Disaster Recovery


Imagine a worst case scenario. You are woken up by a call in the middle of the night. A fire has broken out in your building and burned most of your systems, including your servers. All the data is irretrievable. The backups you had on-site were also damaged by the fire and the last time someone remembered to take a backup tape off-site was over a year ago.

Will the company survive? Will the only backup tape you have off-site even be readable after a year? For many small companies, this has become a reality.

Backup remains the single most costly storage administration task and many companies don’t backup data at all (Gartner Group). According to Gartner, 40% of businesses suffering a business interruption fail within 5 years. Gartner estimates that less than half of all mid-size businesses and only 25% of small businesses have disaster recovery plans in place (Computer Technology Review – October 31st. 2004). 50% of tape-based backups fail to restore correctly (Gartner Group). Tapes are affected by magnetic fields, temperature, and moisture. A backup may be reported by the software as successful, but just moments after the backup is completed, the tape may be affected by these forces, causing data loss or tape malfunction. – Over 50% of employees backing up data misconfigure backup software. (Iron Mountain) – Over 34% do not test their backups and of those that tested 77% found their tape backups fail to recover. (Storage Magazine).

iValley’s Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions (BDR) are completely automated, managed, and low cost compared to traditional tape backup solutions.

iValley Managed Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) Price comparison to tape backup (prices as of 10/20/2008):
Server scenario – Microsoft Small Business Server with Exchange using 40 GB total data storage

Tape drive: $569
Tapes: 26 (2 week backup rotation + end of month) @ $12.99 ea.: $337.74
Cleaning tape: $4.99
Software: Backup Exec SBE $695.99
Total Equipment $1,608

The above scenario does not factor in labor for installation and daily maintenance. This scenario also does not provide for off-site storage and has no server virtualization.

Assuming minimum wage (2008) of $8.00 / hr and an average of 15 minutes to change data tapes and check backup logs adds an additional $520 per year. Of course, this assumes the user will be available to change the tape and check logs each weekday, including holidays and vacation. This also assumes every backup is successful, requiring no troubleshooting and repair.

Over 3 years the labor cost adds an additional $1,560 to the cost, bringing the total to $3,168.

The iValley BDR solution automates the entire backup process, removing the need for on-site administration of backups. Data integrity checks are made on the data, and backups are performed every 15 minutes, as opposed to most tape systems, which occur 1 time per day. The iValley BDR solution also provides for virtualization of up to 10 servers simultaneously in event of failure.

What is server virtualization?

Server virtualization allows the virtualization device (in this case the iValley BDR) to take over the roll as the server that has failed by creating a virtual environment for the server and software. Within approximately 15 minutes, the server environment can be brought online utilizing the latest server snapshot (taken every 15 minutes). This allows users to continue to work, saving files, receiving email, etc., as they normally would while the real server is repaired. Backups of the data still occur as normal. When the real server is brought back online, the latest virtual server backup is transfered to the real server and the real server is brought back online. The restore process can be done after hours, which minimizes disruption to the company.