3 Ways To Improve Your BC/DR Exercises

BC/DR exercises

Disaster recovery testing has been around for more than 30 years but, unfortunately, most companies are exercising their disaster recovery and business continuity plans and capabilities like it was still the 1970s. No evolution. No improvement. No relevance to actual disaster scenarios. For the sake of continuity, resiliency, recoverability, agility, and all the rest of those good words, we’d better change the way we exercise our business continuity plans so that we can be ready when a REAL disaster comes along. Here are three ways to do exactly that. Exercise strategically. Traditional exercises tend to have three major problems: 1. They exercise repetitively. “Let’s exercise what we exe … Read more

Failing Your Compliance Audits? Learn Why

compliance audit

Audit. The very word brings on a state of nervous tension. Financial audits. Tax audits. Records audits. And in the business IT space, compliance audits. There’s good reason for that shiver of cold fear. In my conversations with clients, I have discovered that too many companies are failing their compliance audits, and they don’t know why. They’ll say, “But we prepared! We tested! Everything worked fine!” Most of the time, it takes me just a few targeted questions before I can tell them, “This is why you are failing your compliance audits!” For instance, “Have you only performed tests on single aspects of your disaster recovery plan … without ever ‘putting it all together’?” “Have you c … Read more

Using Test/Dev For Disaster Recovery: Like Robbing Peter To Pay Paul

Using Test/Dev for DR? With the plethora of viable alternatives today, there is no reason to continue robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The debate about whether to use Testing and Development infrastructure (Test/Dev) for disaster recovery (DR) is like global warming: for every opinion on one side, there is an opposing opinion on the other. Where companies stand on the matter often depends on what their agenda is. For example, hardware and software vendors write most of the publicly-available white papers, so by default they can't be considered unbiased in most cases. Gartner and other analysts have written fairly good white papers on this subject, but they too, are often influenced by professional relationships and sometimes don’t consider or understand the capabilities of less known (but very reputable) service providers … Read more

Actifio: An Exciting New Partner for Data Protection and Disaster Recovery

Sungard Availability Services' new relationship with Actifio will allow you to experience data protection and disaster recovery in one complete package

I have been in the IT trenches for some years now, and from this vantage point I have been able to see clearly how data protection and disaster recovery (DR) are tightly bound. The problem, however, is that many (possibly even most) companies do not recognize this interrelationship. They treat “backups” and “disaster recovery” as two distinct initiatives: solving for them separately, in different ways, and in isolation from each other. I am here to plead that “all good disaster recoveries start with a good copy of your data.” Think about it: a disaster destroys/corrupts/blocks/or otherwise messes with your data. So the first thing you need for recovery is a good copy of your “pre-mess” da … Read more

As Good As IT Gets 6.11.14: The Best IT- Cloud Computing – Security Blogs This Week

IT blogs

You can thank us later for reminding you – but, don’t forget Father’s Day this coming Sunday. If you are anything like me, you are scrambling to find something - anything but a tie - that will demonstrate your affection for your Dad in a way befitting his manliness. And, if you are anything like me, you are stuck. Thank goodness there are people out there who knew we would be in this predicament. PC Mag and CIO.com both have some cool ideas for Father’s Day gifts. Check out these links if you need some inspiration: • 10 Father's Day Gifts to Help Dad Feel Young and Cool • Top Tech Father's Day Gift Ideas After a quick review of the gadgets on these lists, I wouldn’t blame any fathers ou … Read more

The Naked Truth About Bare Metal Recovery

Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) may sound like an ideal solution, but beware of some of its real-world limitations!

Imagine for a moment that you have hundreds of servers (this may not require any imagination at all for some of you!). You have a business interruption, necessitating the recovery of all those servers. What do you do? Well, you have to load the operating system onto the failover servers at the recovery site, then load the service packs, then load the backup agents … all of which delays your recovery, when time is of the essence. Backup software vendors recognized this and developed bare metal recovery (BMR) in response. BMR can be defined as “a technique in the field of data recovery and restoration where the backed up data is available in a form which allows one to restore a computer sys … Read more

Data Restoration Tests And Searching For Belly Button Lint

Do data restoration tests have anything to do with belly button lint? Read on and see...

Okay, "Data Restoration Tests And Searching For Belly Button Lint" may seem like a strange title for a blog entry, but if you give me a moment, I can explain. Unless you are very odd, you only search for belly button lint when you are bored and have nothing else to do (or someone else does the job for you and points out that there is an issue with your, er, personal habits). For many companies, data restoration tests are also an afterthought – if they even are a thought at all. Yeah, the IT department may do a data restoration to test a new tape technology, or perhaps a database analyst might run a test after changing some tables. But these are not routine occurrences...they're a … Read more

How Movie-Watching Helps Make Sense of Tiered Data

You can understand the concept of tiering data for disaster recovery purposes by thinking of it like prioritizing movies.

I’ve had to learn a lot of new things since I started at SunGard Availability Services a little over a year ago. I don’t come from a technology or computer science background so, in some cases, I’ve found it easier to understand technology concepts by putting them in terms I can identify with. One of those concepts is tiering data for disaster recovery. If you want an official definition, tiered data has to do with prioritizing data for disaster recovery purposes according to the impact of its loss on the business. But to make it practical and understandable, I like to visualize tiered data the way I think of watching movies: • Tier 1: “The Movie Theater Must.” Tier 1 data involves a co … Read more