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Issue of August 2002 
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Cover Story: Various BC solutions
Solutions for business continuance

Vendors are gearing up to address the requirement for business continuity and disaster recovery solutions in the enterprise. Here's a roundup of what's available. by Brian Pereira

As businesses prepare to implement BCP, IT managers are on the lookout for appropriate solutions. Different types of data require different levels of protection. CIOs will try to protect the most critical data/systems first. And so you have a variety of business continuity and disaster recovery solutions, ranging from tape backup to management and synchronization software for a completely duplicated hot site.

We at Network Magazine have neither tested these solutions nor verified vendor claims. The purpose of this article is to inform IT managers about the various solutions available.

Apara Enterprise Solutions: Its portfolio of BC services and solutions are classified as:

  • High availability solutions in storage, networking and security.
  • Backup/Restore solutions.
  • Consultancy in BC and DR solutions.

Bangalore Labs: The consulting and managed services company now offers BC solutions that include storage, security, and system management solutions in the enterprise space. Bangalore Labs offers two main services in this space:

1. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning - Here Bangalore Labs works with clients to define and implement BC processes.

2. Design and Implementation of technology solutions for ensuring disaster recovery.

Cisco Systems: Cisco has an integrated system-wide, end-to-end coordinated network security system approach called Cisco SAFE (Secure Architecture for Enterprises).

The foundation of the SAFE blueprint is breaking down your network into functional groups, and then understanding the security threats and responses appropriate for each functional area in the network. It also shows you how to meet each area's security requirements with Performance, Scalability and Resiliency.

Citrix Systems: It recently formed an alliance with EMC to provide business continuity solutions to enterprises in India. These solutions are designed to provide uninterrupted access to enterprise applications and data in the event of planned or unplanned systems downtime.

With Citrix's solution, applications are executed and managed centrally. In case of a disaster, organizations can use any compatible computing device to access their mission-critical applications and information, from anywhere, over any connection.

Cognizant Technology solutions: Its business continuity offering includes storage, security and system management solutions.

Cognizant's business continuity process is based on the services that it offers to a client. The services are categorized as vital, essential and desirable, and accordingly have a process for recovering. Once the team is engaged in a project it interacts with the customer and agrees upon a business continuity process, which is tested periodically.

Computer Associates: Its business continuity initiative is called Crisis Life Cycle Management. The initiative leverages CA's technologies and services to address all areas of business continuity best practices from needs assessment and planning to contingency command-and-control capabilities. It also incorporates new technology designed to provide a centralized common view of 'silos' of operational information, enabling organizations to proactively identify exposures and organizational threats and to create appropriate recovery plans.

Crisis Life Cycle Management also leverages the expertise and experience of CA Services, which has assisted customers in safeguarding their operations and successfully recovering from a wide range of contingencies, including the events of September 11, 2001.

In addition to leveraging CA's Unicenter (Enterprise management), eTrust (Security management) and BrightStor (Storage management) technologies, Crisis Life Cycle Management incorporates a management framework which utilizes the integration and analysis capabilities of CA's intelligent infrastructure, and the intelligent business process automation capabilities of CA's CleverPath Aion Business Rules Expert.

Cyquator Technologies: Cyquator a Mumbai-based data center hosts not just Web servers for companies but also their core enterprise applications and associated infrastructure. Using Cyquator infrastructure, companies could use the data center as their backup site.

Among the various services it offers for business continuity are storage and backup facilities of unlimited critical data for small-to-medium sized workgroups in a shared environment.

Cyquator also offers disaster recovery services to companies running mission critical applications from the servers hosted at its data center.

EMC: It provides enterprise-wide information disaster recovery solutions. EMC offers storage infrastructure, which relieves the processing loads of servers and handles all the replication and data management at the storage level. The method it advocates is to consolidate all the information storage in one device, protect that adequately and then replicate it to a similar device at a remote site.

Its business continuity technologies and services have long enabled organizations to maintain real-time backups of their information at remote locations to protect against the unexpected. Remote mirroring software in SRDF's (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility) capabilities include Virtual Private Networks using IP and local Fiber Channel connectivity, and supports mainframe, Unix, Windows NT and AS/400 systems. This online host-independent, mirrored data storage solution duplicates the production site data on one or more physically separate target Symmetrix systems, which can be located anywhere across the globe.

