Not all server replication is equal

Not all server replication is equal

Server replication is changing the way companies protect their data and systems, and ensuring high availability. But there’s more to it than the technology—choosing the right partner is critical.

By Sasha Malic, Head of Availability and Hosting Services at ContinuitySA

Technology advances now make it possible for companies to create an image of their servers at predefined intervals. In the event of an outage, the company can fail over to the most recent image within a matter of minutes.

Server replication is clearly a necessity in a world in which business takes place 24x7x365, and availability is synonymous with not only being competitive but also ensuring the sustainability of your business.

However, server replication is only a technology. There is more to recovering your systems than just technology—and that’s where ContinuitySA has the competitive advantage.

These are the factors you need to consider in addition to the technology:

  • Is your replication service managed by the provider? If you have an outage, you need to be able to call your provider to assist in the recovery and failback.
  • Where is the replication being held? The replicated systems need to be held in a robust data centre that you can access and that is compliant with data sovereignty laws.
  • How will you connect to the replicated servers? It’s very important that there are alternative communication links between your production environment and the data centre that hosts the replications.
  • Do you know that each replication is usable? It’s no use finding out there was a technical issue after the system has gone down. The replicas must be tested on a regular basis.
  • If you are running your disaster recovery in-house, have you costed it properly? Make sure you include “hidden” costs like infrastructure, personnel time and so on—providing disaster recovery yourself is expensive. By contrast, implementing replication as a service costs less than traditional means and requires no capital expenditure. There are no hardware or dedicated personnel costs—you pay as you go.
  • If the outage is accompanied by circumstances that make your business premises unusable, where will your staff go? If an office recovery site is not available as a result of fire, flood or industrial disturbance, a successful server replication will be a hollow victory.

In short, server replication is only truly valuable if it is seen within the context of a total business continuity strategy—and that’s where ContinuitySA’s expertise and experience lies.

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