There is an ever growing need for having some kind of a business continuity \ disaster recovery plan that keeps the ball rolling when the unexpected happens. There is an enormous amount of data that is being collected everyday and businesses can’t afford to lose it. It’s valuable. It’s not only important from a business perspective as it aids their purpose and mission but I also believe that the data being captured today marks a new way of recording history like it never has in the past. And, we are the generation that is making it possible. As it is our biggest contribution in spreading the wealth of knowledge and information, it becomes extremely important to protect it. For those reasons I believe disaster recovery should be an integral part of any implementation that is made in today’s day and age.
Now the last few years have been a lot of fun for any techie. So much has changed just in the last 4-5 years. So much is changing today and the near future promises a lot more changes. Of course most will be good and some will be made fun of down the road. Due to all the changes that have come about in the datacenter over the past few years there has been a paradigm shift. For example, shops that required change windows to restart a machine are now moving their machines from host to host (vMotion) during production hours and in most cases letting the computer figure that out on its own (DRS). We are truly in the early stages of a robo datacenter where self-healing processes are being implemented (VMware HA, MSCS, WFC, FT etc).
Of course, we are definitely far from our goals of what the datacenter of the future is supposed to look like. But we are well on our way there. However, one aspect of the datacenter that seems to take a major hit from all the advancements that have come about in the last few years is the all important disaster recovery. I look at DR as insurance, you will need it when you don’t have it and when you have it, it may seem like an unnecessary overhead. But I am sure we have all been in situations where we wished our DR plan was more current, tested, more elaborate and covered all aspects of the business. If you are one of those ‘lucky’ folks who wished they had some kind of a DR plan, join the party of many more like you. You are not alone.
With the tremendous amount of change that has come about in the last few years, the DR side has experienced a bit of a stepchild like treatment. It has become a back burner project in a lot of organizations where it should really be an integral part of the overall solution. With all the technological advancements that have been made recently, a lot of good DR solutions (ReliableDR, SRM, Veeam Backup & Replication) have also surfaced that could help one create a DR plan like never before. But lets keep the specific tools and vendors out of this for now. Lets just talk about what are the good DR practices for today and the future? What is it that others are doing that you may not be? Where is the gap in your DR plan? Are stretched datacenters really the answer to your problems? Can HA and DR be tied together? How well do you score when compared to your peers in the industry for DR preparedness? Where can you go to get this type of information?
Your prayers may have been answered. Recently a group of people including myself have formed a council (Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark) that aims to increase DR preparedness awareness and improve overall DR practices. These are not sales people who are trying to sell you stuff. These are people who work in the field like you and I and have a day job. Their jobs help them bring the diversity to the council and share the knowledge and experience they have gained over the years. The idea is all of that put together will help develop some standards and best practices for the industry to follow and bring some kind of method and calmness to the awesome madness we have witnessed over the last few years. You can take a look at it here. As everything else, we are starting off with a survey that will help you evaluate your current situation. This data will also help bring in more information that will benefit the overall cause. Don’t worry personally identifiable information is only collected when you voluntarily provide it. Start playing your role in taming the DR animal, protect your investment and take your survey here.