3, 2, 1…Lift Off!??!

In my current situation I am afforded the opportunity to meet with many types and size of environments.  Focusing on the inefficiencies of the legacy data centre and evangelizing the need for Infrastructure Engineers to adopt and recognize the need for the ‘Always on Business’ is a huge focus of mine.  The normal Infrastructure Admin wears many different caps and is pulled in dozens of directions on any given work day, so focusing time and effort around Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity is not always front and center.  One thing I’ve found to be a commonality is that the legacy data centre did not make achieving successful BC/DR easy to accomplish.

One of the easiest ways to achieve a successful DR plan is to plan.  I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘what’s this guy talking about?’  Allow me the opportunity to clarify…

At my previous employer we used to practice DR every year!  That’s not something that every organization can take on…BELIEVE ME!  But with some forethought, communication and planning every organization can be ready to respond to any situation.

  1. First off – you need to identify what’s important.  If our colleagues at Contoso need to declare disaster what would we restore first!??!  Where would we start?  When disaster strikes knowing exactly what order that the applications need to come up is key.  One strategy would be classifying applications by DR Recovery Time Objective (RTO).
  2. Second – How are we going to get the data out of our data centre if it fails?  This is probably this most often over looked component of the DR Plan!!
    1. GET YOUR DATA OFFSITE!!!
      1. 3 – Copies of your data
      2. 2 – Different Types of Media
      3. 1 – OFFSITE
    2. How you achieve the OFFSITE is up to you!  Tapes, External Drive Swapping, Replication to DR site, Public Cloud (Azure, AWS, Rackspace, Google), Colocation.  These are all excellent ways of getting your data off site.
    3. Practice, Practice & Practice!!  Just like your kids practice T-Ball, you should PRACTICE recovering servers, applications and TEST them.

Many of the legacy DR Software Suites make it very difficult to achieve successful DR in the modern data centre.  Products like Veeam were purpose built for virtualization (VMware & Hyper-V), making it extremely easy for the busy Infrastructure Engineer to wear those different caps and be DR ready.

So, as you think about what’s important today – Don’t forget to Keep Calm and Practice…3, 2, 1 – Cheers!

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