This is the fourth of four posts where we take a close look into the elements that have put DRaaS solutions at the top of most businesses’ lists for data protection.
Failback is the Follow-On to Failover
While failover is the process of switching to a backup source, failback is the process of restoring your data back to your original resource from a backup—once the cause of the failover is remedied—so you can resume normal operations. Failback also involves identifying any changes that were made while the disaster recovery site or virtual machine was running in place of the primary site or virtual machine.
It’s important that your disaster recovery solution can run the workloads you need it to run and can sustain your operations for as long as necessary. That makes failback testing critical as part of your disaster recovery plan. An admin needs to closely monitor any failback tests and document any implementation gaps so you can close them. Regular failback testing will save you critical time when you need to get your house back in order.
There are several important areas you need to consider in regard to the failback section of your disaster recovery plan. Connectivity is first on the list. If you don’t have an absolutely reliable connection or pathway between your primary and backup data, failback likely won’t even be possible. A secure connection ensures that a failback can be performed without interruption, and you can be sure that your source data and backup target data are always synchronized so the potential for data loss is minimized.
You also need to make sure that data that’s stored in your disaster recovery site is always secure. If a disaster strikes, it may be impossible to quickly recover. If a failover does occur and your operations are now running from a disaster recovery cloud, you need to protect the data in that virtual environment by replicating it to your backup targets immediately. That’s why network bandwidth is your next concern. If you don’t have sufficient bandwidth, bottlenecks and delays will interfere with synchronization and hamper your recovery.
Testing is the most critical element for ensuring failback is successful when you really need it. That means testing all systems and networks, so you are sure that they are capable of resuming operations after failback. We suggest you use an alternate location as your test environment and use the knowledge gained from the test to optimize your failback strategies.
Finally, perform a disaster recovery assessment after a failback test operation is finished to document each step of the process, your results, and anything that went wrong. Then use that information to update your disaster recovery plan. Your plan should also include a back-to-business section so you can more smoothly transition back to normal across every area of your business—IT assets, documentation, network services, and any other resources or dependencies that are essential to a successful failback.
Cloud-based backup and disaster recovery solutions should be at the top of your list when considering DRaaS solutions. Solutions like StorageCraft Cloud Services can protect your on-premises business systems and data in a cloud that’s purpose-built for total business continuity. That means you can access your cloud data anywhere, anytime, with certainty because the StorageCraft disaster recovery cloud is highly distributed and fault tolerant, delivering 99.999+ percent uptime.
StorageCraft’s Cloud Premium service also features the patented ability to pre-stage site-wide failover processes so you can test or execute a failover with a single button. And with StorageCraft DRaaS you can recover files and folders, create virtual machines, and instantly fail over an entire site and network.
While you’re diving into DRaaS, consider talking to a StorageCraft engineer to learn how you can simplify backups and make disaster recovery and business continuity a snap.