Five Features Your Cloud Disaster Recovery Solution Should Have

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1 Five Features Your Cloud Disaster Recovery Solution Should Have

2 Content Executive summary... 3 Problems with traditional disaster recovery... 3 Benefits Azure and AWS bring to the data center Features of an effective cloud disaster recovery solution... 5 Summary

3 Executive summary For organizations managing on-premises data centers, having a comprehensive disaster recovery (DR) solution in place is crucial. Unfortunately, traditional methods for handling and recovering from data center outages are saddled by high cost, complexity and extensive resource allocation. In many cases, these measures yield unreliable or mixed results. Considering the overhead and costs incurred with traditional solutions, this is an unacceptable outcome especially when mission-critical data is at stake. By taking advantage of solutions powered by offerings like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS), firms can implement DR incorporating the latest cloud technology with their infrastructure, ensuring both reliability and cost effectiveness. The cloud has leveled the playing field for all. Small businesses can now cut costs and compete with larger organizations with sophisticated yet cost-effective software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. Larger organizations can scale to new heights through SaaS, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-asa- service (IaaS) offerings. Now, with cloud disaster recovery solutions, enterprise-grade failover and recovery are an affordable option for firms of all sizes. This paper explores the critical features of an optimal cloud disaster recovery solution, and examines offerings from Microsoft and Veritas that comprise a best-in-breed approach to disaster recovery. Problems with traditional disaster recovery Small and medium-sized businesses usually employ manual or semi-automated periodic backups of data as their sole disaster recovery method. Enterprises can be found employing a variety of DR solutions that may vary greatly in sophistication. 3

4 Secondary data centers are very expensive DR systems are usually capped on the high end by budgetary constraints. For enterprises, creating and maintaining a secondary data center is a typical disaster response and contingency plan. This approach represents a brute force, one-to-one solution for disaster recovery, and does not take into account the high costs and extensive IT efforts required for such an endeavor. Costs like power, storage, servers, networking equipment and IT staff can double capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenditures (OPEX). Keeping data secure and ensuring quick recovery time Additionally, with contemporary IT infrastructures made up of complex application ecosystems and heterogeneous environments, ensuring consistent data security and recovery service levels can be challenging for traditional DR solutions. A typical data center is made up of an assortment of technologies, solutions and applications from different, sometimes competing vendors who may take different or mutually exclusive approaches to disaster recovery. Traditional Disaster Recovery May be Unreliable In these scenarios, implementing a DR solution can be a complicated and difficult affair. The inability to meet recovery goals consistently can prove challenging for organizations accustomed to moving at the speed of the cloud. Furthermore, applications requiring differing levels of manual effort for recovery, automated processes that require restoration in a specific sequence, and a myriad of other issues can result in disaster recovery solutions that are dysfunctional at worst, unreliable at best. Fortunately, there is an answer. Benefits Azure and AWS bring to the data center Cloud offerings such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have formed the backbone of a new paradigm of disaster recovery, focusing on the public cloud as a backup target. Here are a few features Azure and AWS bring to the table. Integration: connecting through VPN With many firms already performing their backups in the cloud, disaster recovery to the cloud is also gaining prominence as a reliable and cost-effective failover methodology. These solutions combine onpremises data center topologies with public cloud infrastructures, eliminating the costly requirement of creating and maintaining a secondary data center. Cloud disaster recovery solutions use VPNs to establish secure connectivity to a public cloud backup target from an on-premises IT infrastructure. AWS and Azure have site-to-site VPNs that are integrated into the solution. 4

