When it comes to recovery, there are two important things to think about: your recovery point objective (RPO) and the recovery time objective (RTO). These metrics define the recovery abilities for your workloads. What’s interesting is that although businesses are aware of them, it can still be difficult to achieve proper disaster recovery without the right solution in place. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to customers about this and when asked "What is your targeted RPO?" the response is usually the same, "as low as possible" or “we haven’t got one, we just try and recover as quickly as possible”. While this might be the goal, achieving it is usually not possible. In the survey from ESG below, typically 1/2 of mission-critical workloads have a desire to achieve a 15 minute or less RPO. Add to that a 1/3 of mission-critical applications have an RPO of 1 hour or less, it starts to become clear that not all mission-critical applications have the same RPO requirement. This can make it difficult to support companywide RPO requirements for multiple applications and systems. Most applications need to be protected through backup, either for recovery for application consistency but also for data retention, compliance, and recovery purposes. The ability to merge backup with replication enables you to have multiple RPOs - better termed as service level objective (SLO) - which also incorporates the RTO. This is equally important when it comes to recovery as some applications need to be recovered faster than others with the need to ensure business operations are up and running to service end-users.
For example, suppose you have a database, which I’m sure you do. This will typically be connected to some middleware layer as well as a presentation layer such as a webserver. Understanding the order of recovery is very important, and the type of recovery you carry out during a DR test or an actual DR event may vary. For a DR test, you may want to have the last know good data from an application consistency point of view, which you can validate using our integrated Rehearsal feature that lets you test your secondary systems prior to a DR scenario. We’re also finding that more customers are using the Rehearsal feature for other purposes such as application development and hosting less critical workloads, or they may also want run DR simulations using their most current data. Having this level of flexibility for recovery is essential. The other scenario which is becoming more common today is for guarding against ransomware, malware, or data corruption, using the DR environment as a clean room for the application workloads and leveraging continuous data protection with granular recovery points so that your applications can be validated as being ‘clean’ before recovery into production.
One of our customers is using this approach for their mission-critical billing systems that has a combination of a 5-minute & 4-hour RPO for replication and backup respectively. The systems also leverage continuous data protection recovery points which they plan to use for scheduled testing. Our solution provides them peace of mind and readiness should disaster strike.
I’m pleased to announce that with NetBackup 9.1 and Resiliency Platform 4.0, we have delivered a solution that satisfies this approach of supporting Multiple SLOs. It’s now possible to have multiple RPOs for a single workload, utilizing NetBackup protection as well as real-time replication via Resiliency Platform simultaneously. It’s possible to monitor the RPOs in real-time and you can see if they’re being achieved. You can also see which RPO is the lowest with respect to possible data loss.
During a recovery or rehearsal operation, the administrator can choose which method of recovery they would like to use. and it can be used for a tiered set of workloads with the Virtual Business Service feature. Everything can be incorporated into a resiliency plan, which is basically a blueprint for DR operations; a way to automate your DR run books and customize to your environment. Most resiliency solutions will just offer one type of data movement protection for a workload either replication or backup, and the operation for recovery doesn’t provide flexible or seamless workflow automation when recovery matters.
CDP functionality can also be leveraged during the recovery of the workloads so that granular recovery points can be selected and recovered. It’s also possible to inject custom scripts within the resiliency plan, so you can run a malware scanning engine of your choice to inspect your data within the recovery workflow.
As we move forward with our resiliency strategy, you will see more and more integration between our resiliency platform and NetBackup. Our latest release gives you a range of resiliency options, which is an important part of an enterprise resiliency strategy. Add to this some advanced features like continuous data protection to help mitigate malware and ransomware attacks, and the overall solution to help you make your applications and data resilient keeps getting better!
Please tell us what you think about this feature. Better yet, try it out yourself. Download a copy of Veritas NetBackup 9.1 from our trialware page and see how easy it is to protect VMware resources. Learn more about NetBackup at veritas.com/netbackup and watch this demo.
For additional resiliency options, learn about Continuous Data Protection as well as Instant Rollback for VMware with NetBackup 9.1
Existing customers can download a copy from the Veritas Download Center. Additionally, be sure to renew your Veritas maintenance and services to continue to get access to free support and upgrades, so you can make the most of your Veritas products. Renewing allows you to capitalize on the innovations in the latest releases as soon as they are available to keep your products up-to-date and operating as they should. It also allows you to leverage Veritas services to get the always-on, expert technical support required to quickly resolve issues. As a result, you extract more value from your Veritas investment, reduce your risks, so you can focus on your business. Learn more about Veritas maintenance and support at veritas.com/renewals.
For more NetBackup features, ask us questions in the comments, and stay tuned to more blogs or demos planned in our V-Bytes video series.
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