To ensure business continuity during a disaster, having a disaster recovery (DR) plan is essential. However, your disaster recovery plan doesn't have to break the bank to be effective; leveraging a layered DR solution can optimize spending. Layered DR is choosing the appropriate recovery technology that aligns with your application Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) requirements.
Understand your RPO and RTO requirements
- Which applications are critical to operating your business?
- What are your application inter-dependencies?
- What Service Level Agreements (SLA's) need to be met?
- What is the cost of downtime to your business?
Answering these questions will help you define the RPO and RTO requirements of your applications; then you can align the appropriate layers to meet the objectives.
Layers of Disaster Recovery
Consider taking advantage of these layers as part of your disaster recovery planning:
- Continuous Replication
- Point-in-time Replication
- Offsite Backup Restoration
Continuous Replication sends data in real-time from your production site over to your disaster recovery site, and the RPO achieved can be as low as a few seconds. Orchestration to help automate the fail-over and testing processes is typically built into any platforms that support continuous replication.
RTO's are in the minutes as the data is already in a format that the disaster recovery site can utilize. The speed of this layer will come at a higher price as compared to other layers, and you'll want to assign your lowest RPO/RTO application to this layer.
Point-in-time Replication will replicate data to your disaster recovery site on a predefined schedule. The schedule typically utilized with point-in-time replication will be between 4-24 hours. However, depending on your environment you can get down to a lower time such as 15 minutes. It's best to utilize this layer if your RPO aligns to the point-in-time nature. The RTO for point-in-time is similar to continuous replication. The cost will sit in-between continuous replication and offsite backup restoration.
Offsite Backup Restoration leverages an offsite backup copy that exists at the disaster recovery site. The backups could be disk-based copies or even tapes, and are normally sent offsite daily. The RTO for this layer is much higher than the replication layers as the data must be restored. This could be hours depending on the amount of data required. However, this would be acceptable to any applications that have higher RTO requirements.
A layered approach to disaster recovery can help maximize your disaster recovery budget. By pairing the appropriate DR layer to match your applications’ RPOs/RTOs you can optimize your disaster recovery spending. Focusing on your most critical systems first, using one of the replication strategies. Then allow less critical systems to come online after using offsite backup restoration.
How DSM Can Help With Your Layered DR Plan
As Florida’s preferred cloud provider, DSM has been managing clients IT needs for over 30 years, and we have experts who are ready to help. Have questions or concerns about your DR plan and how to implement a layered approach to DR? Contact us today to learn more.
Already have RTOs and RPOs in mind and wondering what downtime may cost you? Try out our free downtime calculator.