Disaster Recovery Planning: Building a Plan for DR to the Cloud

By Zerto, on 21 August, 2011

Most disaster recovery planning starts in a similar way; a company comes to the conclusion that they need to be prepared for disasters or outages and they require a ‘business continuity and disaster recovery plan’. In these cases someone, typically the CEO or company board, decides that they need a DR plan and approves creating a plan from the point of view of business exposure. They then assign the task to IT to build a detailed DR plan. What might such a plan include? A second datacenter facility, servers, storage, networks, bandwidth between the two sites and replication equipment are all needed.

The capital expense is always much higher than the company anticipated. Add to that the operational costs of managing another datacenter, effectively doubling their operational expenses. The secondary data center is only active a small amount of time: maybe one test per calendar quarter, and during the real failover due to outage, which may happen once a year (if they are unlucky). Essentially, they have a datacenter in use for 5 days a year – but pay for 365 days.

This creates a compelling case to drive enterprises to the ‘pay-by-the-drink’ nature of the cloud. By using the cloud, they only pay for what they use. Sounds like an obvious case for moving DR to the cloud, right?

Not so fast. Unfortunately, there are two key areas where existing DR solutions fall short, making DR to the cloud difficult. For one, cloud providers need to offer the same storage and technologies as their customers in order to serve as a replication site. Second, cloud providers need to avoid taxing their customers’ production environments while protecting data, particularly during failover testing. Cloud providers simply do not have the tools to commit to either of these two crucial elements of enterprise-class disaster recovery.

Zerto’s solution was built to solve these problems, and to help large enterprises get their DR to the cloud. We offer:

  • Storage agnostic replication – the cloud provider need not use the same technology or storage vendor in order to serve as a company’s replication site. Zerto offers the ability to mix storage from any vendor using any technology.
  • Easy recovery testing – Failover testing is performed with the click of a button, with no impact on production environment. In fact, the production environment continues to replicate while the test is running. This is essential for the cloud provider’s SLA to customers.

Since Zerto Virtual Replication removes interoperability issues by enabling array-agnostic replication and allows easy recovery testing, it is an ideal solution for enterprises to use in order to put a cost-effective DR plan into action on the cloud.

To find out more go to our website or come see a demo at booth #973 at VMWorld 2011!