Enterprises are planning disaster recovery strategies that involve more than one cloud and more than one cloud region or availability zone. It’s important to be able to quickly recover across clouds or cloud locations, between clouds and from the cloud back to an on-premises data center. Everyone’s business needs are different, and multiple clouds may be involved.
We showed in the webinar Commvault is constantly adding new integrated features to support disaster recovery across multiple cloud platforms. As your needs change, Commvault continues to develop cost-effective, reliable disaster recovery across on-premises, cloud locations and virtual environments. With built-in automation, orchestration, replication, alerting and reporting, Commvault lets you perform disaster recovery more efficiently during testing and under actual disaster recovery scenarios. Learn more about Commvault disaster recovery solutions.