SafeData Praises Vaulting with Recovery Services
May 5, 2008 Dan Burger
Understanding your risk and controlling what you can is the best defense. No matter what the risk, this is sound advice. What are the risks in your IT department? Haphazard growth, lack of focus and coherent planning, and investment avoidance are just a few points that indicate a lack of interest in controlling risk. What can you do to have some control over risk?
Dealing with system recovery after your system has failed is the subject of a just-published white paper by SafeData, a Rhode Island-based business that hosts high availability and disaster recovery services offering managed services as a subscription. The company is particularly interested in helping small and mid-sized businesses that are unaware of the risks and therefore unable to control them.
The objective of the report, which is called High Stakes of Data Availability and which you can read here, is to provide a brief overview of data availability and recovery options and make a case for electronic vaulting as a managed service. The backup and recovery options considered in this white paper include tape backup and off-site storage, high availability, managed high availability, electronic vaulting, and electronic vaulting with recovery. SafeData’s preference toward vaulting with recovery comes after years of experience as an implementer of high availability and related software products. The company now specializes in HA and data recovery services to companies that want a specific level of availability without the heavy investment.
In its white paper, SafeData draws conclusions based on the weaknesses or costliness of the common high availability and disaster recovery alternatives. Consideration is given to damaged, lost, or stolen backup tapes and the slow recovery time associated with tape backups. Peter Briggs, president of SafeData, told me that “most shops we talk to are looking for a way to reduce their recovery time. The reacting to the problem usually takes longer than the restore. Companies are also looking for a way to add reliability. In the case of a regional disaster, getting access to a hot site and its equipment is a risk.”
High availability is dinged for its complexity and because it is considered overkill for organizations that do not require 24/7 availability. Managed HA gets high marks, but the caution flag comes out when discussing bandwidth utilization, operating system compatibility, network devices, and adequate data center facilities for the service provider. Briggs said, “High availability is not as complex as it once was, but it still needs to be managed full time. Fully managed HA is the key. The SMB shops want us to run it.”
Electronic vaulting that uses encryption and block-level change technology is lauded for being reliable and efficient, but lacking a quick recovery time unless it is combined with recovery services to assure downtime does not stretch beyond 24 hours. “Compared to tape, which is very fast and very stable, you still have that data on site. And as soon as you move that tape to a safe location, you’ve added a lot of time to the recovery,” Briggs said. “That’s really the point.”
Approximately two-thirds of the SafeData’s revenues come from its SafeData/HA product, which uses high availability clustering software to provide customers with offsite HA clustering. Most of the remaining sales are attributed to its SafeData/DR product, which is a subscription-based data replication and disk restoration service.