|By Nicos Vekiarides||
|October 27, 2012 09:00 AM EDT||
As mentioned in Part I of this series, cloud technology has introduced a viable alternative to the practice of creating secondary sites for disaster recovery (DR), promising to save IT organizations hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in infrastructure and maintenance. While the cost reduction associated with replacing dedicated DR infrastructure is intuitive, the ability of cloud solutions to meet the recovery times (RTOs and RPOs) dictated by businesses is often less well understood.
Part I suggested two key considerations in recovering IT operations from a disaster are (1) regaining access to data and (2) regaining access to applications. Today’s cloud integrated storage or cloud storage gateways can push backups or live data sets to the cloud easily and securely, enabling the first element of a cloud DR solution. With this in mind, let’s examine two strategies for application recovery using cloud-based DR:
Strategy 1: Data copies in-cloud, application recovery off-cloud
One of the simpler approaches to cloud-based DR stores data copies in the cloud and allows external, off-cloud access by applications in the case of a primary site outage. With data in the cloud accessible from nearly anywhere, applications may be recovered at a secondary site if they cannot be recovered at the primary site.
The advantage of this approach is the elimination of dedicated secondary storage infrastructure for DR. The disadvantage is the requirement for a secondary site for application recovery.
An improvement to this approach involves leveraging a hosting provider as the application recovery site, where new application servers can be provisioned on-demand in case of a disaster. Using a hosted recovery site can be considerably faster than restoring and rebuilding the original application environment and more economical than maintaining a dedicated secondary site. However, recovery times may be impacted by the time it takes for the hosting provider to provision new servers.
Strategy 2: Data copies in-cloud, application recovery in-cloud
Perhaps a more ideal approach to cloud-based DR enables both data and application recovery in the cloud without the need for a secondary site for applications or storage. Cloud compute as-a-service represents an attractive environment for recovering applications by rapidly spinning up new virtual servers.
When using a cloud storage gateway to replicate data to the cloud, consider cloud gateways with the ability to run in the cloud. Cloud servers can then attach to the gateway to facilitate application recovery.
The process of application recovery may involve activating servers and applications via a cloud provider’s catalog. Although this process is much faster than provisioning new physical hardware, it can still be time consuming, particularly when attempting to recover tens or hundreds of servers.
Alternatively, virtual machines that resided on-premise can be reinstantiated in the cloud, similar to failover of virtual machines between hypervisors. This is possible if the same hypervisor runs on-premise and in the cloud. However, while moving virtual machine (VM) images between like hypervisors is generally straightforward, many cloud providers may not offer sufficient administrative privilege in their virtual compute environments or may not be compatible with on-premise hypervisors.
To get around these limitations and incompatibilities, an emerging option involves importing on-premise VMs into the cloud via conversion scripts and tools. An important consideration is ensuring that these conversion scripts and tools operate bidirectionally, meaning they allow a way to eventually export VMs back to the on-premise environment.
The keys to success are testing and working with a partner you trust
While there are a variety of ways to deploy DR in the cloud, there are many subtleties and details to consider. Not surprisingly, the devil is often in the details.
Keep in mind that an important aspect of any DR strategy is conducting regular testing and validation. Additionally, working with technology partners who understand the advantages and tradeoffs of DR in the cloud can be particularly helpful.
Like any major IT undertaking, DR in the cloud requires significant planning — but the payoff can be substantial if reducing disaster recovery costs and improving availability are important to your business.
In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ernest Mueller, Product Manager at Idera, will explain the best practices and lessons learned for tracking and optimizing costs while delivering a cloud-hosted service. He will describe a DevOps approach where the applications and systems work together to track usage, model costs in a granular fashion, and make smart decisions at runtime to minimize costs. The trickier parts covered include triggering off the right metrics; balancing resilience and redundancy ...
Sep. 1, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 243
SYS-CON Events announced today that G2G3 will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based on a collective appreciation for user experience, design, and technology, G2G3 is uniquely qualified and motivated to redefine how organizations and people engage in an increasingly digital world.
Sep. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 508
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sep. 1, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 909
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
Sep. 1, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 237
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 321
The pricing of tools or licenses for log aggregation can have a significant effect on organizational culture and the collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. Modern tools for log aggregation (of which Logentries is one example) can be hugely enabling for DevOps approaches to building and operating business-critical software systems. However, the pricing of an aggregated logging solution can affect the adoption of modern logging techniques, as well as organizational capabilities and cross-team ...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 408
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 370
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Sep. 1, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 605
Several years ago, I was a developer in a travel reservation aggregator. Our mission was to pull flight and hotel data from a bunch of cryptic reservation platforms, and provide it to other companies via an API library - for a fee. That was before companies like Expedia standardized such things. We started with simple methods like getFlightLeg() or addPassengerName(), each performing a small, well-understood function. But our customers wanted bigger, more encompassing services that would "do ...
Sep. 1, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 276
Docker containerization is increasingly being used in production environments. How can these environments best be monitored? Monitoring Docker containers as if they are lightweight virtual machines (i.e., monitoring the host from within the container), with all the common metrics that can be captured from an operating system, is an insufficient approach. Docker containers can’t be treated as lightweight virtual machines; they must be treated as what they are: isolated processes running on hosts....
Sep. 1, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 162
Introducing Containers & Microservices Bootcamp at @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #Containers #Microservices
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
Sep. 1, 2015 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 359
DevOps has traditionally played important roles in development and IT operations, but the practice is quickly becoming core to other business functions such as customer success, business intelligence, and marketing analytics. Modern marketers today are driven by data and rely on many different analytics tools. They need DevOps engineers in general and server log data specifically to do their jobs well. Here’s why: Server log files contain the only data that is completely full and accurate in th...
Sep. 1, 2015 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 406
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
Sep. 1, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 411
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
Aug. 31, 2015 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 406
Puppet Labs has announced the next major update to its flagship product: Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. This release includes new features providing DevOps teams with clarity, simplicity and additional management capabilities, including an all-new user interface, an interactive graph for visualizing infrastructure code, a new unified agent and broader infrastructure support.
Aug. 31, 2015 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 524
Early in my DevOps Journey, I was introduced to a book of great significance circulating within the Web Operations industry titled The Phoenix Project. (You can read our review of Gene’s book, if interested.) Written as a novel and loosely based on many of the same principles explored in The Goal, this book has been read and referenced by many who have adopted DevOps into their continuous improvement and software delivery processes around the world. As I began planning my travel schedule last...
Aug. 31, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 544
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
Aug. 31, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 428
It’s been proven time and time again that in tech, diversity drives greater innovation, better team productivity and greater profits and market share. So what can we do in our DevOps teams to embrace diversity and help transform the culture of development and operations into a true “DevOps” team? In her session at DevOps Summit, Stefana Muller, Director, Product Management – Continuous Delivery at CA Technologies, answered that question citing examples, showing how to create opportunities for ...
Aug. 31, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 493
What does “big enough” mean? It’s sometimes useful to argue by reductio ad absurdum. Hello, world doesn’t need to be broken down into smaller services. At the other extreme, building a monolithic enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is just asking for trouble: it’s too big, and it needs to be decomposed.
Aug. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 363
The Microservices architectural pattern promises increased DevOps agility and can help enable continuous delivery of software. This session is for developers who are transforming existing applications to cloud-native applications, or creating new microservices style applications. In his session at DevOps Summit, Jim Bugwadia, CEO of Nirmata, will introduce best practices, patterns, challenges, and solutions for the development and operations of microservices style applications. He will discuss ...
Aug. 27, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 522