5 Due to their core fundamentals based around integration capabilities, Azure and AWS make ideal candidates for a cloud disaster recovery target. Much of the framework of the platforms were designed with integration in mind specifically, the ability to integrate the public cloud with a company s existing IT environment. Furthermore, they extend real integration across infrastructure, application, identity, and database dimensions, enabling truly hybrid interoperability. One consistent platform By serving as the backbone of a cloud DR solution, Azure and AWS eliminate much complexity through the use of one consistent platform. From the on-premises infrastructure to the public cloud, true integration occurs by provisioning all necessary assets across virtualization, data platform, DevOps, management, development, and identity components. This results in a highly unified, consistent integration experience. Azure and AWS can be thought of as a broad range of application, data, and infrastructure services, providing the necessary underlying resources such as virtual machines, storage and networking components. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) AWS and Azure s IaaS provides the merits typically associated with the cloud: ease of management, redundancy/ replication across geographicallydispersed points of presence, on-demand provisioning, and high availability. These services can be connected to an on-premises data center through the aforementioned site-to-site VPNs. These extend the capabilities of the physical infrastructure to the cloud. The site-to-site VPN is the main connection over which on-premises application analysis, monitoring information, and replicated application data are securely transmitted, effectively serving as an extension of the on-premises data center to a virtual network in the public cloud. This is especially important for hybrid cloud deployments that require maintaining secure, high volume/high data exchange rates between the cloud and the onpremises data center. But even if Azure and AWS have these features, how do they help in a disaster recovery situation? 5 Features of an effective cloud disaster recovery solution The best solutions combine the benefits of cloud offerings like Azure and AWS with disaster recovery. The following section discusses five features of a cloud DR recovery solution and how the Veritas Disaster Recovery Orchestrator which can be integrated with Azure or AWS achieves them. 1. Cost effectiveness The question at the heart of a potential solution s value proposition is how it compares to other solutions from a cost perspective. Traditional, on-premises options are costly because the required uptime of the physical backup infrastructures. In contrast, cloud disaster recovery solutions take advantage of just-in-time (JIT) disaster recovery, allowing for the deployment of services and applications only when they are needed. 5

6 Microsoft Azure and AWS are a cost-effective solutions in part because the cloud offering was designed to instead be application-centric treating virtualized and physical resources the same. In a similar sense, management and automation of a cloud DR solution should be easy, consolidated and compute/ storage agnostic, as well as cost effective. When coupled with the Veritas Disaster Recovery Orchestrator, Azure and AWS each give firms unprecedented automation and reliability for their disaster recovery efforts. Disaster Recovery Orchestrator features a simple wizard-based installation and end-to-end configuration experience no manual installation or rebooting required. The installation process is fast, usually taking about 5 minutes. 2. Deployment On the client side, Disaster Recovery Orchestrator is comprised of two subcomponents: agents and the file replicator. Agents run on any application node that requires protection and recovery. They keep track of dependencies such as required services and hardware critical information for identifying issues when implementing failover routines. They also enable the tracking and control of startup and shutdown procedures in order of precedence for use in the event of a recovery. Agents essentially monitor infrastructure and application resources. They work together to provide the protection and automation control of the application. They are managed together as a protected application on the secondary virtual machine in Azure or AWS. File replicators residing on client nodes allow for granular control over what files get replicated, keeping track of application changes and the order in which they change otherwise known as write order fidelity in journals sent to the secondary virtual machine in Azure or AWS. This ensures that in the event of a disaster recovery event, the application comes up and is consistent in the recovery process. Replication occurs over the connection of the site-to-site VPN, with I/O changes transmitted as they occur, as opposed to taking a complete snapshot of a volume and sending it over the pipe. Once installed, a cloud disaster recovery solution should accomplish several key routines central to effective recovery and restoration. In the event of an on-premises failure, takeover operations should occur seamlessly, and then failback to the original on-premises system once it has been restored or recovered. Fire drills, or the graceful testing of application recovery, are also a crucial capability checking systems for correct backup and recovery without affecting production environments is important for ensuring service levels, as well as instilling or maintaining IT peace of mind and confidence. The ability to test the consistency and recoverability of an application and related data without disrupting normal operations is a key feature of Disaster Recovery Orchestrator. Reporting should also be a core feature of a cloud disaster recovery solution, as administrators and managers may need to audit system activity and behavior. In addition to takeover, failback and firedrills, Disaster Recovery Orchestrator also features basic reporting that details which applications were run, what actions were taken, when they were taken, by whom, and the result of the activity. 6

