Survey Confirms There Are Many Effective Disaster Recovery Strategies

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1 Page 1 of 5 ID Number: G Survey Confirms There Are Many Effective Disaster Recovery Strategies Browse Topics Advanced Search Contact Gartner 21 April 2005 Donna Scott We conducted a poll at Gartner's recent Data Center Conference regarding data replication architectures to meet disaster recovery strategies. The results confirmed our suspicion that there's no single strategy to meet all needs. There are, however, many effective strategies from which to choose. Download Document: survey_confirms...pdf (70.9KB) Help with Downloads What You Need to Know There are many successful data center and replication strategies for disaster recovery. Organizations should first define their disaster recovery requirements in terms of cost, recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives; then design strategies, architectures and technology implementations (for example, specifying the type of replication) to meet those requirements. Organizations shouldn't be concerned with finding a single "right" strategy, because this doesn't exist for all situations. Rather, they should implement strategies to meet their specific business requirements. Analysis Clients frequently ask us about best practices for selecting and implementing data replication architectures to support disaster recovery strategies. Companies and government agencies (organizations) want a panacea that can meet all of their needs in just one solution. We always tell them, however, that there's no such strategy, but it doesn't prevent the question from being asked. When it comes to disaster recovery strategies, organizations want to follow proven methods rather than lead with new ones (to reduce the risk of failure). At Gartner's annual Data Center Conference in December 2004, we asked CIOs, heads of IT operations and data center managers eight questions regarding disaster recovery and data replication architectures and strategies. The results confirmed what we've often seen before that many strategies are used across organizations, and that no single strategy meets all business needs, even for individual organizations. (The conference attracted more than 1,500 attendees; 120 responded to polls using electronic devices, which had selected questions inserted into each conference presentation. We recognize that the answers don't necessarily represent a statistically significant distribution, but we believe that the results will be interesting to our clients.) Data Center Strategies The first three questions focus on data center strategies, including the number of data centers in North America, as well as primary and secondary recovery strategies for critical and less-critical applications. As shown by the responses to the first question, there is near-equal distribution of organizations that have one, two, or three or more data centers. Data center consolidation strategies are popular because they reduce costs, but they also increase risk. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States, many large organizations have increased the number of data centers they have, just to reduce risk and increase their control of IT service delivery during a disaster. The survey data supports this, with only one-third of the audience having a single data center in

2 Page 2 of 5 North America (see Figure 1). Figure 1. How many data centers do you operate in North America? The next question (see Figure 2) focuses on disaster recovery strategies, which tend to vary depending on the organization and the criticality of the IT service or set of applications. As shown in the results, about one-third of respondents (36 percent) use outsourced service providers, which is to be expected especially for those with only one data center in North America. Had the respondents included more midsize organizations rather than large organizations, this number would have been much higher. However, the remaining strategies are a close mix among using standby resources for disaster recovery (23 percent), production load sharing (21 percent) and development/test resources for disaster recovery (18 percent). Figure 2. What is your primary disaster recovery strategy for your most-critical applications? In a follow-up question, we asked whether organizations use more than one disaster recovery strategy. We found that they do. As shown in Figure 3, 29 percent of respondents don't have a secondary strategy, but 71 percent do. In other words, they have multiple recovery strategies that consider the business requirements and criticality of the applications. This includes multisourcing strategies, in which a company may insource disaster recovery for critical applications and outsource the others to a more shared-use, less-expensive model. Again, this is further proof that there isn't a one-size-fits-all disaster recovery strategy. Figure 3. What is your secondary disaster recovery strategy for less-critical applications?

3 Page 3 of 5 Data Replication Architectures The next set of questions assesses the methods used to implement disaster recovery architectures. As expected, respondents say they use multiple replication methods and architectures, depending on the application (as shown by the total results, which add up to 203 percent, or an average of two methods per respondent). Figure 4 shows the overall proportion of respondents using each method type. Application/transaction level use, which offers the potential to achieve 100-percent availability, is used by only 18 percent of respondents, because the application must come architected for this capability. Custom applications must be crafted early in the design phase of the application. Figure 4. Percent of Respondents Using Various Data Replication Architectures The most-popular implementations are database management system (DBMS) log-shipping solutions at 59 percent usage (they're often included in DBMS solutions). The second-most-popular solutions are synchronous-storagecontroller-based solutions at 51 percent of respondents. These offer the capability to use one solution to mitigate risks for many applications/platforms. Asynchronous-disk-controller-based solutions, which are less mature in the market, ranked next at 43 percent, followed by volume/file-based replication at 32 percent. Application/transaction level use, which offers the potential to achieve 100-percent availability, is used by only 18 percent of respondents. Figure 5, Figure 6, Figure 7, Figure 8 and Figure 9 detail which specific vendor solutions have been implemented. Figure 5. Do you implement application/transaction-level replication to achieve a goal of 100-percent uptime?

4 Page 4 of 5 Figure 6. Do you use DBMS log-based replication in your disaster recovery architecture? Figure 7. Do you use synchronous-storage-controller-based replication in your disaster recovery architecture? Figure 8. Do you use asynchronous-storage-controller-based replication in your disaster recovery architecture?

5 Page 5 of 5 Figure 9. Do you use file and volume/host-based replication in your disaster recovery architecture? All of these results indicate what we said from the beginning: There's no single strategy or solution for disaster recovery. Although many organizations use storage-controller-based solutions as a first line of defense (because they protect many applications and platforms), they don't meet the needs of all applications. Thus, using application/transaction-level, DBMS-level, volume-level or file-level replication as alternatives to meet specific needs is a valid and popular strategy. This research is part of a set of related research pieces. See Data Center Conference Poll Results Offer IT Operations Insights for an overview. Browse Topics: Disaster Recovery Data Center Management 2005 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner's research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. Resource Id:

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