The case for cloud-based disaster recovery

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1 IBM Global Technology Services IBM SmartCloud IBM SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery i The case for cloud-based disaster recovery Cloud technologies help meet the need for quicker restoration of service

2 2 The case for cloud-based disaster recovery Contents 2 Introduction 3 The constraints of traditional disaster recovery methods 4 The promise of cloud-based recovery 5 What to look for in a cloud-based disaster recovery solution 6 IBM SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery: an intelligent choice 7 Why IBM? 7 For more information In an around-the clock business world, organizations need nearly instantaneous failover and failback of critical business applications. Disasters, and, more often, disruptions, do occur. Hurricanes, tsunamis, floods and fires are to be feared and accounted for in enterprise business continuity and disaster recovery plans. However, organizations must also prepare for the far more likely event of disruptions the hardware failures, security breaches and run-of-the-mill power outages that can compromise access to business-critical applications. A recent study by the Aberdeen Group indicates that, depending on the maturity of their recovery operations, organizations can experience up to 4.4 business disruptions per year, with restore times ranging from one hour to more than nine hours. The business cost of this downtime averages $138,000 per hour. 1 As noted in the 2012 IBM Global Reputational Risk and IT Study 2, brand damage is equally significant: service disruption can harm an organization s reputation, especially in the online marketplace and in a world where opinions are shaped by social media. Traditional disaster recovery solutions do not always meet organizations need for reduced recovery times and improved reliability. They are slow to recover, complex to implement, and hard to manage. They require the completion of separate procedures for systems, data disks, and applications to say nothing of separate procedures for physical and virtual servers. No wonder then that chief information officers and IT managers increasingly look to cloud-based recovery either on its own or as a complement to traditional disaster recovery methods to help them meet the needs for nearly instantaneous failover and failback. As Forrester reports, two thirds of enterprises recently surveyed are interested in, or have already adopted, disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). 3 And, perhaps because of cloud s ability to provide enterprise class disaster recovery capabilities to smaller businesses, the interest is also high among midsize companies. Thirty percent of midsize companies will have cloud-based recovery operations by 2014, Gartner reports. 4 IBM posits that cloud s role in disaster recovery solutions will increase as cloud capabilities evolve and the use of cloud technologies becomes increasingly widespread. This document will discuss: The constraints of traditional disaster recovery methods The ways in which cloud-based disaster recovery solutions improve hot site recovery operations Characteristics of an intelligent cloud-based disaster recovery solution The features and benefits of IBM SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery (VSR)

3 IBM SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery 3 The constraints of traditional disaster recovery methods Disaster recovery has been a difficult process historically, and challenges have only increased as IT infrastructures have grown more complex and heterogeneous (see Figure 1). When using physical servers to back up and recover physical servers, organizations have traditionally chosen between dedicated and shared infrastructure models. In the dedicated model, an organization s IT infrastructure is mirrored at an off-site disaster recovery center. Since this infrastructure is dedicated solely to one organization, it is ready to be called upon in the event of disruption or disaster. The dedicated model provides the best possible recovery time available via traditional methods because hardware and software are preconfigured to the organization s specifications. However, this recovery method is not ideal. Recovery challenges on physical infrastructure: Inability to align RPO and RTO with business requirements Need for faster, more reliable recovery High cost to maintain redundant in-house servers First, best possible recovery time does not mean an acceptable recovery time hours can pass before the organization s servers, along with its data and applications, are recovered and ready for business. Organizations face particular challenges in restoring environments comprised of dissimilar hardware and multiple operating systems, further lengthening recovery times. This situation is unacceptable in an always on business world. Second, the recovery process is dependent on regularly receiving up-to-date information from the organization s data center which typically entails deploying manpower to transport backup tapes from the data center to the disaster recovery hot site. Third, this approach is a lessthan-optimal use of expensive resources: hardware sits idle when not being used for recovery. Even worse, IT staff may become tempted to use this idle capacity for other purposes, rendering it unavailable in the event of disruption or disaster. Risk of failure recovering on unlike hardware Figure 1. Recovery challenges on physical infrastructures include speed, cost and the risk of failure when recovering on unlike hardware. A shared model, in which the recovery infrastructure is split among multiple organizations, is more cost-effective. However, it has the same problems as a dedicated infrastructure, only more pronounced. For example, in the event of disruption, the hardware, operating systems, data and applications replicated at the disaster site must be configured from the ground up to match the organization s IT site. This process could take days.

