Recovery-in-a-Cave

Just got done reading the funniest white paper ever, from our friends at Iron Mountain. It asks the question, “…what happens when the devastation is so fierce that it hits the backups too? Don’t panic.”

Don’t panic? Really? I think you damn well better panic – about your career. You stashed your backup tapes so close to your primary data center that they got clobbered by the same natural disaster? C’mon man! Better update that resume.

And while we’re at it, why on earth are you still using tape? Iron Mountain, whose business is storing tape, points out just how fragile tape is:

“…if tapes suffer major temperature fluctuations every night, they will weaken and become more likely to snap. When your staff fails to maintain drive heads’ cleanliness, or cleans equipment incorrectly, tapes may be more prone to breaking. To avoid such problems, know the cleaning cycle and storage conditions recommended by your vendor.”

Really?

Disco Stu has moved from Springfield to the world of backup and DR.

Earlier this week, eVault announced 4-hour recovery times for their mid-size business customers. This is one of those mind boggling announcements that gets a lot of us in the business saying, “Really?”

Because the thing is, in 2012, a 4-hour recovery time is terrible. They never explain if the 4-hour guarantee applies to any single system or an entire data center. In either case, eVault’s claim is just plain archaic.

For the sake of comparison, nScaled offers customers a 15-minute RTO for any single system, and a 2-hour RTO for an entire data center.

Boston Fire leads to customer failover

You may have read about the fire in Boston yesterday that took out power for a section of the city.

The power outage affected the Boston office one of our large disaster recovery customers. We protect 70 servers in 11 offices around the US for this customer.

Our support guys were up late last night, getting the customer failed over so they could keep working through the interruption, so I haven’t had a chance to get the detailed story from them. I’ll post again when I have more news.

Hazard Insurance

Clusters of tornados last week and this week in the US Midwest once again bring one’s thoughts to the issue of insurance.

There are undoubtedly many small and mid-size businesses in Harrisburg, IL that are hurting right now, having had their offices damaged or destroyed by the tornados that hit earlier this week.

You can bet that those businesses, or their landlords, have insurance on the office buildings. The people who work at the businesses probably have homeowners insurance on their homes. But you can also bet that most of the businesses didn’t have a disaster recovery plan for their business’ information systems and data. And that means that most will go out of business in the next year.

nScaled Closes Series A Investment

As you can imagine, we are very excited to announce that we just closed a $7M Series A round of financing!

We were able to raise the money on the strength of our vision and our 2011 results. nScaled was a pioneer in recovery-as-a-service (RaaS) three years ago, when no one know what the heck RaaS was and everyone thought disaster recovery was a boring market, dominated by goliaths like Sungard and IBM, catering exclusively to huge customers who could afford to spend millions of dollars every year for redundant capacity. nScaled is now a leader in the suddenly hot RaaS market, a market that now is getting plenty of attention from the analyst firms and the tech press.

Protecting Multi-tier Applications, Part II

Today, we’ll wrap up our look into how to protect multi-tier applications…

Multi-tier Server Protection 

In a multi-tier server environment, the quiescent state of a single server isn’t enough. In order to achieve a working and consistent application, the various servers that make up the entire application stack may need to be in a quiescent state across multiple servers, a term referred to as “cross-server application quiescence”. As an example, in a document management system where the database server and a file server are both present, it is often necessary for the database and file server to be recovered from virtually the same moment in time. In other cases, it may be better for the file server to have a more recent copy of the data than the database server but never the other way around. In the process of working with our customers, nScaled has experience working with many different types of multi-tier applications.

Protecting Multi-tier Applications

Our crack Services team has written a new technical solution brief about the pitfalls of doing DR for multi-tier applications. Seeing as how most apps these days are multi-tier, and those apps are usually the most critical to a business, figuring out how to backup or failover is paramount. We’ll serialize the tech brief for a few days here.

Protecting Multi-tier Applications

Overview 

We’re Giving ‘Em Away!

nScaled is now offering free accounts. We just rolled this out last week and we’re starting to see some good sign-ups. We hope you’ll give it a try too.

What it is

You get a free account in our recovery-as-a-service cloud environment, accessed through our Recovery Console SaaS admin interface. You also download, for free, our Cloud Hub virtual appliance and install it on any host running VMware ESX.

What you get

The free version of our service lets you manage your VMware systems more easily that anything else around. Start, stop and resize servers. Set up alerts and check usage. Most important, it’s your first step towards implementing DR in the cloud. Heck, maybe your first step towards DR of any kind.

Rachel Dines is My Hero

Rachel Dines is my hero! She wrote a dynamite piece on improving disaster recovery preparedness that is all about our favorite topic, Testing. Dines is an analyst at Forrester covering IT infrastructure issues like BC/DR, so she knows her stuff. In her article, she lays out 10 best practices for companies for exercising their DR plans. It’s all terrific advice. Go read it now.

Three Phase Workload Recovery, Part I

This is the first of three posts we’ll do on a data/workload protection & recovery model we call Three Phase Workload Recovery.

Fixing the fragmented approach to Backup, Archiving, Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity

Despite decades of research and development into backup and data protection, enterprise customers are generally unsatisfied with the status quo when it comes to data protection and recovery processes. Business continuity, disaster recovery, backup and archiving are common, overlapping data center operations, and are repeatedly targeted for replacement.

Rather than simply moving from one vendor to another, enterprise customers are seeking a new paradigm for data and workload protection and recovery, one that provides a complete view of all their applications and systems, is verifiably effective, cost effective and resilient by design to various calamities which might strike the enterprise.