Global Telesystems Ltd (GTL): It offers consultancy and business continuity solutions to meet customer requirements. GTL can also devise a solution tailored to specific continuity requirements of its customers' business.

Its business continuity services suite includes Consulting and Restoration Services.

Consulting

  • Business impact analysis
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Business continuity solution design
  • Business Continuity Management
  • Data recovery site for fail safe functioning including the back up links for
  • Connectivity
  • Operations site for carrying business transactions
  • Business continuity plan

Restoration services

  • Restoration of the failed systems
  • Data migration and testing

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS): It claims to be the only company to offer 100 percent data availability. Hitachi's business continuity solutions include backup software, channel extenders, and SAN fabric. It weaves a solution around the HDS storage hardware and storage management software. These solutions are based on open standards.

Hewlett-Packard: HP provides a comprehensive range of services, from an advisory consultative role, to leading-edge technology, to storage services. It offers robust, high availability hardware, software, networking technologies and solutions and services to build the required infrastructure.

HP's strategy begins with initial business continuity consulting. That includes analyzing disaster impact on business processes, and the design, development and rehearsal of disaster-recovery plans. Mission-critical reactive and proactive services can minimize planned downtime and avoid unplanned downtime due to related failure.

Due to its extensive experience and redundant hardware technologies, HP says it is the only vendor that guarantees 100 percent availability. Its Business Recovery Services can help avoid business disruption due to natural or man-made disasters.

IBM: Through its Business Recovery Services organization, which is part of IBM Global Services, IBM helps customers when natural or man-made disasters occur. It claims to have more than 15,000 business recovery services contracts and to have conducted more than 30,000 successful disaster recovery tests in over 77 countries at 120 recovery centers around the world. The services are classified as:

  • IBM Recovery Support Services addresses the protection and recovery of critical technology and data in multi-vendor environments.
  • IBM's Business Continuity and Recovery Consulting Services provides business and technical expertise to assist customers with IT recovery assessment and planning services, critical business process continuity services, and business interruption impact and risk management services.
  • IBM Managed Continuity Services helps customers focus on their core business while IBM designs, manages and operates their business continuity and IT recovery program. IBM provides a comprehensive business continuity program, specifically designed and managed for each client.

Legato Systems: It provides storage software solutions for Information Continuance, which includes Data Protection Solutions and Application Availability Solutions. The BC solutions are collectively called the Legato Continuum.

The Data Protection Solution includes Legato NetWorker Products for data protection, including solutions for bare metal recovery.

The Application Availability Solutions provide users with a choice of implementing solutions for BC depending on their requirements. This includes solutions for Application Availability (clustering solutions) and replication tools.

Application Availability Manager (AAM) helps build a clustering solution across multiple operating systems in an enterprise.

Legato RepliStor provides real time replication solution. Legato Co-Standby Server provides HA solutions for Windows.

Novell: The Novell Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity solution set draws on the company's capabilities and partnerships to manage and make complex network environments work together as one Net. This capability takes on added importance in the area of disaster recovery where simplicity and security translate into accelerated crises response time.

Novell eDirectory 8.6 is architected with business continuity and disaster recovery in mind, providing for replication over multiple servers and sites to ensure that this critical data is available to power all Net services software to quickly restore the network. In addition, the live continuous backup in eDirectory 8.6 enables all data within the eDirectory to be backed up while the directory is in production without the need to shut down the server to backup data.

Network Appliance: To address business continuity, NetApp's strategy includes:

1. Hardware: All hardware is redundant, hot swappable and hot upgradeable. A NetApp customer can add terabytes of disks online, with no disruption/degradation.

2. Loss of a File: SnapShot keeps up to 31 copies of data online at 5 - 10 percent disk overhead and zero percent performance hit. So a lost file can be recovered instantaneously, instead of going to tape for painfully long restores.

3. Loss of a File system, virus corrupting a file system, database crashing, database corruption: SnapRestore from NetApp can take a Filesystem/database back to a consistent SnapShot in two minutes (for any size of data). This ensures recovery from corruption in the shortest time possible.

4. Two disks failing in a RAID group. NetApps SyncMirror implements mirroring of RAID protected volumes, thus ensuring availability for three or more simultaneous disk failures.

5. Loss of an entire site: SnapMirror from NetApp transfers changed blocks (not changes files/tracks) over a WAN link, thus ensuring one or many consistent copies of data at remote location.

