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Opinion: Cheap business continuity is an option

Achieving higher levels of business continuity is not necessarily cost-prohibitive

By Jerome Wendt
August 1, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Companies no longer define business continuity in terms of hours or days but as point-in-time backups and instant recoveries. The question is how to deliver that in-house without breaking the bank.

The good news is that for a growing number of midtier applications, the cost might be zero. However, taking your company to this higher level of business continuity requires some planning and forethought. Free or low-cost snapshots, asynchronous replication and continuous data protection (CDP) features are available on some products if one knows which products to buy and what features to look for.

  • Find backup software that supports Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is a framework that Microsoft introduced as part of Windows Server 2003 and that many backup software products now support. This offers an economical means for backup software to create snapshots of data on Windows-based systems.
  • Purchase a storage system with free replication software. Not every application runs on Windows, and storage systems from EqualLogic Inc. offer free asynchronous and snapshot replication software. Buying their storage saves administrators the hassle of explaining and justifying the need to buy these features later on.
  • Stop doing daily backups and start using CDP. Why recover data that is a day, week or month old when you can pay the same price for CDP software that can recover data to any point in time? One can replace backup software with CDP software for about the price of your annual backup software maintenance, and CDP integrates with many databases to provide crash-consistent recoverable copies.

Achieving higher levels of business continuity is not necessarily cost-prohibitive, but it will not occur by accident. Utilizing lesser-known features in current products or buying lesser-known products can take your company closer to its desired objective of near-real-time recovery at little or no extra cost.



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