A Blueprint for affordable and accelerated Disaster Recovery

BY ANDREW KERSHAW, WATERSTONS’ TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, A DATACORE SILVER LEVEL PARTNER:

Before now, full offsite replication of an entire IT infrastructure was an expensive business, affordable to only the wealthiest of organisations.

However, this view now needs to be radically adjusted as new and innovative ways of reducing the cost of achieving this goal are developed.

A key enabling technology has been server virtualisation, adoption of which is often justified on its own merits. However, when used to address remote disaster recovery (DR), virtual technology comes into its own, offering a range of affordable solutions for off-site replication. The quality, frequency and lag of the DR replica is determined by the quality and speed of the Wide Area Network (WAN) between the sites, with operating costs of suitable high performance links very high. Often a significant upgrade would be required to provide capacity for replication, and costs are prohibitive. The answer to this problem is to architect a replication solution which gets the best out of the now well proven WAN acceleration technology.

One such architecture – which Waterstons are able to recommend – involves combining DataCore SANmelody™ storage virtualisation with Riverbed Steelhead™ WAN acceleration. The remote replication capability of DataCore SANmelody™ is used to replicate an entire server infrastructure to a remote location. The inter-site transmission is compressed, cached and optimized by inserting Riverbed Steelhead network appliances on either side of the link. This solution meets disaster recovery objectives and proves much more cost-effective both to set up and to operate than an upgrade to higher bandwidth service. The net effect is a full disaster recovery capability with often very little (or even zero) lag, behind the live site even over surprisingly poor quality and low speed WAN links. Waterstons have successfully deployed this solution for several clients, and as a result, avoided unnecessary additional wide area line rental and secured more robust and more scalable DR, backup and restore systems. For more information on using virtualisation and WAN acceleration technologies, please read the Disaster Recovery white paper: https://www.datacore.com/downloads/DataCore_Riverbed_DR_22Sep08.pdf

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