7 3. Automation Disaster recovery solutions should not be a management burden. To that end, automation is a key attribute for such offerings. Because the Veritas disaster recovery solution is application-centric, an extensive range of automation is possible across hybrid environments managed in Azure or AWS. Disaster Recovery Orchestrator uses a consolidated replication target, eliminating the need for application virtual machines to remain in an always-on state. Application recovery virtual machines are created and started in the cloud automatically, but only during a disaster recovery event. This enables enterprises to keep costs down, with a savings of up to 95 percent. Software agents installed on nodes with applications keep track of hardware and software dependencies, ensuring the startup of application software parts in correct order. Agents not only track dependencies required for recovery and operations, but also continuously monitor and track application health, application recovery and startup/shutdown events. The result is a disaster recovery solution that automatically recovers business applications quickly and effectively with one click, allowing firms to meet stringent recovery time objectives (RTOs). A high level of automation results in more than just time savings otherwise spent on maintenance or cost savings on metered resources in the cloud. A disaster recovery solution that runs and manages itself with built-in application-level intelligence and automated end-to-end recovery task orchestration translates to lower training and labor costs, as well as a reduction in human error. 4. Centralized management Due to the sheer volume of moving parts in a disaster recovery solution, it s important that all management options reside in a centralized location that is always available in the cloud via any web browser. With configuration, reporting and other critical options all located in one place, management becomes a predictable and easy activity with less chance for human error and a lower learning curve to operate. Disaster Recovery Orchestrator s key configuration settings are located in the centralized management console, which in turn resides on the secondary virtual machine in the cloud. The console s dashboard displays on-premises application states. Each application node to be protected is managed by the installed agent, with the agents collectively managed by the centralized management console. Core operational activities such as takeover, failback, fire drills and reporting are also managed through the console. 5. Continuous replication To ensure data integrity and continuity, a cloud disaster recovery solution should perform continuous replication instead of backing up a snapshot of the protected system at a single point in time. Continuous replication enables the highest level of backup data integrity without having to take applications offline. 7

8 Disaster Recovery Orchestrator performs real-time replication without impacting application performance in the production environment. Because agents installed on protected application nodes keep track of dependencies that may impact failover, recovery activities are tracked in the right order. These features help firms achieve recovery point objectives (RPOs) by providing easier, faster and less problematic data and application recovery. Summary An effective cloud disaster recovery solution should encompass all five of the above features to deliver a comprehensive, cost-effective strategy. Most traditional on-premises disaster recovery solutions face issues that threaten their viability and effectiveness. In terms of CAPEX and OPEX, the cost of maintaining a one-to-one pairing of backup resources between primary and secondary data centers can be very high prohibitively so for smaller organizations. Traditional methods of disaster recovery can have varying results, resulting in the inability to maintain and ensure consistency in service levels. Reliability is also a concern with traditional solutions, as disparate environments and ecosystems often present roadblocks to recovery. In these instances, manual processes are required to properly restore systems to an operational state. By taking advantage of cloud computing infrastructures and virtual machines in place of physical hardware and software, cloud disaster recovery solutions provide robust business continuity at unprecedented cost savings. Offerings such as Disaster Recovery Orchestrator with Microsoft Azure or AWS provide a disaster recovery solution that combines the best features of the public cloud and an on-premises infrastructure. It enables firms to keep data secure while ensuring quick recovery time, allowing for the fulfillment of strict RTOs and RPOs. Last but not least, Disaster Recovery Orchestrator s application-centric focus, in conjunction with robust recovery control, automation and replication capabilities, makes for a comprehensive and reliable end-to-end solution for disaster recovery. The Veritas Disaster Recovery Orchestrator integrated with Microsoft Azure and AWS provides the best RPOs and RTOs through end-to-end recovery task automation, delivering a comprehensive and costeffective DR solution. Disaster Recovery Orchestrator can automatically handle all complex disaster recovery operations and application recovery, returning operations on-premises with no manual tasks or intervention necessary. Contact Veritas today to explore your cloud disaster recovery options. To explore your cloud disaster recovery options Visit us at to learn more about the Veritas Disaster Recovery Orchestrator. 8

9 About Veritas Technologies LLC Veritas Technologies LLC enables organizations to harness the power of their information, with solutions designed to serve the world s largest and most complex heterogeneous environments. Veritas works with 86 percent of Fortune 500 companies today, improving data availability and revealing insights to drive competitive advantage. For specific country offices and contact numbers, please visit our website. Veritas World Headquarters 500 East Middlefield Road Mountain View, CA (650) Veritas Technologies LLC. All rights reserved. Veritas and the Veritas Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Veritas Technologies LLC or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners /2015 9

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