Jay Kramer, vice president of worldwide marketing, SEPATON (www.sepaton.com), says:

Robust DR (disaster recovery) implementations until recently were the exclusive world of large enterprise IT customers due to premium costs of equipment for the distributed infrastructure, sophisticated skill sets required to plan and implement along with the high levels of complexity to manage it. Many large financial service institutions have implemented the ultimate nirvana of DR systems by architecting a multi-data center strategy that dynamically shifts the company’s processing from one data center to another on a monthly basis just as a way of doing business. This type of DR is expensive but guarantees the highest level of preparedness for a disaster and positions IT organizations to achieve the highest levels of availability when managing mission critical information systems. Although this type of real-time DR implementation with the proper disciplines in place is fairly bullet proof, it is out of the scope of reality for most SME customers to consider today.

With the innovations of data protection technologies today, most SME’s can now cost effectively implement DR plans among their distributed locations. The paradigm shift within SMEs has been to consolidate the data center by investing in SAN infrastructure and using virtualization technologies for the servers and storage including disk based data protection through VTLs (virtual tape libraries). VTLs integrated with deduplication and replication capabilities have high value for SMEs since these solutions can be deployed with complete investment protection of customer’s current backup software coupled with the advantage of keeping the current backup policies in place while achieving accelerated speed in backup and restore. Deduplication as a part of the data protection solution adds not only the value of saving on the total storage capacity required in the configuration but also saving on the bandwidth required for replication of the backup. The combination of VTL, deduplication and replication in an integrated solution, represent the essential building blocks that make DR cost effective for any SME today.

As a best practice, customers need to test and validate the restore times of a fully loaded system that simulates their own IT production environment now and scalably addressing the storage capacity under protection in the future.