4 4 The case for cloud-based disaster recovery The trend toward virtualization has added further complexity to the server restoration process, whether a server environment is entirely virtualized or, as is more likely, contains a mix of virtualized and physical assets. The architecture needed for the restoration of an entirely virtualized environment is in itself difficult to design, engineer, implement and manage. These challenges are heightened, sometimes becoming impossible to meet, when trying to recover applications running in a mixed physical/virtual environment. The risk of restoration failures is significant in these situations. Whether an organization is restoring physical, virtual or hybrid physical/virtual environments, additional challenges arise in the fields of complexity and cost. Traditional restoration solutions are often complex, requiring multiple steps and specialized IT skills. These solutions typically can not be scaled to meet demand. They are costly, requiring large capital outlays for solution development, implementation and management. They come with unpredictable operating expenses, and travel expenses for moving backup tapes and the professionals that manage them to off-site restore facilities. Because of these expenses, traditional recovery solutions are often impractical for small and mid-sized businesses. The promise of cloud-based recovery Aware of the complexities, costs and inadequacies of traditional recovery methods, many IT executives look toward cloud computing to replace or enhance their existing recovery operations. The complexity of designing, implementing and managing a cloud-based recovery solution in-house can lead these executives to contract with a third-party provider for disaster recovery as a service. The best of these third-party solutions improve over traditional recovery solutions in several ways. First, they are much faster, reducing recovery times from hours or days to just minutes, thereby significantly limiting business outage due to disruption or disaster. Second, these solutions are more reliable, reducing the risk of data loss or inability to recover operations because of human error. Third, they eliminate many of the complex, manual steps required by traditional recovery solutions, allowing organizations to quickly recover servers, data, disks and applications. Cloud-based solutions can also help organizations optimize their recovery investments. Because the provider, rather than the client, owns the hardware required, organizations no longer need to pay for hardware that sits idle except for times of disruption or disaster. Cloud-based disaster recovery solutions are also easily scalable, allowing organizations to expand or contract recovery capabilities on demand, so organizations don t have to pay for services they don t need. This scalability can be especially beneficial for small or medium-sized businesses. Since these solutions also provide remote access tools, they eliminate the need for physical transfers of tapes to offsite disaster recovery hot sites, and the travel and transport costs associated with those transfers. Finally, because they do not require hardware purchases or in-house specialized recovery knowledge, cloud-based disaster recovery solutions give small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to adopt the type of robust continuity and disaster recovery solutions that may have previously been beyond their reach, achieving the same type of recovery times, recovery points and security levels as large enterprises.

5 IBM SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery 5 What to look for in a cloud-based disaster recovery solution Recognizing cloud s promise, many enterprise technology vendors and cloud service providers have entered the disasterrecovery-as-a-service market. Of course, not all these solutions are created equal. With decades of experience in managing backup and recovery operations for clients across the world, IBM developed a set of attributes that ideal cloud-based disaster recovery solutions should possess. In addition to the characteristics discussed previously, IBM recommends that the solution should offer: Recovery of a server environment that includes a variety of hardware types, a variety of operating systems, and a mix of physical and virtual servers Failover/failback capabilities that can provide recovery within minutes Co-existence with traditional disaster recovery operations that the enterprise wishes to leave in place Use of the cloud for regular and rigorous testing of disaster recovery plans Tiered service levels so that recovery times and cost of the services can be selected based on an application s importance to the business or tolerance for downtime (see figure 2) Subscription-based pricing for predictable costs, requiring users to pay for only the virtual machines they need Price Virtualized Server Recovery: provisioning times of tiered service levels Higher Lower VSR Gold minutes per server VSR Silver minutes VSR Bronze 6 hours Traditional hot site recovery Hours Figure 2. IBM VSR offers three recovery options: Gold, Silver and Bronze. Applications at the Bronze service level can be provisioned within six hours, while applications at the Gold service level can be recovered in a matter of minutes. A web-based portal that organizations can use to access and manage the recovery service A highly secure multi-tenant environment

