Aug 162010

A client of mine said to me: “Bill, we have all this stuff and my staff if good. How do we pull all this software and hardware together into a comprehensive Disaster Recovery program?” Over the past two years, they had acquired:

  • Fatpipe load balancers
  • VMware
  • Backup software (Issue: tapeless versus traditional? They were partial to tapeless)
  • Doubletake
  • Platespin
  • HP NAS appliance
  • iSCSI SAN from Lefthand
  • DR Site
  • Connectivity

The executive summarized his predicament, “the products all appear to be good.” I agreed, but based on his current network problems, tight back-up windows, huge WAN latency and more, it appeared that several of these products had overlapping functionality causing them to argue and step on each other. “There is no way I can roll this out into production without being sure,” he said. The organization asked me to come up with solutions in several areas, in particular the executive wanted answers to these questions:

  • How can they repurpose the HP NAS so that the investment is not wasted?
  • What is the best way to use the iSCSI SAN from a block level replication perspective?
  • How is back-up and corruption protection going to be handled?
  • What function will Doubletake play in the new design?
  • How will the WAN network respond to the new design? They had a combined MPLS and point-to-point architecture.
  • Why are backups barely being completed overnight? This could be indicative of bigger issues that need to be solved first.

The White Paper includes a summary of questions that will help you understand Disaster Recovery as two necessary categories including 1) backup and correction protections and 2) production SAN and virtualization.  This  information will get you started on the path to implementing an IT Disaster Recovery Plan that works!

CIO Considerations When Deploying Exchange 2010

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Apr 102010

The VRT on this topic with the group was great. Here is a review of the agenda covered. If you have an interest in dowloading the presentation and the survey results the file is inlcuded here. Enjoy!

  • Virtualization or Physical Deployment (Portability, HA vs. Clustering, DR flexibility)
  • Backup decisions (VM backup, disk image, Exchange aware, offsite VTL and replication)
  • Backups offsite – D2D and Backup software replication
  • SAN impact discussion
  • High Availability Decisions – Virtual, physical clustering, 3rd party options
  • DR / Recovery Decisions – Virtualization, SANs, Backup systems, Exchange SCR
  • Security and Add-On Management (Policy, Data Loss Prevention, Encryption, Remote Access, and Archivers)
  • Exchange point replication solutions (eg. Doubletake and Neverfail)
  • OWA and Clean PC
  • PC Virtualization Decision