are-you-neglecting-disaster-recovery-testing-your-vmware-environment

According to the most recent figures a whopping 73 percent of all companies around the world do not have adequate disaster readiness preparations. About 60 percent lack any completed disaster recovery plan, while one-third of those businesses with a plan have not tested to see if it works or not. Sixty-five percent do try to test their plans, but do not pass their own tests. Clearly, there is a lot of ground to cover in terms of disaster readiness. 

Fortunately, virtual environments are much easier to back up and restore than IT environments with physical machines. With physical machines the backup space is so costly that businesses typically have to pick about 20 percent of their machines to back up and protect with recovery plans, leaving the other 80 percent wholly unprotected. IT departments using virtual environments, however, can afford to back up all of their systems for about the same cost as the others spend on backing up just 20 percent. 

What Does a Solid Disaster Recovery Plan Look Like? 

Disaster Recovery

A good disaster recovery plan is well documented, well tested, and well understood by those who are in a position to be involved in any recovery process that may occur.

Disaster recoveryThere are a lot of backup and disaster recovery solutions available, but it’s critical to understand that these products are just the foundation for a solid recovery plan. No vendor solution is a complete DR solution, because you have to take your particular environment into account. What systems do you need to restore? How often should you conduct a complete backup? How frequently should you supplement the full backup with a partial backup that includes changes and additions? You have to address all of these questions in addition to what your disaster recovery vendor provides. 

A complete disaster recovery plan includes: 

  • A number of potential recovery scenarios that could force your business into a recovery process
  • A plan of action for each scenario
  • A definition of what "fully restored" means: what systems, data, etc. will be restored to the granular (file) level 
  • A process for restoring according to that definition, along with contingency plans for uncontrollable events, such as power outages, Internet outages, and damaged or destroyed facilities 

Testing and Perfecting the Disaster Recovery Plan

DR Testing VMware

What is the difference between companies that are able to carry on after a disaster and those forced to close their doors? A well-tested and finely-tuned disaster recovery plan.

How well did you do in developing your plan? There is no way to know until you’ve tested it. Many businesses neglect testing because it is expensive, not just in terms of financial cost, but also in terms of time and resources. However, about 40 percent of all businesses never reopen following a disaster, especially when the event destroys their primary data and systems. Only a tested and perfected disaster recovery plan can protect you from becoming one of many businesses that make up this sad statistic.Test your plan regularly and update it as you grow, add new systems to be backed up, add employees, and as the business evolves. Be sure the plan is well documented and well understood by all of the workers who would be charged with the restoration process in the event of an actual disaster. Until it works right, the disaster plan is not complete. 

Psst – most DR solutions involve VMware Snapshots -> Are you looking for a better VMware Snapshot management solution? Sign up for Snapwatcher today.

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Use Case - Tamper-resistant Clinical Trials

Goal:

Blockchain PoCs were unsuccessful due to complexity and lack of developers.

Still the goal of data immutability as well as client verification is a crucial. Furthermore, the system needs to be easy to use and operate (allowing backup, maintenance windows aso.).

Implementation:

immudb is running in different datacenters across the globe. All clinical trial information is stored in immudb either as transactions or the pdf documents as a whole.

Having that single source of truth with versioned, timestamped, and cryptographically verifiable records, enables a whole new way of transparency and trust.

Use Case - Finance

Goal:

Store the source data, the decision and the rule base for financial support from governments timestamped, verifiable.

A very important functionality is the ability to compare the historic decision (based on the past rulebase) with the rulebase at a different date. Fully cryptographic verifiable Time Travel queries are required to be able to achieve that comparison.

Implementation:

While the source data, rulebase and the documented decision are stored in verifiable Blobs in immudb, the transaction is stored using the relational layer of immudb.

That allows the use of immudb’s time travel capabilities to retrieve verified historic data and recalculate with the most recent rulebase.

Use Case - eCommerce and NFT marketplace

Goal:

No matter if it’s an eCommerce platform or NFT marketplace, the goals are similar:

  • High amount of transactions (potentially millions a second)
  • Ability to read and write multiple records within one transaction
  • prevent overwrite or updates on transactions
  • comply with regulations (PCI, GDPR, …)


Implementation:

immudb is typically scaled out using Hyperscaler (i. e. AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure) distributed across the Globe. Auditors are also distributed to track the verification proof over time. Additionally, the shop or marketplace applications store immudb cryptographic state information. That high level of integrity and tamper-evidence while maintaining a very high transaction speed is key for companies to chose immudb.

Use Case - IoT Sensor Data

Goal:

IoT sensor data received by devices collecting environment data needs to be stored locally in a cryptographically verifiable manner until the data is transferred to a central datacenter. The data integrity needs to be verifiable at any given point in time and while in transit.

Implementation:

immudb runs embedded on the IoT device itself and is consistently audited by external probes. The data transfer to audit is minimal and works even with minimum bandwidth and unreliable connections.

Whenever the IoT devices are connected to a high bandwidth, the data transfer happens to a data center (large immudb deployment) and the source and destination date integrity is fully verified.

Use Case - DevOps Evidence

Goal:

CI/CD and application build logs need to be stored auditable and tamper-evident.
A very high Performance is required as the system should not slow down any build process.
Scalability is key as billions of artifacts are expected within the next years.
Next to a possibility of integrity validation, data needs to be retrievable by pipeline job id or digital asset checksum.

Implementation:

As part of the CI/CD audit functionality, data is stored within immudb using the Key/Value functionality. Key is either the CI/CD job id (i. e. Jenkins or GitLab) or the checksum of the resulting build or container image.

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