Disaster recovery: Recover your data quickly — and fully — from any event

Keeping your business in business

Disasters can take many forms — equipment and system failures, human error, ransomware or other cyber threats, sabotage, natural disasters, and so on. Every unplanned outage is unique, but they all have one thing in common: if you can’t recover effectively, your business is in jeopardy. Whatever disasters may come along, you need to be able to ensure business continuity across every environment you use — from on-premises data centers to clouds and containers.

The statistics about disaster recovery paint a stark picture. According to Gartner, the average cost of downtime is around $5,600/minute, or $300,000/hour. And that’s not counting indirect costs like damage to company reputation, customer trust and partner relationships. This isn’t a remote possibility, either — 53% of global IT decision-makers think it’s likely their company will experience a brownout or outage so severe that it makes national media headlines. And an incident doesn’t have to make the news to have a devastating impact.

To be there for your business, you need a disaster recovery capability designed for fast, simple and flexible data recovery at enterprise scale. And it needs to be cost-efficient as well. After all, even when it feels like you’d pay anything to get your data back, you shouldn’t have to.

In this whitepaper, we’ll talk about what’s needed to ensure successful disaster recovery.

Five strategic priorities for disaster recovery

Disaster recovery isn’t about if, but when. To recover your data quickly and painlessly, with as little disruption as possible, your strategy needs to be:

1. Simple

When mission-critical business applications and workloads are offline, the clock is ticking. You can’t afford a slow and complicated recovery. To keep things simple, use a data management platform that can support multiple data types, applications and hypervisors across primary infrastructure, cloud and secondary storage. It should also be simple to meet requirements for reporting and compliance through intelligent, policy-based automation.

2. Cost-optimized

Not all data is equally time-sensitive. By aligning your recovery point and time objectives (RPOs/RTOs) for various types of data and workloads with their respective SLAs, you can get critical data back in place when it’s needed without overspending.

3. Transformational

A modern approach to disaster recovery goes beyond the traditional narrow focus to accommodate a broader range of services and use cases. Having a copy of your production data can be highly useful to provision, migrate, clone and present data sets for everything from Dev/Test operations to quality assurance and security testing.

4. Flexible

In today’s ever-changing world, your IT strategy and infrastructure should be an enabler — not a constraint. Make sure you can recover data, applications and virtual machines from any server, container, endpoint, or cloud platform. Never let yourself be locked into a single vendor or provider.

5. Reliable

Your disaster recovery strategy is only effective if it always works and always will. You should be able to protect your data against all kinds of threats, including hardware failures, human error, natural disasters, and malware, including ransomware. Your solution provider should be here for the long haul as well. Only trust your data to a recognized industry leader — one that measures up and compares well in analyst evaluations. Make sure they have strong customer references for a real-world view.

Essential capabilities to recover data quickly, fully and cost-effectively

A disaster scenario is the moment of truth for your disaster recovery solution. To make that a happy moment — not a nightmare come true — make sure you’re equipped to respond effectively when your business is on the line.

Automated implementation, operation and reporting

This is the baseline for any solution. Disaster recovery orchestration should be simple to implement, including the ability to recover workloads from every environment you use, including on-premises data centers, multiple cloud platforms and containers. Script automation will save you time while helping you configure your servers and environments consistently. Automated outage discovery and failover can minimize disruptions — you should never have to learn about a failure from your customers. One-click failover and failback make it easy to switch between primary and secondary storage as needed. Automated compliance reporting simplifies governance and auditability, so you don’t have to worry about paperwork. You see the theme emerging here: automation, automation, automation.

Fast, flexible replication

It goes without saying that fast replication can help you protect data more effectively, but a flexible approach can help you reduce costs as well. Begin with fast snapshot replication for VMs, applications and storage, with one-to-many replication so you can simultaneously target both local and remote secondary storage platforms. As enterprise environments grow more diverse, it’s important to be able to replicate and recover to both like and unlike hypervisors. For greater cost efficiency, you should be able to build multiple disaster recovery tiers so you can allocate data and workloads by SLA. The flexibility to accommodate diverse RPO and RTO requirements will make it possible to recover mission-critical data as quickly as needed while keeping overall costs optimized.

Herbalife, a global nutrition company, relies on Commvault for enterprise data protection—including backup and recovery for nearly 3,000 VMs.

Cost-optimized cloud data mobility

To support modern disaster recovery strategies, you need to be able to back up, recover and move data seamlessly across on-premises and cloud locations. By scaling cloud usage on-demand, you can use cloud capacity as needed during a disaster recovery event, without having to pay for unused resources during routine operations. Failover operations to the cloud provide a foundation for long-term business continuity. Native integration with clouds and data encryption can ensure fast, secure migration from the cloud for your applications, databases, virtual machines and large datasets. Disaster recovery across cloud providers or between multiple cloud geographic regions allows the broadest range of options for your strategy.

Academic medical research center UConn Health is using Commvault data protection and Azure cloud to decrease its data center footprint. Commvault software gives the IT team flexibility for data migration from locally hosted to cloud hosted resources – and back again.

Ransomware detection and prevention

As one of the top threats facing enterprise data, ransomware deserves special attention in your disaster recovery strategy. Ransomware protection should include intelligent monitoring to detect, alert and report on data change anomalies on backup clients. With built-in technologies and practices such as end-to-end encryption for data at rest and in-flight, you’ll have a backup ready to resume business operations quickly if an attack occurs. You should also conduct periodic security scans of the replicas at your disaster recovery site, so you don’t risk recovering compromised data in your backup copy.

Enterprise scalability

You shouldn’t have to change your disaster recovery platform just because your business is growing. For a future-proof disaster recovery strategy, use a solution that can scale from the smallest backup scenarios to the largest and most diverse data management environments. To keep management simple, the solution should automatically scale-up and down as needed for reliability, cost savings and operational efficiency.

Parsons, a technology-focused defense and engineering firm, uses Commvault intelligent data management to manage backup and recovery for workloads across AWS cloud storage locations, VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines and physical servers.

How Commvault helps

Commvault® Disaster Recovery enables recoverability to help ensure business continuity for virtual machines, applications, databases, containers, clouds, endpoints and files across cloud and on-premises environments. A single, extensible user interface makes it simple to implement disaster recovery orchestration and automated compliance reporting. VMs, applications and storage can be replicated quickly and flexibly, with the ability to customize RPOs in alignment with workload mission-criticality. Automatic scaling and tiering of cloud usage enables cost-effective cloud data mobility. Disaster recovery replicas can be validated through verified recoverability via copy data management.

As an industry leader with proven solutions, Commvault has earned the trust of customers across industries and around the world. Here’s what they have to say:

  • 95% of surveyed IT organizations said Commvault gives them greater confidence in restoring their data to resume business operations quickly1
  • 74% said Commvault delivers greater benefits in improving restore times (Recovery Time Objectives)1
  • 90% of IT organizations agreed that “Commvault has expanded our disaster recovery capabilities”1

Make your plan for disaster recovery

When a disaster strikes, the right disaster recovery capability can get your business back on its feet quickly — instead of staying down for the count.


1 TechValidate survey of 225 Commvault software users published in June 2020

Disaster recovery solutions

Whether you're hit by a natural disaster, hardware failure, data breach, or ransomware attack, you need to recover your data quickly and painlessly.