DRP in a managed private cloud: a case study

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Like many other solutions, a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) can be cloud-based. Indeed, cloud deployment is a new and more agile way of protecting an IS (information system), along with workloads, services and data. It is such an attractive option that its rapid growth is offsetting the falling popularity of legacy DRP models, which struggle to ensure guaranteed recovery times and data freshness.

Below we will examine a use case for a large firm, whose name we are withholding for confidentiality reasons, which opted for DRP in a private cloud hosted and managed by Orange Business Services using Zerto technology.

Case study of a cloud-based DRP

To get to grips with the issues around cloud-based DRP, let's look at the case of a customer that opted for DRP in a private cloud. It is an intergovernmental agency coordinating European projects run jointly by some twenty countries in the region. It is one of the largest global agencies of its kind, and its scientific and technical activities are renowned around the world.

The agency's IS is deployed on two remote sites, one in Germany and one in Italy, joined by a private cloud, and has some 750 users. The agency wanted to toughen up its DRP, and in particular determine the effectiveness of its security arrangements by being able to test them without risking downtime. It therefore chose a DRP featuring two private clouds in Italy and Germany; this dual-site set-up will protect its most critical applications in the event of crisis – caused by disaster, failure, network black-out, IT attack, human error or any other major problem. This DRP is also managed so that its users can concentrate with peace of mind on their core business, and not on IT.

A BIA (Business Impact Analysis) was carried out to assess the criticality of the applications. The right level of protection was determined for each IS component needed for these applications, and the technical solution to use was qualified. Once the protection tools had been deployed at source, the recovery and testing environments, required connections and application protection solutions were all configured. And data replication was initiated.

In-demand DRP features

As well as this service, Zerto technology provided the agency with two in-demand features:

  • The ability to protect the varied features of a physical and virtual infrastructure – physical servers and virtualized VMware environments, Hyper V and/or OpenStack – flexibly and with highly granular controls
  • And above all, the ability to easily test security and the DRP in the cloud without disrupting either production or protection. Testing the DRP in terms of workloads running on the IS, including unprotected workloads, is crucial because it means you have evidence at all times that your business is well protected

Without going so far as implementing High Availability – i.e., deploying and duplicating the company's activities on multiple sites in order to maintain continuity automatically in the event of incident – the agency also chose this solution so that it could commit to:

  • An RPO (Recovery Point Objective), the maximum acceptable amount of data loss measured in time in the event of a failure, of 15 minutes; in actual fact, the loss time is a matter of seconds
  • An RTO (Recovery Time Objective), the maximum acceptable interruption time, of 8 hours; in actual fact, the VMs (virtual machines) return to operation in a matter of minutes
  • A BCM-M (Business Continuity Management Mobilization), a commitment on the part of the Orange Business Services teams to make themselves available, of 2 hours

Contracts were signed committing to very short intervention and return-to-operation times, 99.9% availability, and a limited risk of losses which is deemed acceptable in the event of an incident. In addition, as they are deployed in the cloud, the resources activated when a DRP is triggered either for testing or in the event of an incident – processing power, storage and licenses – are only billed if they are used.

DRP in the Orange Business Services and Zerto cloud wins an award

The cloud solution implemented by Orange Business Services in partnership with Zerto for this company won the “EuroCloud 2018 award for best customer deployment.”

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Anne-Gaëlle Léger
Anne-Gaëlle Léger

Having worked for more than 10 years on the development and promotion of B2B cloud solutions, I am now Marketing Manager for Business Continuity Solutions and Professional Services for our customers. I aim to make the user experience a key success factor in our customers’ digital transformations.