6 6 The case for cloud-based disaster recovery IBM Virtualized Server Recovery: an intelligent choice IBM Virtualized Server Recovery is a fully-managed cloud service designed for organizations that need faster, more reliable and more affordable recovery of their IT infrastructures. This service has all the characteristics of an ideal cloud-based server recovery solution discussed previously, while also offering four features that provide significant additional value to organizations evaluating cloud service providers. These differentiators are: 1. The variety of server environments supported. This capability makes it easier to implement a cloud-based recovery solution, regardless of an organization s data center mix 2. Increased speed and reliability 3. Tiered service levels, allowing users to pick the most affordable options for their business needs 4. A web-based portal for ease of management, disaster recovery testing and real-time failover and failback. Variety of server environments supported Unlike some competitive offerings that support only physical servers, IBM VSR offers support for physical, virtual, and hybrid environments regardless of the hypervisor in use along with environments of varied hardware types and operating systems. This cloud service can also be integrated with existing infrastructure recovery services for a complete and holistic disaster recovery solution. Increased speed and reliability The reliability and speed of IBM recovery services providing recovery in only minutes in many cases is accomplished by incorporating world-class automation tools and leading-edge recovery techniques to reduce manual recovery steps. Crossserver consistency helps applications running across multiple servers to come back in tandem, further aiding in the speedy recovery of important business programs. Tiered service levels IBM VSR also helps organizations optimize their recovery investment through a pay-as-you-go cost structure with recovery points and recovery times that are significantly better than those offered by even sophisticated dedicated backup infrastructures. Three service levels Gold, Silver and Bronze allow organizations to differentiate backup services by application priority. This choice of service levels helps enterprises optimize return on investment: in paying less for non-critical applications, mission-critical applications will have nearly continuous availability. Following is a closer look at each option. Tiered service level Gold Silver Bronze Description This option is appropriate for mission-critical servers requiring immediate recovery. It provides dedicated virtual servers for failover in minutes. Actual failover time depends on the number of client servers and volumes in play. A significant benefit of this option is that the size of the protected volumes does not affect recovery time; a two-terabyte image will be recovered just as quickly as a two-gigabyte image in minutes. Server failover completions are staggered. Every 24 hours, 96 replication snapshots are captured. This option provides failover initiation within one hour; server failover completions are staggered. Twenty four snapshots are captured every 24 hours. Silver is a cost effective option that helps organizations meet recovery needs for servers running Tier 2 applications. Provisioning for Bronze-level services typically occurs within six hours. Bronze offers no replication. It is designed to provide a migration path from traditional hot site to cloud recovery services.

7 IBM SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery 7 Web-based portal Along with the variety of server environments supported; improved speed, security and reliability; and tiered service levels, the IBM web-based management portal is a significant differentiator. After installing the Virtualized Server Recovery software onto their servers, administrators can access the IBM VSR portal via the Internet, and select the server disks that need to be protected and replicated. Once the environment is defined through the portal, the administrator can view the protection status of the servers, generate reports and conduct other administrative tasks. Frequent and rigorous disaster recovery testing can also be performed through the portal, helping the organization prepare for the unexpected. Why IBM? With IBM VSR, organizations can benefit from a single vendor to recover both virtualized and physical server environments creating a fast, cost-effective resiliency and recovery solution for almost all scenarios. IBM has the depth and breadth of expertise to provide this service. We have more than 50 years of experience with business resilience and information protection. We began offering physical-to-virtual server recovery solutions in 2009, debuting Virtualized Server Recovery in Cloud services are offered from many sites in IBM global network of resiliency centers, operating in more than 70 countries. To craft cloud solutions, IBM professionals leverage extensive expertise gained from deploying cloud solutions to organizations of virtually all sizes, then managing those solutions. IBM deploys advanced automation, cloud technologies and security tools to provide organizations with a solution that is designed to securely meet their IT recovery needs. Our global presence helps to reduce network latency, while helping organizations to manage local data residency compliance regulations. It is this depth of experience and technological reach that helps differentiate IBM SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery in the cloud-based disaster recovery services marketplace. Our clients experience the IBM difference in the reliability and speed of our server recovery solutions; in our ability to support mixed physical/virtualized environments and an array of operating systems; and in our cost-saving tiered service levels. These aspects of IBM SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery help organizations minimize business disruptions and more easily cope with the demands of an always-on business world. For more information Want to learn more about cloud-based disaster recovery? Read an interview with IBM disaster recovery experts and our white paper, Virtualizing disaster recovery using cloud computing. For more information, call IBM-7080 or visit the following website: ibm.com/services/continuity

8 8 The case for cloud-based disaster recovery Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation New Orchard Road Armonk, NY Produced in the United States of America January 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com and IBM SmartCloud are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at Copyright and trademark information at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data discussed herein is presented as derived under specific operating conditions. Actual results may vary. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED AS IS WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON- INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation. Statements regarding IBM s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only. 1 Datacenter Downtime: How Much Does it Really Cost?, Aberdeen Group, March, Reputational risk and IT: Findings from the 2012 IBM Global Reputational Risk and IT Study, IBM, Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery Barriers And Drivers In The Enterprise, Forrester Research, Gartner Says 30 Percent of Midsize Companies Will Use Recovery-as-a- Service by 2014, Gartner, 2011 Please Recycle BUB03006-USEN-00

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