DR Planning

I am looking to get an external company to implement a DR plan for us, as currently we backup on a daily basis to tape. We have a small setup which includes 2 esx hosts running 5 virtual machines as follows:
Terminal Services
Blackberry enterprise server

They have provided the attached file for me to complete before they can forward a quote. Whilst I understand what is being asked in the form i am not entirey sure on the decision making process for deciding on the RPO and RTO. Obviously in an ideal world RPO would be a matter of minutes but I am not sure on how to make a realistic expectation of what we would like to achieve.

Any thoughts and the decision making process or on realistic data loss would be much appreciated.

Alos the initial proposal has been to use vizioncore VReplicatior. Any views on this as a product would alos be appreciated.


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Paul SolovyovskyConnect With a Mentor Senior IT AdvisorCommented:
We have customers with the same scenerios.   In general you should have another ESX host with storage on standby or remote. Here's some products to look at depending on recovery times:

Immediate Recovery - Doubtake or CA XOsoft - this will redirect IP, DNS, etc.. and provide realtime failvoer

Near Realtime- Vizioncore or Veeam vReplcator.  Replicates VM to a cold VM that can be powered up when the source goes down.  If your DR site is at a different location/subnet you will need to change DNS, etc.. so users can connect.

Cold Backup - Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery or Acronis True Image.  These will image the VM inside the OS.  You can use vConverter to convert back to the VM

I have used Vizioncore vRanger and vReplicator (one for backup and one for replication) both work well.  I have also used Veeam Backup and Replication as well.  The Veeam solution offers both products in one which may be a good price/performance scenerio.
coolsport00Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Hard to give you suggestions for RTO/RPO. Let me share with you our org setup and see if that helps.
We have a main site setup of a 2-ESX host cluster and another separate ESX host (it would be in the cluster but isn't VMotion compatible with the other 2 hosts). We also have a DR site with a ESX host there. For recovery, I use a combination of our backup solution (which we use EMC's Avamar) and VEEAM Backup/Replication. We have 2 backup nodes - main branch and DR site.

I will back up most critical VMs locally using VEEAM. For data/files/directories, I uses Avamar to back that up. For DR, I use VEEAM to replicate our most critical VMs to our DR site. If I need to recover, all I have to do is power up the VM, so recovery time is in seconds. For our most critical VMs (Exchg/SQL), what I did was make a clone of our main production VM. If I need to recover like in a DR situation, I power on the VM and restore DB info from our backup solution. The recovery time for that situation is probably around 30-60mins (time it takes to restore DB info).

I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any further questions.

amichaellConnect With a Mentor Commented:
To approach this from a non-technical perspective, these decisions shouldn't necessarily be made by IT.  Upper management needs to be involved and be part of the decision making process; not necessarily with the intricacies of the technologies utilized, though with the policy and procedure aspect.
za_mkhConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Veeam's Backup tool does two jobs in one! It is something you should consider. Also agree with amichaell in that senior management should be involved in agreeing the SLA for recovery/ procedures / etc/ etc
Brandon2k1Author Commented:
Thanks for all the comments. I will take your advice and approach senior management to try and look at this from a non techincal point of view.

Its difficult to award points with these open questions and you have all provided useful information to help with the decision making process, so I will split the points based on most useful information.

Thanks for the help.
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