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Is Disaster Recovery “Sleepy the Dwarf” In Your Datacenter?

Created: 17 Aug 2011 • Updated: 22 Jan 2013
NBU_PMM_aurquhart's picture
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Yes, I’m talking about the Disney film – “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs”…and there’s  Sneezy, Doc, Happy, Dopey, Grumpy, Bashful and the perennial slacker --Sleepy.  At best, companies see Disaster Recovery (DR) as a necessary evil.  At worst, it’s an unnecessary drain on already strained IT budgets and resources. DR is all about storing redundant data and applications on a lot of expensive hardware sitting somewhere remotely, in standby mode just “sleeping the IT day away”.  And if you don’t have hardware sitting idle, then you’re likely shipping backup tapes to some offsite storage or co-location bunker site.

Distance is like hitting the Disaster Recovery “Snooze Button”

A big limitation to these type of DR scenarios is distance. Recovery times can be severely impacted depending on how long it takes to get backup tapes from storage back to your data center or to a DR facility. Another approach, faster than shipping tapes, is the dual site/single domain setup where  two or more locations are controlled by the same master server with backups being duplicated to a site remote from the data source.  But you still pay a distance penalty as factors like latency can limit how far apart master servers, media servers and clients can be.  In most cases the maximum distance in a dual site/single domain configuration is about 100 miles.  But an earthquake or hurricane can easily disrupt areas spanning several hundred square miles.  So basically your DR backup systems could ‘sleep through’ a disaster if they’re inside the impact zone. 

NetBackup Auto Image Replication: One-to-Many DR

Ideally, a more reliable DR strategy should enable fast recovery -- even across global distances. With NetBackup Auto Image Replication you can greatly extend the geographic reach of your current DR capabilities, shorten your recovery time, and drive down your overall cost of DR.

Auto Image Replication works by duplicating backups between NetBackup domains rather than within just a single NetBackup domain.  Deduplicated backup images are automatically sent from the source NetBackup domain to other NetBackup domains where the details of the backup and its contents are automatically added to the local NetBackup catalogs. This makes the backup instantly available for restore in the target NetBackup domain should a catastrophic event take out your source domain. Because these NetBackup domains operate independently of each other the geographical distance can be much greater than in a single domain model. Using this one-to-many model, a single NetBackup domain can basically function as the default DR or ‘bunker’ environment for one or multiple NetBackup domains across town, across the country or across the globe.    

Spread the DR Blanket Farther and with Less Cost

With NetBackup Auto Image Replication you can spread your DR blanket farther – from Seattle, to New York to London. Equally important, are the savings and efficiencies to be gained:

  • Leverage existing backup storage infrastructure to expand DR capabilities
  • Use global deduplication to reduce impact on network and storage resources
  • On-demand recovery of mission critical apps and data – no scripts to write
  • Use one domain to support DR requirements for multiple global sites
  • Eliminate the need for ‘dedicated’ single-use DR sites
  • No more time wasted searching for or loading tapes
  • Simplify backup and DR management of physical and virtual environments
  • Easily meet data complianceDR requirements or regulations

Doing More With Less – Hi Ho Hi Ho

Disaster Recovery is certainly a serious matter that requires extensive planning and coordination – but finding ways to reduce those DR costs and operational overhead while getting more out of the systems you currently have…well that might just make you “whistle while you work.”

For more indepth information on NetBackup Auto Image Replication, you can read the following blog: http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/netbackup-71-features-auto-image-replication