IT Disaster Recovery

IT disaster recovery

Serious failures can happen anytime: even a smoldering fire at the data center is enough to paralyze its entire infrastructure. Aftermaths of floods are even more tragic, since whole server rooms permanently go out of service after being filled with water. The list of disasters can be continued infinitely.

In terms of handling such situations, medium business enterprises are prepared worse than others. And they need to pay special attention to two aspects – Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity.

The primary objective of IT disaster recovery is to restore and replace the damaged portions of IT infrastructure, as well as critical corporate data. As for Business Continuity, this concept involves many other aspects aside merely technical IT reconstruction: the idea is to prevent interrupts (or at least durable downtime) of business processes in case of a disaster, while allowing the enterprise to continue its normal operation.

The primary objective of Business Continuity is to minimize downtimes no matter what caused them – either a disaster or a scheduled maintenance of systems connected with taking them offline. By means of certain modifications and additions, corresponding methods and processes are appended to tasks of IT disaster recovery. For instance, in case of scheduled downtime of virtualized infrastructures, administrators can use systematic shut down of separate servers and storage systems in order to update operating systems and applications or upgrade hardware.

Among technologies used at times of unexpected failures are: Clustering, SAN (Storage Area Network) Replication, and also mirrored servers and storage systems in territorially separated data centers ­­­– all of these are needed for effective disaster recovery.

IT Disaster recovery planning

Medium business owners are challenged to answer two major questions: how to start solving Disaster Recovery problem and which technology is best suitable for this matter? Comparing to large companies, IT infrastructure of medium enterprises is seen as very compact. Nevertheless, first you should come up with a disaster recovery plan and then periodically test it.

A typical IT disaster recovery plan consists of hundreds of individual steps, starting from changing the cable connections and ending with detailed description of the order in which servers should be recovered.

However, having the plan itself is not enough – its efficiency should be proven in the course of regular testing. As a rule, individually developed means and recommendations come with an excessive number of complicated, manually performed steps that have to be taken in order to restore access to resources, recover operating systems and user data, as well as to test readiness of servers, network components and storage systems.

Instead of self-made solutions, it is reasonable to implement a virtual infrastructure along with specialized Back-up and Recovery software.

Shared storage system is a one of virtual infrastructure’s central components. The main objective is to store protected excessive local data here and create mirroring storage capacities available in some other place. A wide range of functions allow performing efficient remote data multiplication, IT disaster recovery and control over secondary storage systems.