Recovery Point Systems Chief Marketing Officer Archana Mehta sat down with Mike Isaak, senior solutions engineer, to talk about automation and disaster recovery. This conversation is part of our continuing DR 101 series.
Archana: How do automation and DR work together?
Mike: Disaster recovery is the process of regaining critical function after a disruption. The goal is to get your business up and running as quickly as possible. The basic outline of a disaster recovery plan features: 1) identifying all possible threats; 2) creating a system to recover from each threat; 3) developing a detailed plan; and 4) keeping employees up to date on the recovery.
By adding automation into the disaster recovery equation, tools replace many actions that are performed manually. Advantages include:
- The recovery is much faster, which means less downtime.
- The possibility of human error is eliminated.
- Employees don’t have to perform every step of the process.
- Scheduled configuration backups and security checks can be put in place so an organization is prepared for any type of eventuality.
Archana: Can RTOs be optimized with automation?
Mike: Many folks believe that automation can only improve your recovery time objectives by a small margin. With proper automation and orchestration, recovery times can be optimized by up to 50 percent with failovers and failbacks managed easily. When applications and their infrastructure are configured for automated failover, no time is spent on prerequisites checks and manual failover procedures.
Archana: Can integrated disaster recovery testing still be performed with automation?
Mike: Performing regular recovery tests is the only way you know if a disaster recovery program will work. Some believe that automation doesn’t allow for selective DR tests for a subsystem of an application or it doesn’t permit to perform an end to end integrated DR test. However, that isn’t the case. With automation, DR tests can be performed without disrupting the production environment or the production data. Integrating cloud and on premise DR solutions also is possible.
Archana: Is managing recovery workflows with changing environments difficult?
Mike: Traditional disaster recovery tests involve execution of recovery procedures by each technology stack followed by validation. Workflows tend to automate the execution of these procedures across the technology stacks by configuring them in the form of a script. Workflows achieve speed, accuracy, avoid human error, and maintain recovery consistency. These workflows can be modified to compliment the scenario of the test and the test methodology. Periodic checkpoints can be configured in these workflows to report the status, issues faced, elapsed time, and request user confirmation to proceed to the next step.
Archana: How does DR automation affect DR documentation and governance?
Mike: With DR automation, documentation is managed at a process level as well as the application or infrastructure level. It also helps reduce documentation manhours and remove dependency on format, templates, and manual edits. An application’s failover and failback process can be configured as a workflow in the tool along with the required time. It can be extracted at any point of time and reviewed when needed. Test and governance reports can be extracted at anytime giving a holistic picture of the DR program. These reports supplement audit and compliance programs.
Archana: How is Recovery Point implementing automation into our disaster recovery offerings?
Mike: Today’s compliance standards have driven disaster resilience metrics to new levels, requiring regular reporting on application readiness and availability. Recovery Point’s advanced Business Process Resilience (BPR) service targets these requirements with sophisticated cross platform application recovery automation and comprehensive monitoring and reporting features for both simple and heterogeneous deployments, wherever they may live – in your internal infrastructure, public clouds, colocation site, or a Recovery Point data center.
BPR limits the possibility human error, reduces dependency on key staff, and delivers a higher level of application availability across a hybrid infrastructure than conventional DRaaS alone. Integration with all major cloud, infrastructure, application, service, and operating systems enables a single point for managing and monitoring business process availability.
BPR is truly a game changer in the DR market. To learn more about BPR and see a short video on how it works, click here. To speak to a Recovery Point expert, call 877-445-4333 or fill out our contact form.
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