Business Continuity

There was a time when most organisations had to rely on unreliable and slow tape for off-site recovery. With the advent of server virtualisation and cost-effective replication technologies, simple, rapid and reliable disaster recovery is now within the reach of even the smallest of organisations.

Strategy

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Business Continuity is a complex subject and every organisation will have different needs – some can tolerate a few hours of downtime and cannot justify the cost of a redundant site, for others even a few minutes of downtime will be costly and they will require a Continuous Availability solution.

Today technology can deliver almost any level of availability, but of course this can come at a high cost. It is therefore critical that the business, and not IT, define how much data and service loss they are able to tolerate.

Once they have done this they need to quantify the cost of downtime, the organisation may well desire no or very little downtime, but this may not be cost justified.

SNS can then help to design and deploy the optimal solution, balancing downtime avoidance and cost.

 

Request a Callback

Strategy

Let Us Show You How

SNS can help you define your strategy

Business Continuity is a complex subject and every organisation will have different needs – some can tolerate a few hours of downtime and cannot justify the cost of a redundant site, for others even a few minutes of downtime will be costly and they will require a Continuous Availability solution.

Today technology can deliver almost any level of availability, but of course this can come at a high cost. It is therefore critical that the business, and not IT, define how much data and service loss they are able to tolerate.

Once they have done this they need to quantify the cost of downtime, the organisation may well desire no or very little downtime, but this may not be cost justified.

SNS can then help to design and deploy the optimal solution, balancing downtime avoidance and cost.

 

Request a Callback

Virtualisation

Virtualisation

The key enabler for effective Business Continuity

All the time servers are physical it is complex and costly to deliver intra-site and inter-site business continuity – historically solutions have consisted of application level clustering and host based replication solutions.

These often proved to be expensive and un-reliable, and were typically only deployed for a small percentage of systems. With the advent of virtualisation it has become very easy to provide both intra-site and inter-site high availability, disaster recovery and even disaster avoidance for all virtual machines.

The technology is far simpler than application and host level solutions, is very easy to test which results in increased reliability, and the savings in hardware due to consolidation make it financially viable for the vast majority of organisations.

 

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Virtualisation

Virtualisation

The key enabler for effective Business Continuity

All the time servers are physical it is complex and costly to deliver intra-site and inter-site business continuity – historically solutions have consisted of application level clustering and host based replication solutions.

These often proved to be expensive and un-reliable, and were typically only deployed for a small percentage of systems. With the advent of virtualisation it has become very easy to provide both intra-site and inter-site high availability, disaster recovery and even disaster avoidance for all virtual machines.

The technology is far simpler than application and host level solutions, is very easy to test which results in increased reliability, and the savings in hardware due to consolidation make it financially viable for the vast majority of organisations.

 

Request a Callback

Storage

Storage

The foundation for effective Disaster Recovery

Storage arrays are typically the foundation for most organisation’s disaster recovery strategies Рsimply replicate the data across sites and in the event of disaster the data is ready and waiting at the recovery site. When combined with virtualisation not only is the data replicated, but also the virtual machines Рnow applications can be made available within minutes of a disaster being declared.

Sizing the array at the recovery site is essential – it is often assumed that it can just be sized for capacity. The difference in performance between a production array using Flash and SAS drives and a recovery array using NL-SAS drives can be around 10 times – probably not an acceptable drop in performance that most organisations could tolerate.

A better approach is to move test and development systems to the recovery site, to reduce the resources required on the production site, but keep the arrays at roughly the same performance level.

 

Request a Callback

Storage

Storage

The foundation for effective Disaster Recovery

Storage arrays are typically the foundation for most organisation’s disaster recovery strategies Рsimply replicate the data across sites and in the event of disaster the data is ready and waiting at the recovery site. When combined with virtualisation not only is the data replicated, but also the virtual machines Рnow applications can be made available within minutes of a disaster being declared.

Sizing the array at the recovery site is essential – it is often assumed that it can just be sized for capacity. The difference in performance between a production array using Flash and SAS drives and a recovery array using NL-SAS drives can be around 10 times – probably not an acceptable drop in performance that most organisations could tolerate.

