Articles

Removing The "Black Box" From Disaster Recovery As A Service (DRaaS)

How much data does your company generate in a given month? Or day? Or hour?

The information itself is important, of course, but what really matters is what you do with all that data — how it allows you to interact with your customers, collaborate to produce new product lines, and so on. The question then becomes, what happens if disaster strikes and suddenly that critical information isn’t there when you need it?

Data recovery is an essential component to the overall success of any business.

At Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS), we have always been dedicated to the Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) model, but we are excited about a new service we provide that makes the process even easier and more transparent: our new DRaaS portal.

The DRaaS portal removes the “black box” perception that has plagued disaster recovery for decades. You no longer have to wonder “are my servers in ‘good health’?” or “what are we paying for when we contract with a company for recovery services?”

For the DRaaS portal, we brought together multiple data prediction services into one single interface. At the end of the day, we wanted this interface to be seamless, regardless of the technologies that are used.

We are proud of the new DRaaS portal because we believe it will provide our customers with the transparency they desire. Through the portal’s platform-neutral, intuitive interface, you are able to see at a glance:

  • Your current recovery point objectives (RPOs) by server
  • Detailed information on individual volumes and storage capacities
  • Any gaps in your protection environment
  • The history of your daily data transfers
  • The condition of your protected storage

The status of your testing and server activities, such as real-time transparency, allows you to continually enhance your recovery optimization. For example, by enabling you to manage your production environment more effectively. The dashboard consists of four panels showing the server health status, the Recovery Point Objective (RPO), storage and bandwidth. The entire panel is color and symbol-coded to allow you to quickly identify what’s happening in real time. For example, when hovering over a square in the Health Panel, which represents a server, you are provided with information about that server’s RPO. Within the RPO Panel, you can see the tolerance for a period of data loss during a disaster (the panel provides a default period of 30 minutes). You can see how each server measures up against that threshold period. Moving to the Daily Data Transfer Panel, you can monitor server bandwidth and on the Storage Panel, you can see the health status of the data volume.

The dashboard, which acts as a “single pane of glass interface,” also enables you to create tickets for service requests and view the progress of each request. Again, this is all to improve the transparency of how your system is running in real time.

You might be wondering: What happens if replication stops or there is any error due to an incident in the infrastructure, replication software, bandwidth, or source host itself? In that case, the DRaaS system notifies us, and we begin to investigate why this alert happened. If there is a failure in the replication infrastructure, our operations team gets to work on correcting the problem. At the same time, this is happening on our end, we notify you to let you know we are working on the problem. You can then check the portal to get more information and to see the progress the Sungard AS team has made.

Here’s an example. Suppose you have to resize the volumes of your servers or add additional volumes. During the process, someone forgets to communicate the change to other stakeholders. No problem: the DRaaS portal will immediately catch and display the change. If the volume was resized, the parent server’s RPO will be backed-up to the estimated re-sync duration, and incident notifications will be sent to you and Sungard AS operations. If a new volume was added, then an incident notification will be created for Sungard AS operations to ensure that protection is enabled.

Being able to see the data about your server health in real time allows you to react immediately if there is any hint of a potential problem. The DRaaS portal can give you peace of mind by knowing how your servers are performing at any given time. The information you store in these servers is important to the health of your company, and we want to ensure that you will always have that information at hand, exactly when you need it.

Related Business Solution:  DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service)