Test your disaster recovery plan using VirtualRestore

Tue, 22/09/2015 - 14:03
Cloud Services

Developing an efficient disaster recovery plan is one thing. Making sure that the plan is actually effective is quite another. Companies spend millions every year in trying to set up the best disaster recovery procedures and environments for their business.

Bearing the burden of DR

Regardless, it seems that more can be done regarding the total investment they're willing to make: according to the PWC "Global State of Information Security Survey 2015", only 60% of respondents currently have disaster recovery plans in place. Only 35% stated that their directors were actively involved in security policies.

There is no doubt, the complexity and financial expenditure to implement such a plan is a big deterrent. Redstor provides the tools to help ease the pain when it comes to disaster recovery testing.

Why VirtualRestore?

Short of having a DRaaS solution in place, which usually isn't feasible for the average SME due to it requiring special technical expertise and constant monetary investment to maintain, VirtualRestore is able to provide near-instant access to all data in your backup storage. Whether it's a large database or numerous individual files, all information is mounted in a virtual drive on the local machine, whilst data blocks are retrieved from backup storage as they are accessed. This process is invisible to the user or application reading the data.

DR testing options

Reduction in hardware requirements. To help with the complexity of testing a DR plan, VirtualRestore doesn't require additional hardware before data can be accessed. In order to save on costs, some companies deem a demonstration of the DR environment sufficient instead of full-scale testing. Unfortunately, this will be insufficient to identify any defects in the plan. With VirtualRestore, the relevant data can be used as soon as the virtual drive is mounted, allowing full read-write capability of the data set.

Resume business processes. Resuming normal business operations is as easy as using Windows Explorer to read the data from the virtual drive. By providing access to data in backup storage this transparently, the usefulness of VirtualRestore is only limited to the complexity of your environment. For instance, if the RPO between systems is synchronised, a coordinated recovery will be easy to achieve. VirtualRestore then takes care of a near-zero RTO.

Access deduplicated data from distributed systems. By coordinating backups between distributed IT environments so that they share the same backup servers, appropriate grouping of users' or servers' backup accounts lends itself to the use of Single Instance Storage. This allows data to be deduplicated resulting in the same files only being stored once on the shared backup server. So in disaster recovery testing scenarios, this results in DR preparation using less disk space overall.

Retain data modifications during disaster recovery steps. As soon as business functions are resumed and IT systems are able to read data from the VirtualRestore drive, changes made to your data will be kept by VirtualRestore but not retained permanently. However, once full disaster recovery has been achieved, to keep any changes made to databases or files during this process, simply copy it to the permanent alternative location as soon as is practically possible. This is ideally suited to less complex environments in the SME market.

Instant-access to backed up data lends itself to even more creative solutions and cost savings than we've described so far. It's clear that Redstor's VirtualRestore can be a valuable asset in navigating the maze that is Disaster Recovery, helping you to create a DR plan fit for any disaster.

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