Reliable Replication Helps VAR Improve Client's Recovery Outcome
A specialized replication software solution allows this VAR to resolve recovery point and recovery time issues for a data center business.
Business Solutions, May 2009
To remediate this problem, GreenPages provided to its clients the pros and cons for existing replication technology options. “We concentrated on those solutions that specifically met the client’s needs, and we decided as a group that the CA XOsoft Assured Recovery was the best option,” explains Brum. The CA software freezes data for the split second it takes for a snapshot, which provides consistent recovery of all data at any point in time. Brum explains that capability is particularly important for a client dealing with SQL and Exchange servers because data entry and email are in such flux. “In both cases, you create data that is sent from a log file to a table space, but with so much activity, that transfer doesn’t take place immediately, so information can be in flow when you take your snapshot, and that means you lose data,” he says. Once the decision on technology was made, GreenPages spent about five days preparing to implement the technology across the two sites. Those days were mostly spent handling a number of mission-critical applications that needed to be protected and recovered with minimal downtime.
Timely Replication And Recovery Allow Accountability
The key deliverable, says Brum, was a recovery point objective/recovery time objective (RPO/RTO) of five minutes. “During their recovery procedures prior to this installation, the client spent a long time ensuring applications would come back without corruption and never really knew what state those applications were in until the end,” explains Brum. “That meant they could never commit to senior management how long it would take to do data recovery for these applications.” Today, the client can define recovery time, as well as test recovery processes, and has met its RPO/RTO goals. To achieve such a positive end result, GreenPages worked closely with the client’s IT staff from the very start of the installation. “We worked with them hand-in-hand — they sat right with us as we set up the environments, and then we trained them on best practices and what to look for in their day-to-day management of this network in order to get the best outcomes,” says Brum. “Business application demands changes, and, therefore, what we plan today for a client will not be set in stone for long. Part of what makes disaster recovery planning and testing successful is to understand the ever-changing criteria of your applications, and we help our clients understand that and adapt the solution as they need.” The next step, explains Brum, is upgrading the client to the latest version of CA XOsoft for additional functionality.
In the meantime, with this successful deployment behind them, GreenPages feels even more confident rolling out this replication solution to new clients, says Brum. Plus, based on the frustration the client experienced with their prior solution, Brum says he has learned the importance of managing client expectations. “Every client’s needs are different, and setting the appropriate expectations of how a certain technology architecture will work and support a particular client’s outcomes eliminates the headaches of unmatched expectations.”