Posts Tagged ‘Recovery Planning’

New Managed Recovery Program (MRP) Service Receives Interest as the “Only” Service Addressing Root-Cause Recovery Challenges

Last week, SunGard Availability Services announced General Availability (GA) of a new service called Managed Recovery Program (MRP). This service offers to help ensure the availability of applications by supporting management of the entire recovery lifecycle using a systematic approach for SunGard customers. As part of the approach, root-cause problems which undermine recovery are identified and addressed on an on-going basis.

During analyst briefings, what was the consistent comment heard by the team? That while others may talk about change management and other common root-cause problems which undermine recovery, SunGard is the only vendor with a packaged service, at General Availability, with real customers using it.

During briefings, SunGard Sr Director Kerwin Myers shared details of the experiences of early adopters of MRP services. Some of the comments shared by Kerwin include:

* Organizations with recovery scripts already in place, are often surprised to find significant gaps in those scripts which are revealed in on-boarding tests

* Lack of change management of recovery procedures is one of the most significant root causes which MRP is designed to address

* MRP customers report appreciating the benefits experienced from working with an assigned SunGard Service Delivery Manager (SDM), in particular, as the SDM serves as a counter-part to the organization’s DRC and helps to re-enforce and strengthen that role

Review of MRP service has been strong. You can read what’s being said in this round-up of coverage:

* “SunGard Availability Reveals Recovery Plan for Large Enterprises” Posted Nov 15, by Bruce Hoard at Virtualization Review

* “SunGard Announces New Managed Recovery Program” posted Nov 9, by Loiver VanDervoort at MSPNews

* “SunGard: Managed Recovery Progam for Cloud and On-Premise” posted Nov 10, by Nicholas Mukhar at MSPmentor

Interested in learning more? Kerwin Myers and the SunGard MRP team will be presenting a session on overcoming root-cause problems which undermine recovery, at the upcoming Gartner Data Center Conference being held Dec 5-8 in Las Vegas. Meet Kerwin and several of our SunGard SDM experts while you’re there!

How Confident Are You in Your Recovery? Forrester Reports Suggest that Maybe You Should Not Be

—-> By Kelly Baig
Last Spring, Forrester published some interesting data from a late 2010 survey they conducted with Disaster Recovery Journal of 200 DRJ members. In that survey, 61% of respondents reported that they felt “very prepared” or “prepared” to recover data centers in the event of a site failure. This is an increase from 52% in response to the same question in 2007.

Yet, in the same survey, test of recovery plans reportedly went down — and organizations reporting “no test at all” went up. Also, updates to test plans likewise went down.

Thorough test of recovery plans and procedures is widely known as being the critical success factor in enabling successful recovery when you need it. The discrepency between levels of confidence and sufficient test reported in the survey, begs the question: why are so many organizations confident of their recovery?

Are Test Practices Improving in 2011?

This week, Rachel Dines — the Forrester Analyst who worked with DRJ on the 2010 survey — posted a new report entitled “Disaster Recovery Exercises Fall Short Of The Finish Line.”

The title and 10 useful tips for testing which Rachel identifies, seem to indicate that test practices have not improved in 2011 for most organizations.

In fact, for most organizations, completing test for an entire disaster recovery plan may be relatively rare. Many times, “best-effort” tests seem to be the norm. These efforts are not sufficient to ensure recovery. Yet test costs and management burdens appear to prevent these practices from improving.

Getting Past “Best-Effort” Testing

Clients working with SunGard Availability Services have found relief from test costs and burdens, working with a new service called Managed Recovery Program (MRP). This service uses best practices defined by SunGard, to prescribe test frequency and test methods.

Each MRP customer is assigned a Solutions Delivery Manager (SDM) responsible for monitoring changes in a client’s production environment. SDMs then recommend appropriate modifications in recovery test plans, to keep up with production changes. They also prescribe test frequency and priority. At test as well as disaster, SunGard recovery experts assume the recovery burden, eliminating all of the headaches and costs while raising recovery readiness.

Adopters of MRP come through a thorough recovery test as part of their on-boarding process. These customers have been surprised in many cases, to realize that they had significant gaps in their recovery plans about which they were unaware prior to test.

Interested in learning more about MRP? Check out this recent MRP video posted on YouTube for a quick overview.

How Do You Estimate Network Bandwidth Requirements for Cloud Recovery Services?

 —-> By Kelly Baig
The most common questions that come up when selecting cloud-based recovery services, are all about the network. Common questions include:

  • How much network bandwidth will I need to replicate my data to the cloud?
  • How much will that cost me?
  • Can I share that network connection or must it be dedicated?
  • Am I simply trading one types of costs and burdens — like those associated with tape — which I know, for a new set of costs and burderns — with which I’m unfamiliar?

    Network questions like these often slow the process of modernizing data protection. Providing specific and precise answers to these questions is also difficult, as many variables affect network requirements. As a result, the common answer offered is “it depends.”

    Getting Past “It Depends”

    SunGard Availability Services offers a better answer than “it depends,” as part of its Recover2Cloud(sm) for Server Replication service. A patent-pending capability developed by SunGard and provided as part of the service, helps organizations to precisely scope the network bandwidth required to meet their precise Recovery Point Objective (RPO) for their specific application environment.

    Called the RPO Analysis Tool, this software uses data collected from the standard Windows Performance Monitor (PERFMON) utility. SunGard analysts work with client organizations to monitor the rate of change of data in the client’s application environment. SunGard recommends analysis of a week’s worth of data. Using this data, the patent-pending RPO Analysis Tool provides a series of detailed and summary reports which aid organizations in making better decisions about how much bandwidth they must have available to lower their risk of losing data. This precision helps organizations to know in advance how much they must spend on network bandwidth to lower their risk — and to make better informed decisions in advance of encountering problems down the road.

    Example of a Summary Report from SunGard's Patent-Pending RPO Analysis Tool

    Identifying Applications with “Replication-Unfriendly” Profiles

    Another benefit of the analysis tool is to reveal applications which generate unexpectedly high rates of change of data. Some applications, such as Microsoft Office applications, may re-write entire files on each use — even when a low amount of actual change has occurred in the file. Database maintenance, which often occurs off-hours, can also increase data change rates.

    However, so far the use of this tool has revealed that in most environments protected by SunGard services, network connection speeds of less than 10 Mbps are sufficient to provide 15 min RPO or less 95% of the time.

    Why Focus on Recovery-as-a-Service? Solving Mission-Critical High Availability and Recovery with Cloud Services

    —–> by Kelly Baig

    Welcome to our new blog site, focused on Recovery-as-a-Service! At this site, you will find regular commentary from SunGard Availability Services (AS) recovery experts. Our experts include SunGard product managers, product developers, and recovery operations personnel — all with specialized experience on a range of topics and technologies which affect recovery.

    Recovery topics that you can anticipate appearing here in the upcoming months, include:

    SunGard AS is widely known for our superior track record and experience in managing disaster recovery on behalf of our clients. What we are less known for, however, are our modern online services which go beyond disaster recovery to solve day-to-day availability challenges for critical applications and data.

    Our recovery solutions come with best-of-breed technology components. Also, our solution approach is to enable our clients to attain their availability objectives — both Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) for data and Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) for applications — by being expert in how to make your choice of recovery infrastructure technologies operate in concert, to support your tiered applications environment at an optimized level of investment. 

    In this forum, our team looks forward to providing added visibility for you to a full range of availability solutions which are available to your organization working with SunGard recovery experts. Watch for our frequent updates and please add your voice through comments and questions.