A better approach is to move test and development systems to the recovery site, to reduce the resources required on the production site, but keep the arrays at roughly the same performance level.

 

Request a Callback

Replication

Replication

Choosing the right technology

There are many replication technologies available today, it is therefore essential to determine which one(s) are right for your organisation. Replication can be handled at the application, operating system, hypervisor or storage array level and many options are available:

Asynchronous – a write is considered complete as soon as local storage acknowledges it, remote storage is then updated, but with a lag
Synchronous – guarantees “zero data loss” by ensuring that the write either completes on both sides or not at all, but overall performance drops proportional to link latency and distance
Continuous – automatically captures every version of the data that the user saves, allowing the administrator to restore data from any point in time
In addition; bandwidth requirements, compression and de-duplication technology, and IP networking need to be factored into the overall plan.

 

Request a Callback

Replication

Replication

Choosing the right technology

There are many replication technologies available today, it is therefore essential to determine which one(s) are right for your organisation. Replication can be handled at the application, operating system, hypervisor or storage array level and many options are available:

Asynchronous – a write is considered complete as soon as local storage acknowledges it, remote storage is then updated, but with a lag
Synchronous – guarantees “zero data loss” by ensuring that the write either completes on both sides or not at all, but overall performance drops proportional to link latency and distance
Continuous – automatically captures every version of the data that the user saves, allowing the administrator to restore data from any point in time
In addition; bandwidth requirements, compression and de-duplication technology, and IP networking need to be factored into the overall plan.

 

Request a Callback

Automation

Automation

The key to minimising downtime

There are two ways to manage business continuity – one is to fully automate the response to an event to keep services running, the other is to require manual intervention.

Intra-site hypervisor clustering will automate the response and if the cluster is stretched across sites then fail-over between sites will be automated – delivering true continuous availability.

For many organisations an automated response is required intra-site, but a manually instigated response for site fail-over would be appropriate.

In this scenario automating fail-over, fail-back and test fail-over is essential to ensure reliable recovery – only frequently tested and automated recovery plans provide the recovery times most organisation’s desire.

 

Request a Callback

Automation

Automation

The key to minimising downtime

There are two ways to manage business continuity – one is to fully automate the response to an event to keep services running, the other is to require manual intervention.

Intra-site hypervisor clustering will automate the response and if the cluster is stretched across sites then fail-over between sites will be automated – delivering true continuous availability.

For many organisations an automated response is required intra-site, but a manually instigated response for site fail-over would be appropriate.

In this scenario automating fail-over, fail-back and test fail-over is essential to ensure reliable recovery – only frequently tested and automated recovery plans provide the recovery times most organisation’s desire.

 

Request a Callback

Continuous Availability

Continuous Availability

Going beyond ‘five 9s’

Virtualisation has made most IT departments very familiar with clustering technologies (i.e. VMware vMotion, High Availability and Fault Tolerance) that have empowered them to absolutely minimise downtime within the data centre and provide continuous availability.

But what if there is a complete storage array or site outage?

Historically these clustering technologies were not available between sites, and instead active passive replication was deployed which required downtime and manual intervention to fail-over an infrastructure from one site to another.

Recently we have seen the introduction of technology that “stretches” storage between sites thereby extending the continuous availability capabilities across sites.

 

Request a Callback

Continuous Availability

Continuous Availability

Going beyond ‘five 9s’

Virtualisation has made most IT departments very familiar with clustering technologies (i.e. VMware vMotion, High Availability and Fault Tolerance) that have empowered them to absolutely minimise downtime within the data centre and provide continuous availability.

But what if there is a complete storage array or site outage?

Historically these clustering technologies were not available between sites, and instead active passive replication was deployed which required downtime and manual intervention to fail-over an infrastructure from one site to another.

Recently we have seen the introduction of technology that “stretches” storage between sites thereby extending the continuous availability capabilities across sites.

 

Request a Callback

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