Two Important Things to Consider When Exploring Disaster Recovery for the Hybrid Data Center

Do you have a disaster recovery plan?For enterprise clients with complex, heterogeneous computing environments, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) can be very appealing because of tremendous benefits it offers.

To name just a few, DRaaS can provide clients with rapid, immediate recovery from a disaster; vast, scalable state-of-the-art infrastructure with little or no CapEx expenditures; increased flexible recovery scope options; reliable security from a provider compliant with all relevant regulatory bodies; and automated systems to monitor the health of data.

For these reasons and more, many IT leaders today are contemplating the transition from traditional, single-site, bricks-and-mortar data centers to a hybrid model of multi-site production spread across public and private cloud with co-location components. Those who are should carefully consider two main challenges: vendor fragmentation and network resiliency.

Implementing a DRaaS solution across multiple providers to support VMware instances, physical x86 servers, IBM i servers and AIX servers may offer benefits specific to each, but risk fragmentation to the whole. Managing multiple managed services-based DRaaS solutions adds complexity to recovery event orchestration at a time need when speed and simplicity are paramount.

Sirius and our DRaaS partner, Recovery Point Systems, help clients avoid fragmentation issues by providing single-source managed availability services delivered across a broad range of hybrid environments. We advise that recovery solutions for each of the diverse and distributed production resources (public/private cloud-based processing, co-location resources and the client’s own remaining data center assets) be meshed into a holistic, integrated solution. That will let you achieve optimal orchestrated enterprise recovery from catastrophic events that might impact any or all of your hybrid data center components.

Assuring network resiliency is another major design point to consider in the transition to DRaaS. Like any cloud-based offering, DRaaS performance hinges on the design and performance of the recovery network. With their computing resources distributed rather than centralized, hybrid production deployments add network complexity to a recovery strategy. When the focus shifts from recovering a single virtual machine to recovery of the enterprise, network issues loom even larger. Unfortunately, they are sometimes ignored.

For network purposes, hybrid data center environments are more like flexible grids than traditional, fixed, hub-and-spoke environments. To achieve application and business process resiliency, the recovery network’s design needs to address any combination of losses in the hybrid infrastructure. Everything that “talks together” in production needs to continue to do so if elements are compromised. The ultimate goal is a “self-healing” recovery network grid designed to transparently shift network access to DRaaS recovery solutions protecting any component of the hybrid production environment at appropriate performance levels so that any impact to users is minimized. In sum, a DRaaS recovery solution is only as good as the network it rides on.

Since this is not a capability typically offered by most pure-play DRaaS providers, the challenge for enterprise clients is to optimize selected DRaaS solutions by being sure to design and embed a comprehensive  network recovery solution to support different scenarios, up to and including a catastrophic loss of services across multiple elements. This means looking at more than Internet bandwidth. If a real site disaster happens and you have not pre-established corporate network connectivity that mimics your production environment at the DRaaS provider’s site (MPLS, ATM, dedicated facilities etc.), your recovery will be orphaned in the cloud. DRaaS and recovery network design and implementation are separate disciplines.

A well-designed and properly integrated DRaaS solution can effectively back-up an organization’s entire hybrid IT environment. That’s why many IT executives transitioning their enterprises to a hybrid datacenter believe that DRaaS offers the best approach to meeting their recovery time and recovery point objectives. The more complex an enterprise’s hybrid data center, the more the success of its DRaaS solution depends on the experience of a partner in understanding, preparing for and overcoming the recovery challenges inherent in the hybrid model.

Sirius and Recovery Point are strategic partners in the design and management of business recovery, hybrid cloud recovery and high availability solutions across a wide range of heterogeneous platforms and technologies. This strategic relationship spans both production and disaster recovery deployments hosted at Recovery Point’s Tier III certified facilities. Sirius’ deep managed services expertise complements Recovery Point’s capabilities, creating unique turnkey solutions that are offered by both organizations.

Contact Sirius today to learn more about our comprehensive approach to DRaaS. Learn more by visiting the Managed Services page or by watching this short virtual tour of Recovery Point’s flagship facility in Germantown, Maryland.

By |2018-12-26T21:43:11-05:00April 20th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

About the Author:

Kevin Fratzke is Director of Managed Services and Cloud with Sirius Computer Solutions.