Meet service-level objectives for 'recovery in place'

Ensuring that your organization can meet its service-level objectives (SLO) in a recovery in place scenario means taking stock of its existing backup assets and knowing how they'll perform during operation. "Recovery in place" refers to the process of failing an application over to a virtual machine (VM) on a secondary system so operations can continue while data is restored to the primary system.

"Backup disk and secondary disk are interesting to me, because now we got this format that in virtualization really messes these things up … [you've] really got to think about your disk backup area now," said George Crump, founder of Storage Switzerland, during a recent Storage Decisions conference. "If you're going to do recovery in place, [your backup system] could play a production role."

Crump noted that in one example, an organization that relied on an all-flash array for its VMs encountered unacceptable performance during a recovery process.

"If your DR site is going to play a production role for a significant period of time, or has the potential to -- it must have the ability to deliver production performance," said Crump.

Crump said administrators can begin the process of developing SLOs for specific applications by focusing on a few at a time, and document the recovery tools that are intended for those applications.

"It's sort of a data protection service catalog, where you have this catalog of services that you can provide and almost instantly stamp on an application. If you can put these all in ranges … that's going to make rolling this out more broadly easier to do," said Crump.

Crump said it comes down to determining what is needed to ensure recovery operations have the resources they need.

"Know your data, set procedures; we want to select the right tool to meet the SLO. And the key thing is to document which tools to use and when," said Crump.

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