Prevention >> Cure Blog #2: Are you Ready to Recover?

Welcome to my second blog on the topic of data protection. You may remember in the last blog that I introduced the concept of a data protection “house” and the different bricks which give the house its much-needed support.  In the last blog, I talked about bolstering (Go read the blog first, if you haven’t already by clicking here).

Before we talk about the next brick of our data protection house, let’s start with some hard questions.  When was the last time you did a trial run of your disaster recovery plan?  When was the last time you did a test restore of a folder, volume, disk or system/app?

Was it in the past 3 months?

How about 6 months?

Was it even in the last 12 months?

Ok then…

So, let me ask some different hard questions.  What happens if your business is struck by a real disaster?  Would you be able to confidently and accurately say how fast you could recover?  Would you be able to define how quickly you can recover from a single system failure?  What about the loss of a full site?

If you can’t answer the above questions, what about the following ones?

Can you confidently tell your colleagues and bosses that a “disaster” would have a minimal impact on the business?  Would you be confident that the data in your secondary data stores is usable?  Could you even complete the restore?

Let’s just leave that hanging there, shall we?

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for taking risks and while I, like most, get suckered into the inspirational posters of folks like Bear Grylls jumping across huge caverns (or giving himself an enema), there is a Thwaite’s Glacier size gap between taking risks and being at risk!

And ultimately, risk is unavoidable.  Businesses of all sizes are vulnerable to a plethora of attacks, accidents and failures that can lead to downtime.  Tommy Mitchell, our Group Technical Director, sums it up perfectly when he says:

“there are only 2 types of company, those that have been hit by a cyber-attack and those that don’t know they have”

It is how well you respond to these incidents that will define the success of you, your team and – ultimately – your company.

So, let’s go back to the concept of our data protection “house”.  We have already discussed the concept of the Bolstering brick, now let’s take a look at Ready to Recover.

So, how Ready to Recover are you?  Traditionally, if you hadn’t truly walked through your restore test plan and validated the speed in which you could return your IT systems back to normal operating order, then you really had no idea if your backup data was suitable for recovery and how fast your recovery time would be.

In the past, I’ve seen companies with the most stringent of operations opt to force live failover and failback operations during the day, all so they could ensure their critical applications would be operational at the very moment a disaster hits.  However, plans and tests like these are inordinately expensive and are complicated by the exponential growth of cloud and the complexity that DR plans across multi-tenanted and multi-location environments present.

So, how do we change this? How do we answer ALL the questions that I have asked you so far?  How do we ensure both you and your organisation have confidence in your readiness to recover operations in the event of an… event?  More importantly, how do we use machine learning and AI to automate as much of this as possible, therefore minimising the management overhead and cost?

NVT’s Viia backup platform comes with Recovery Readiness reporting, providing live and on-demand views of your SLAs and the anticipated performance against them.  By collecting and analysing data on your operations, policies, desired outcomes and requirements for recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives, Viia will score how ready you are if a disaster were to occur.

So, whether your plan is to recover on-premise, to the cloud or to another data centre, we will give the bird’s-eye view of your environment and highlight how well it is meeting your SLAs across a variety of metrics.

By using the Recovery Readiness Report, inputs such as protection plans, group associations, applications and clients become key data that highlights the expected success and readiness of your company.  Hone in on recovery point and recovery time objective problems in your scorecard and Viia will even help make better decisions on how to adjust job schedules, solve specific performance bottlenecks, or alter your backup methodology.

So, to all my backup and recovery pals, you can put down the DIY catheters, Viia backup can help!

Keep an eye out for more blogs from me soon.  We might even take a wee break from our data protection house to look at Office 365 backup and why it’s necessary.

In the meantime, feel free to get in touch, ask questions or pose an alternative viewpoint.

Author: Ian Preston

Business Development Manager

ipreston@nvt.co.uk

Graham Stevenson, Marketing Manager, NVT Group