We all know that disaster recovery is an essential part of any organization’s IT plan. But when faced with competing priorities and limited resources, it might seem easier to postpone this expensive and complex decision. This is the story for over 65% of IT organizations, which either do not have disaster recovery orchestration in place or have implemented it in a best-effort fashion with manually documented notes and worksheets. Leading analyst reports tell us that the cost of one outage across all industry verticals is between $500K to $1M. And, that nearly 72% of organizations faced IT downtime over a 12 month period due to a variety of factors.
An equally interesting observation from analyst studies is that over 94% of companies that have recovery plans are unable to achieve their recovery SLAs – recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). Why is getting reliable DR so hard and complex?
In traditional deployments, getting disaster recovery orchestration to work requires many different products to interoperate with great precision. This involves protecting the right servers or virtual machines, replicating data to other sites for storage and backups (for cybercrime recovery), restoring the data on the other site from storage and backup in an orderly fashion, changing the network configuration, and powering on the workloads again. Data goes through three data format changes and the admin goes to four different management consoles (vCenter, storage, backup, and DR orchestration software). As you can imagine, this checks all the wrong boxes – it’s very costly to buy all this gear on two sites, it’s very complex to set up and manage, and it’s very fragile since a change in any of the links can break the recovery plan integrity.
Making Disaster Recovery Economical, Reliable, and Easy
To make disaster recovery economical, reliable, and easy, the following capabilities are required:
SaaS Disaster Recovery Orchestration
The first requirement is to make the DR orchestration software a SaaS offering with completely automated lifecycle management. This frees administrators from the burden of installing, configuring, managing, and upgrading this extra piece of software on all systems and sites in their environment. A SaaS offering can run out of the risk zone and provide one single console to manage the recovery of all organizational sites.
Pay-per-use Public Cloud DR Target
The cost of a DR solution can be greatly mitigated by leveraging public cloud infrastructure in a true pay-per-use manner. A modern disaster recovery orchestration solution should be able to use a public cloud as the failover target and only invoke cloud resources when required.
Operationally Consistent Public Cloud DR Target
While pay-per-use is a must-have for cost reasons, operational consistency is a must-have for reliability reasons. In many public cloud DR solutions, the management tools, networking constructs, application access mechanisms, data format, and vm format all change in the public cloud. This is not an instant and reliable DR solution. The solution should offer one management console, no data format conversion, no vm format conversion, and allow the use of the same toolsets for on-premises and in the public cloud. The best way for most enterprises to achieve this goal is to use VMware Cloud on AWS as the public cloud target.
Converged Primary, Backup, and Disaster Recovery Orchestration
Disaster Recovery often relies on primary and backup storage to recover from a variety of scenarios. For example, to recover from ransomware, you need deep backups but to recover quickly from disasters, you need the latest snapshots on the primary storage. In a converged primary and backup solution, both disaster and ransomware recoveries can be performed quickly on one system. With converged disaster recovery orchestration, end-to-end compliance checks can be performed across the entire stack because the software understands all the objects involved in the recovery plan – virtual machines, snapshots, replication, networking, etc. can be continuously validated to ensure the DR plans are reliable when they need to be.
Introducing ControlShift: Disaster Recovery Made Economical, Reliable, and Easy!
ControlShift is a new SaaS application that orchestrates disaster and cybercrime recovery across DVXs and to VMware Cloud on AWS. Users can log in, create recovery plans, and run them for test, unplanned, and unplanned migration of workloads. Delivered on Automatrix technology, ControlShift makes recoveries instant, failproof, cost effective, and easy.
Here is how ControlShift meets the requirements for a modern disaster recovery solution and makes disaster recovery economical, reliable, and easy.
Modern SaaS Experience (Easy DR)
ControlShift is delivered as a SaaS application in your cloud account (AWS) or Datrium hosted account. With automated deployment, configuration, maintenance, upgrades, and failure recovery, you can just focus on creating and executing your DR plans.
Flexible Private and Hybrid Cloud Topologies (Economical DR)
Orchestration in sophisticated multi-site private cloud and public cloud is easy with ControlShift. One single console can be used to create recovery plans from DVXs to DVXs, Cloud DVXs to DVXs, and DVXs to VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs.
Pay-per-use Operationally Consistent DR to VMC/AWS
ControlShift allows you to eliminate recovery sites with pay-per-use SDDC in VMware Cloud on AWS. Data can be stored fully deduplicated and compressed in low-cost S3 object storage in AWS and instantiated on just-in-time SDDC clusters in VMC/AWS when an event occurs. You pay for VMC SDDC only for the duration of the event. Once on-premises recovery is complete, failback can be performed and the SDDC cluster can be torn down. Plus, data stays in one filesystem, VMs stay VMs, and all tooling/management is consistent.
RTO in Seconds & RPO in Minutes (Reliable)
ControlShift leverages Automatrix technology to deliver near zero or zero recovery time objective (RTO) for on-premises or in the public cloud. Built on high-performance DVX snapshots and replication, a recovery point objective (RPO) as low as 10 minutes is achievable.
Disaster and Cybercrime Recovery (Reliable)
Recoveries can be performed instantly from the most recent snapshots in case of unplanned or planned outages and from snapshots many months or years old in case of a cybercrime attack like ransomware. Separate backup and DR infrastructure can be eliminated.
Comprehensive Orchestration Plans (Reliable)
ControlShift provides comprehensive orchestration capabilities designed around virtual machines with complete control over vCenter, networks, IP address, and custom script mappings. A recovery workflow based on DVX protection groups can be easily created and executed.
Continuous Compliance Checks (Reliable)
Tight integration with converged primary and backup infrastructure on DVX enables ControlShift to deliver a recovery compliance objective (RCO) of 30 minutes. All objects in the plan are continuously checked for their health status and any variance from plan is flagged for correction. This ensures that when the time comes, the recovery is failproof.
Automated Audit Reporting (Easy)
Audit reports are an operational requirement for many companies. ControlShift makes audit compliance painless by automatically creating email and pdf reports of all executed compliance checks, test runs, and failovers.
Workload Mobility and Instantiation (Bonus!)
In addition to recovery from outages, ControlShift can also provide added value in the form of disaster mitigation (planned migration), cloud bursting (instantiation in VMware Cloud on AWS), and copy data management automation (test/dev/analytics from older data).