January 20, 2014

Recovery

Recovery

Back Up to and Restore to the Cloud

In this approach, data is not restored back to on-premises infrastructure; instead it is restored to virtual machines in the cloud. This requires both cloud storage and cloud compute resources. The restore can be done when a disaster is declared or on a continuous basis (pre-staged). Pre-staging DR VMs and keeping them relatively up-to-date through scheduled restores is crucial in cases where aggressive RTOs need to be met.

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Replication to Virtual Machines in the Cloud

For applications that require aggressive recovery time (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPOs), as well as application awareness, replication is the data movement option of choice. Replication to cloud virtual machines can be used to protect both cloud and on-premises production instances. In other words, replication is suitable for both cloud-VM-to-cloud-VM and on-premises-to-cloud- VM data protection.

High Availability with CloudRecovery Features

Our infrastructure resides in Tier 3, Class 1 data centers that provide the highest level of availability. These facilities have fault-tolerant site infrastructure with electrical power storage and distribution facilities with expected availability of 99.995%. Some advantages of our facilities over a customer-based data center or lower tier data center include independently dual-powered cooling equipment, multiple independent power distribution paths, dual redundant UPS battery systems, multiple diesel generators to power a facility for seven days without primary power from utilities, priority contracts for diesel refueling (second only to hospitals, medical centers, first responders, and government agencies), and earthquake resistance.

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CloudRecovery with Failover

Our premiere Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity product, CloudRecovery with Failover, equips customers with the tools they need to ensure their mission critical applications are available to their users during any type of crisis that can occur at the customer’s premises or due to natural disasters that can impact entire communities, cities, states, and even regions of the nation. Business server infrastructure can range from a single server environment to businesses with dozens or hundreds of servers. CloudRecovery focuses on the key servers housing the applications that a business cannot survive without. When initiated, CloudRecovery can bring a business back up in production mode within our Cloud in a matter of minutes or hours, rather than traditional backup and recovery services that can take hours, days or even weeks.

How CloudRecovery with Failover works

Prime will provision virtual servers in the cloud for each of the customer’s critical applications. These servers are provisioned in a shadow or hot standby mode with minimal CPU (Computer Processing Units) or Cores and minimal RAM (Random Access Memory) resources to keep the costs down. Using software provided by Prime or the customer, the primary servers at the customer premises are set to replicate data to the shadow server(s) at a rate set by the customer to be within the guidance of the customer’s Recovery Point Objective (RPO) which should be designated in the customer’s Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plan. The rate at which data can replicate is limited to the amount of bandwidth the customer has designated to this operation. Most customers use a low percentage of their bandwidth during their business hours for replication and then utilize a higher percentage of the bandwidth on off or slow hours to catch up with their data replication. This occurs most often in the evenings and over the weekends. There are those businesses where the RPO is extremely high, meaning the business requires that very little data will be lost in the event of an outage and they require real time replication. In these instances, the customer will designate separate bandwidth resources to provide full time data replications thus not impacting their normal need for bandwidth for other business operations. As the data passes through the shadow server(s) it is stored in Our SAN environment. The entire customer’s data resides within the RapidScale Cloud and is accessible by the shadow servers in the event of a major failure or disaster.

Once the decision has been made to failover to the Prime CloudRecovery service, either the customer’s IT team or the support team will log into the Control Panel and assign additional computing resources (CPUs and RAM) to the shadow server(s) and move them into production mode. This process takes an average of four to fifteen minutes to take effect. The next step is to re-point the end users to the Cloud by re-pointing the external DNS to the Cloud. End users are then able to initiate connections and authenticate with their user credentials to the virtual server(s) where they can log back into the system and resume work. End user performance will always be predicated on the bandwidth connectivity at the remote sites — satellite offices or employee homes. But once connectivity is established the ability to function is restored.

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How CloudRecovery with Backup Works

Our Cloud Engineers will work hand-in-hand with the customer and his or her IT support staff to ensure the correct amount of backup has been calculated. Based on the amount of data to be backed up and the bandwidth capacity at the customer premises, it will be determined if the backup can be completed in a timely manner over the wire (over the Internet) or if the data should be “seeded” and sent directly to the data center to be uploaded by a Prime Cloud Engineer. This is the most common practice. If the backup can be done over the wire, the Prime engineer will work with the IT support of the customer to establish a connection and start the download. If the data needs to be sent to RapidScale, then the customer’s IT support will copy the data to a portable storage device such as a hard drive or an NAS. They will then FedEx the device to the desired data center, typically on a Friday at the close of business. A RapidScale engineer will receive the device on a Saturday and download the data to the NetApp storage gear. Upon completion of the upload into the SAN, Prime will work with the customer’s IT support to ensure all changed data is cloned successfully from the source to the destination and that ongoing replication is taking place.

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