February 22, 2018 By Julie Inlow Munoz
Alasdair Hill
5 min read

Raising IT to Today’s Business Challenges

In business there has always been a drive to do more with less and the age of IT is a perfect example of this with automated systems and online purchasing. But, as IT has become more and more prolific in the way we live and do business, we have had to adapt to keep up with this ever-increasing speed of delivery.

With the advent of the Cloud, traditional ways of working are being merged into a utility model where users expect an always-on service, but only expect to pay for what they consume, much like traditional utilities such as water or electricity.

Why Do We Need DR (Disaster Recovery)?

So, when IT is so entrenched in everything we do, what happens when it’s not there? Where do you turn? What do you do and what are the implications to your business? Consider the e-commerce systems of an online retailer, imagine the logistics systems of a delivery company or the medical records of a hospital. The implications of even a moment of downtime could have a serious financial impact, not to mention the damage to your brand or reputation.

Modern businesses cannot afford to lose data. Whatever the cause – natural disaster, human error or cyber-attack – data loss is costly and extremely risky to the life of a business.
The need for a business continuity strategy to ensure up-time, minimize data loss, and maximize productivity in the midst of any compromising situation is a necessary digital assurance policy for any company. The question becomes not if, but when a disaster will when happen and are you prepared for it?

The Undisputed Rise in Cyber-Attacks

They say that modern battles are no longer fought in the fields, but more in cyber-space with phishing scams and the very public rise of ransomware attacks leading to airlines, banks and power stations being left helpless in the face of IT systems being comprised. No matter how secure you think you are, there is always a gap. How sure are you that you can stay online, or at the very least recover from these attacks?https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/27/15879480/petrwrap-virus-ukraine-ransomware-attack-europe-wannacry

Does Every Cloud Come with a Silver Lining?

Whilst the IT revolution has marched ahead and embraced the public/private and hybrid Cloud the question must be asked. How secure is my provider And, if I pick one of the biggest, surely I’m safe – no? https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/01/aws_s3_outage/

There was a plethora of questions being asked around security and resilience when the Cloud first become mainstream. These questions seem to have been largely addressed as the market has matured and a multitude of vendors recognised and filled the gaps, but whilst IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) delivers exactly that “infrastructure”, the onus falls upon the user to ensure their critical applications remain standing should the worst happen.

Woah! Back up a Minute…

I back up my data, so I’m covered, right? Well, yes and no. Backing up your data in whatever format that takes whether it’s to the Cloud, to disk or tape, will preserve that data from a known point in time. But consider a number of questions:

  1. When was the last time you actually did a Disaster Recovery (DR) test?

  2. Was the test successful?

  3. How much time, money and weekends were expended during that test?

  4. Given, modern applications have numerous dependencies such as DNS/active directory/load balancers, file repositories, indexing servers, web front ends and a data base or two – how long did it take you to bring back the actual applications – not just an individual server? There is a significant difference.

IDC research indicates that more than 70% of companies surveyed, experienced up to ten hours of unplanned downtime over the past twelve months. About 27% of those companies estimated their cost of downtime to be between $10,000 and $99,000 per hour – IDC Technology Spotlight, sponsored by Zerto, Disaster Recovery for Virtualized Environments: A DR Approach to Fit the New Datacenter, March 2013

So, being able to recover a server, is not the same as DR.

Cloud Disaster Recovery for a Competitive Advantage

The flexibility and agility of a cloud-based infrastructure provides a clear competitive advantage. A dynamic environment enables the business to respond to changing markets and business requirements quickly. Unfortunately, legacy business continuity solutions for virtualized mission-critical applications impede the flexibility that cloud infrastructure can provide. The benefits of cloud and virtualization, such as lower costs and simplified management, are lost as companies try to reconcile a virtualized production environment with a physical protection solution. Zerto Virtual Replication was purpose-built for those virtualized and cloud environments.

  • Maximize your cloud investment: Extend the benefits of virtualization to your BC/DR strategy.

  • Multi-site and multi-tenant: Ensure consistency across the business and eliminate all weak links, while reducing costs with a shared infrastructure.

  • Seamless Scalability: Deliver consistent protection, even as the environment grows.

  • Cloud On-ramp: Protect your investment with flexibility as Zerto Virtual Replication continues to provide benefits if the strategy changes from a private to a public cloud

Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR) was built for use in VMware environments and the cloud. When your organization is ready to embrace a cloud strategy, ZVR will support your journey to the public, private or hybrid cloud and back again.

Minimize Risk

Zerto Virtual Replication eliminates the risk associated with a new DR application as it installs seamlessly into the existing VMware infrastructure. It will not disrupt your carefully planned data layout, application configurations, or any other parts of the environment. The-point-in-time recovery further reduces risk providing several options for recovery. With one-click, testing is greatly simplified, supporting multiple tests per year, supporting internal and external compliance initiatives. The software-only solution scales with your business, providing consistent protection while supporting your growth and revenue objectives.

Hypervisor-based Continuous Data Protection Simplifies BC/DR

Zerto Virtual Replication is a software-only product that simplifies and automates the entire application protection lifecycle by utilizing hypervisor-based continuous data protection technology. ZVR dramatically reduces day-to-day management complexity and streamlines IT operations, eliminating the complexity typically associated with managing BC/DR solutions. Because it works within the VMware environment, many of the manual tasks associated with a physical BC/DR solution are automated with ZVR, reducing or eliminating errors.

Reduce Storage Costs

All of our customers are being tasked with doing more with less. If a storage array or server can last an extra year, that impacts the bottom line. ZVR replicates between different storage and server technologies, extending the useful life of older assets. Different, less expensive storage and servers can be used at the target site as well to reduce costs.

ZVR can replicate between different versions of VMware vSphere and from a VMware vSphere environment to a VMware vCloud environment, increasing the ROI of your virtualization investment. Operational expenses are dramatically reduced as one solution is leveraged across the environment delivering consistent data and application protection.


Further reading and help…

As a partner of Zerto, IBM understand this and have implemented an easy-to-use and simple to deploy service to the IBM Cloud. With this approach, there are several options for implementing your DR-solution and, with the use of industry leading VMware on the IBM cloud to deliver a DR-target for those on-premise virtual environments, or switch those on-premise workloads into the Cloud and make the most of those onsite assets as a target. With the IBM cloud option for Zerto you remain in control and the owner of data, applications and geographies.  The perfect union to increase security and availability, whilst avoiding cloud lock-in.

Why not book a trial today? https://www.ibm.com/cloud/zerto

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