Common DR Plans for our BRS clients

For clients that rely on our Backup and Recovery Solution (BRS) as part of their Disaster Recovery (DR) plan, they’ve taken an important first step by leveraging a solid imaged-based backup solution with both on premise and off-site copies of data stored as part of the core solution.  However, we find that many clients have not put a lot of thought into what would happen in the event of an actual business-impacting scenario, such as a fire or flood.  The good news is that we have thought through the options for you, and find that there are four major categories of DR plans that our clients can leverage, as follows:

Table-Top DR – this is the most common scenario, particularly for clients with a single location, and for many of our clients, would be the default unless an alternative were defined and tested in advance.   In this scenario, once the client informs us that an event has occurred that has destroyed their primary office, we’d either work to build a temporary server from our stock or overnight in parts to build a replacement production environment server, copy the images of the server(s) stored off-site at our Marlborough, MA data center to the new hardware, and muster at the DR location of choice for the client — often the business owner’s house, a temporary site to-be-determined, or if available, our DR suite in Marlborough.  A temporary network is constructed, and work is resumed in restricted capacity until a permanent replacement office is found.

Predetermined DR Location – in this scenario, the client has a predetermined DR location, often a secondary or branch office, that would serve as the DR site.  We often leverage a second target destination of the daily off-site data copy, not only to our data center, but to a second appliance kept at our client’s DR location.  DR tests can be run by disconnecting the DR appliance and simulating an emergency in the main location at the DR site.

Hosted DR – with advance planning and coordination, a client can leverage a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to our hosted environment to create a connection to their data in the event of a primary office disaster.  We would spin up the client’s server(s) in our environment to have the most current backup data made available, and remote users could resume working by accessing data out of our data center.  This scenario has certain requirements and restrictions, and must be setup and tested in advance of any DR scenario.

Collocation – This is less of a DR scenario and more of a redesign of the total IT infrastructure of the client.  In this scenario, the client collocates their production environment servers into our Marlborough infrastructure, and all users access data remotely.  Then we deploy a BRS solution so that backups of the production environment data get sent daily to an appliance at the client’s main location, or other location of choice.  In this model, the paradigm is flipped, and the data center is the production environment, and the client’s environment serves as the DR infrastructure.

Each scenario has pros and cons in regards to setup costs, setup time, testing costs, testing time, and time-to-recover in the event of an actual disaster.  However, as they say, a failure to plan is a plan to fail.   Therefore, if a change from our default model of recovery is desired, talk to us about defining and testing a customized recovery plan for your business.