Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

XOsoft connects the dots

XOsoft tests your DR plans without stopping your systems working

Article comments

You probably won't be surprised to hear that vendors often use news or statistics as a leverage point to pitch their products. It's especially true with products such as backup and data-recovery solutions that do not target specific business processes but rather make recovery possible when something stops or threatens those processes.

For example, after my blog on yet another case of disappearing backup tapes, I got several reminders from vendors telling me how vaulting solution "X" or vaulting solution "Y" prevents that from happening because, well, no tapes are used.

Tapeless vaulting could be the topic of a whole other column (and perhaps will be), but for now let's focus on another very controversial and long-debated topic: disaster recovery. The latest pitch on disaster recovery comes from XOsoft, a fairly new storage vendor, which also provides WANSynch.

This provides disaster recovery by building seamless remote and local replicas for various applications, including Microsoft and Oracle databases, and Microsoft Exchange.

The XOsoft portfolio includes WANSynchHA (the HA stands for high availability), which adds automatic fail-over of business applications in case of disruption. Equally intriguing is XOsoft's Enterprise Rewinder offering; as its name suggests, it allows a quick recovery from data corruption with a mechanism as easy and as intuitive as a VCR tape rewinder.

Fast-forward to May of this year, when XOsoft launched Assured Recovery. This extension makes possible something that, for many companies, has been an impossible target: testing disaster recovery procedures with minimum cost and disruption.

How does this tie back to those statistics and news I mentioned before? To support the usefulness of its new product, XOsoft provided some worrisome data points from a recent survey, showing that testing a disaster recovery plan is a terribly expensive and somewhat unreliable exercise in many companies.

Did we really need a survey to learn that? Probably not. Anyone who has been involved with planning and testing contingency plans knows that even the best-conceived recovery plan becomes quickly obsolete as the company business evolves.

For example, rather trivial matters, such as storage space requirements or needed updates (virus protection, anyone?), can change dramatically in a few months, creating a significant difference between the live instance and the disaster recovery copy of an application.

If you test your disaster recovery plan once a year, most of the effort will probably go to syncing those differences, which further increases cost and possibly downtime. More frequent testing would significantly reduce the differences between the two systems, but the cost of that approach often outweighs the problem it should solve. In a nutshell, this is the disaster recovery testing conundrum many companies face.

How is Assured Recovery going to improve on that? By creating a brilliant combination of the best features of XOsoft's products.

First of all, Assured Recovery works with disaster recovery solutions such as WANSynchHA, which limits its target to the database supported by that application and to the Windows file system. XOsoft plans to extend future versions to IBM AIX and Sun Solaris, but for now Assured Recovery is just for Windows and the aforementioned applications.

Here's how Assured Recovery works. Imagine having your primary database at location A, constantly replicated to a copy at location B by WANSynchHA. When you're ready to test your DR procedure, you push a virtual "DR test" button (the actual trigger varies according to your environment). That action causes the replication to stop, but your regular application keeps running at the primary site and stores new transactions to a buffer area.

Does this mean your business isn't down during testing? Indeed it does. Your application is still working and you can focus on testing your recovery site knowing that your business transactions are still alive and running.

At the recovery site, Assured Recovery will bring up the disaster recovery instance of your database, and you can make sure that everything is working as expected. You can work on solving any problems knowing that your customers are still being served at the primary location.

When the test is completed, you push another virtual button such as "End Test," which will immediately revert the disaster recovery copy of your database to its pretest state.

After that, the same database will be updated with the transactions from the buffer area and finally the replication will restart. You're back in business, having verified that your recovery will actually work when needed, all with minimum cost and disruption.

How much does Assured Recovery cost? XOsoft gives an accurate but still undefined answer: It will add 20 percent to the cost of its disaster recovery application. That's definitely worth considering if Assured Recovery supports your applications.


Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *