Disaster Recovery Checklist

Recovery checklist

DR health check at-a-glance

The harsh lessons of 2020 revealed many businesses’ previously trusted IT resilience strategies simply weren’t fit for purpose. If it didn’t before, business continuity planning must now deal with pandemics as well as malicious cyberattacks, threats of unrecoverable data, mundane human errors and acts of god. Whatever the scenario, it comes back to the same question: how confident are you that your organisation will continue to function? Drawn from latest IT resilience best practices, here are the all-important bases to cover when reviewing your current disaster recovery (DR) setup. To avoid the all too common pitfalls, follow our checklist.

1) Is your DR virtual-ready and application-aware?

  • Can you replicate at the VM and virtual disk level?
  • Can you easily copy an application running on multiple VMs? Or do you have to manage at the logical unit number (LUN) level – tracking down and consolidating storage locations, and defining replication policies with different tools?
  • Does your DR support VMware vApp objects?
  • Can you configure replication policy for an entire application in one go? For example, an application spread across ten VMs, located on different ESX hosts and using storage from different LUNs?


2) Does your DR support mission-critical applications?

  • Can you achieve a recovery time objective (RTO) of less than a minute, and a recovery point objective (RPO) of seconds?
  • Does your DR support consistency grouping of VMs across hosts and storage to ensure write order fidelity of an entire application?
  • Do you use data path splitting with no negative performance impact or data lag? Or do you rely on snapshots, which can slow down applications?
  • Does your DR solution offer continuous data protection with near-synchronous replication?


3) How easy is it to use?

  • Could a new joiner quickly pick up your DR solution, or would there be a steep learning curve?
  • Does it introduce new concepts and training requirements?
  • Does it require lots of manual effort, or is it highly automated?


4) Does your DR offer true workload mobility?

  • Does it enable replication between different vendors and different storage technologies?
  • Can you move VMs seamlessly and without interruption of service?:

a) From old hardware to new?

b) From one infrastructure architecture to another?

c) From one hypervisor type to another?

d) From on-premises to the cloud?

  • Does it fully support VMware Storage vMotion so you don’t have to worry whether replication will automatically be moved with storage?


5) Does your DR solution lower complexity and increase control?

  • Does it add control points, creating unnecessary overheads and extra work?
  • Will it work within your existing vSphere and vCenter setup, reducing control points and management consoles?
  • Does it offer APIs for integration of cloud and workflow management applications?
  • Can you recover everything, or only an unaffected copy of the infected subset of your data?
  • Does it include reporting across clouds to ensure you’re meeting compliance and SLA metrics?


6) How scalable is your DR?

  • As your virtual infrastructure grows, does your DR seamlessly grow with it, without the need to purchase, install, and configure more hardware?


7) How easy is it to test?

  • Can you easily test DR by performing failover and failback operations without disruption?
  • Is it simple to confirm the integrity of recovered data?

Discuss your DR Requirements

For further information or to discuss your DR requirements in more detail, go to creative-itc.com, contact karl.smith@creative-itc.com or call +44 (0)7508 495853.