I can no longer tolerate application downtime, what should I do?
As a society, we are becoming more data dependent. This means, we are also becoming more dependent on our IT infrastructure and less tolerant of application downtime. Think about the lost revenue per day, hour, or even minute if your business is stopped due to a server or application failure.
For those who cannot tolerate downtime, it may be time to look at DRaaS Solutions. However, we need to be careful to understand what ‘DRaaS’ does and does not do.
Another name for DRaaS is Data Replication. Replicating data is generally not a cheap proposition. Because of the higher cost, we see organizations try to replace backups with a replication solution. We do not recommend this. As the old saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” If a data corruption issue occurs and it is replicated, you can have two copies of bad data. Yes, you might have snapshots that allow for a roll back in time, but if the base file is corrupt, all the incremental snapshots could be useless.
With that said, if you cannot tolerate downtime (and you have good backups), the next logical step may be to consider your options for a DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) solution.
OS Based DRaaS. This is the traditional replication software that is installed on your critical production server(s) to get data from your primary system(s) to your replica systems. This can be done via snapshots on a schedule, or continuously as data is written to disk. Solutions like this can add overhead to the very system you want to be more agile, so be aware of your current workloads before installing a solution on the OS you wish to protect. However, if your critical application is installed on the “bare metal” server, this might be your only option.
Hypervisor Based DRaaS. If you are running your applications on virtual servers, there is an alternate solution for you. Hypervisor based replication, powered by Zerto Software, allows for the replication to occur on the Hypervisor level. What this means is no agents installed on each Operating System in order to protect it, thus providing application agility on a level that only large enterprises could fit in their budgets. Currently, this efficient solution is supported on VMware and Hyper-V. It can be delivered as a perpetual license for replication between your data centers, or as a subscription service to a Cloud Disaster Recovery Vendor.
See also: "I have my backups, now what?"