Disaster Recovery 201: An advanced course

There’s a very good piece by Esther Shein over at Computerworld today called “Disaster recovery 101: What you need to know”.

Shein does a great job of reviewing the pressing need that all businesses have for DR, and cites some scary statistics about the paltry uptake of DR among SMBs.

The most important part of her story covers the need for companies to have a DR plan. This is great advice, and comes before selecting a technology provider to help implement that plan. We couldn’t agree more.

Shein also repeats our mantra, “Test, test test.” It’s good advice, and bears repeating because DR testing is the kind of eat-your-spinach advice that is easy to ignore. But if you don’t test your DR plan, then you don’t have a DR plan.

Investment Advice: The High ROI of Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery plans and solutions are a form of insurance. Companies hope that they’ll never need them, but pay the “premium” because not to do so is to put their business at risk.

With any insurance policy, the subscriber tries to calculate what a fair premium to pay is. The calculation is based on the likelihood of making a claim, the size of a claim, and the premium payments. As long as the sum of all premium payments is less than the expected value of the policy (likelihood x amount), then the insurance is worth its price.

You’re dealing with imperfect information, of course, because you can’t predict the future, and don’t know what claims you might make. The best you can do is look to case studies for guidance. And maybe learn new ways to estimate insurance’s value to you.

So here’s a case study about the value of DR:

If the company had been shut down for those three days, they would have lost $900,000 in revenue.

New nScaled Customer: Hallett Retail Ltd.

We’re pleased that Hallett Retail Ltd. in London have signed up with nScaled. They help demonstrate that the issues driving the adoption of cloud solutions – growing amounts of data to manage, the need for greater agility – are a global phenomenon and not just an issue in the US. Here’s their story.

Hallett has been growing exponentially and in the last year has seen more than 50% year-on-year growth in their number of people and concessions. In just four years it has gone from zero to 14 servers. They had been using tape backup but backup windows were increasing due to the size of the data and the business was not comfortable with backup windows going beyond 12 hours.

nScaled took the time to thoroughly understand our environment. nScaled ensured that everything was fully tested before signing off. – Kevin Hallett, Chief Operating Officer, Hallett Retail

The Cost of Protection

Every day we encounter customers that have cobbled together their own disaster recovery (DR) solution, renting space in a secondary co-lo, buying equipment, setting up replication, etc. It’s a lot of work and money.

These companies would like to have someone else deal with all of it for them, but the big players in DR are way too expensive, and don’t really cater to mid-sized businesses anyway.

When we tell customers about our DR solution and what it costs, the response is frequently, “That sounds too good to be true.”

Well, we’ve pulled together some numbers to show that, really, nScaled DR costs 25-50% less than building your own solution. Contact us for more information.

Announcing The Latest Release of the nScaled Cloud Console

We’re pleased to announce the latest release of the nScaled Cloud Console, Iteration 26. This iteration focuses on giving nScaled’s partners more powerful tools for managing their customers’ nScaled accounts. It also features several enhancements to the UI.

If you’re already an nScaled customer, log in to your account to see what’s new.

Partner Portal

Lets nScaled’s Partners manage their customers’ accounts. Accounts can now be nested under one another. nScaled Partners have their own account, and their customers’ accounts are placed under them. nScaled retains visibility and control over all accounts. Customers should notice no change in appearance or functionality.

User Interface

Backup is Dead – Introducing the Data Protection Lifecycle, Part 3

The data protection lifecycle follows the life of a workload recovery point as it passes through protection and recovery facilities. The lifecycle is policy based, providing for flexibility in implementation and cost management across different systems. As data ages, the recovery requirements change and therefore the underlying capability of the system changes accordingly.

Archive Storage Now Available from nScaled

nScaled Archive Storage is now available! It offers unlimited storage capacity, unlimited retention periods, and affordable archiving.

Why have we introduced Archiving? Because there are several problems facing companies today:

Announcing New Disaster Recovery Solution Bundles

We’re pleased to announce the availability of two new solution bundles. These are Disaster Recovery bundles, with everything an organization needs to get started now with DR.

The Small Business Edition is designed for the vast majority of small to 
midsized businesses. It’s a complete, turnkey solution that provides real disaster recovery at an affordable price. Our advanced technologies and economies of scale let us offer nScaled Disaster Recovery for less than half what you’d pay to build your own DR solution. You can read more about it here.

Peace of Mind

We’re very excited about a great story about nScaled that appears here in Network World.

We’re obviously pleased by the coverage that highlights what we think are unique things we offer. Here, I just want to emphasize one point made in the story by its author, Brian Musthaler.

Small companies might find it sufficient to use a “prosumer” online solution like Carbonite or Cbeyond for data backup, and this is often the DR plan as well. Large enterprises have the SunGards of the world for contracted DR.

Backup is Dead – Introducing the Data Protection Lifecycle, Part 2

In this post, we continue to lay out the nScaled Data Protection Lifecycle concept by assessing the enabling technologies and then enumerating the requirements that the new paradigm must satisfy.

The new realities of virtualization and cloud computing

Despite all this bad news, there are some positive trends that support the revitalization of how IT leaders think about data protection and recovery. The virtualization of servers and workloads (operating system, data and application) has broken the ties between services and physical infrastructure. Through virtualization and other technologies, workloads are able to migrate readily between machines within a data center, and between data centers. This has made the specific hardware less important when it comes to service restoration.