RSA: RSA Security provides solutions that address the key security challenges of an organization in setting up reliable and scalable disaster recovery infrastructure. These cover two areas namely two-factor authentication (RSA SecurID) and Web access management.

Two-factor authentication technology, RSA SecurID becomes imperative in ensuring that organizations are able to undeniably identify users accessing the network resources (e.g. routers, active switches, etc), mission-critical servers for domain authentication (NT, 2000, Solaris, etc) and data storage components.

RSA Security's Cleartrust is a privilege management tool that allows organizations to manage Web based access to critical information resources.

Sun Microsystems: It has an array of products, services, and alliances for business continuity. These comprise of the SunPlex Environment, Dynamic System Domains, Remote Dual Copy, and Sun StorEdge L11000 Tape Library.

  • SunPlex Environment: Sun Cluster software, a key component of the SunPlex environment, is designed to deliver high-availability application services to the data center or enterprise.
  • Dynamic System Domains bring mainframe-style partitioning capabilities to the Unix world. These domains allow a single Sun Enterprise 10000 server to be logically divided into multiple or 'stand-alone' servers. Every Dynamic System Domain remains logically isolated from any other domain in the system.
  • Remote Dual Copy is an important capability for real-time remote mirroring on the StorEdge A7000 Server. When a company needs data with high availability and high integrity to be on-line, all the time, the Remote Dual Copy (RDC) feature on the A7000 storage server meets these requirements.
  • Sun StorEdge L11000 Tape Library is Sun's highest capacity, highest availability tape library designed to support the backup and recovery needs of data center customers running data-intensive applications in mission- critical environments. It offers approximately 11 terabytes of capacity, making it the ideal backup solution for massive file systems.
  • Sun Data Center Consolidation Program helps companies reduce information technology complexity and lower total cost of ownership. This program is designed to help customers reduce the complexity and cost of their IT infrastructure by physically consolidating their servers and logically consolidating applications.

Trend Micro: The enterprise security company has a global initiative for business continuity called the Enterprise Protection Strategy. Through this strategy it aims to shift the industry paradigm:

  • From point solutions to a lightweight infrastructure architecture (centralized management, services, products) that deploys and updates outbreak management strategies throughout the network.
  • From managing pattern files to proactively managing the outbreak lifecycle.
  • From reliance on costly human/system resources to organized and scalable intelligence management throughout all phases of an outbreak.

Veritas: The storage software major address BC at five levels with specific solutions for each level.

The Foundation Layer: With fundamental tools like Veritas Volume Manager and Veritas File System, the foundation layer gives proactive monitoring and maintenance of data storage systems thus achieving unparalleled control and flexibility in data management and 24xforever business online.

Backup and Recovery: Veritas' backup and recovery solutions accelerate recovery after a disaster by limiting the steps involved in restoring the system and data. Immediate Point of Failure Recovery - Replication: Veritas Volume Replicator can be used to provide seamless data replication of any database and supports data replication via a LAN or WAN. Replicated data can be stored completely offsite in the event of a site disaster without needing a dedicated network or vendor-specific storage hardware platform.

Optimal Recovery of Mission-Critical Applications - Clustering: Veritas Cluster Server provides failover capabilities for another server to take over the operations of the failed server. When used with Veritas Volume Replicator, the application can do failover to another server where the replicated data resides.

Wide Area Network Recovery - Failover Between Clusters: Veritas Global Cluster Manager gives powerful, centralized management by providing failover capabilities between clusters in the event of a site disaster. Veritas Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Services: The disaster recovery team at Veritas Consulting help companies to develop and ensure rapid implementation of a disaster recovery plan.

Wipro: The network integrator offers end-to-end BC/DR solutions. With these solutions it helps customers plan, implement and manage services. Its BC/DR offerings can be classified as:

Consulting: To assess the critical needs of the organization and design the BC framework for the entire business. This is done through detailed methodologies like business impact analysis which helps prioritize the efforts and investments of customers in this vast field.

Storage & Backup: Wipro has solutions through alliances with Sun, IBM, Veritas, Legato, CA, Hitachi, Netapps and Stratus.

Security: Solutions from Checkpoint, RSA, ISS, Trendmicro, Symantec for data protection.

Data Communications: Solutions from Cisco, Nortel.

System management solutions: From CA, HP.

Network Operations Center services: For remote diagnostics and recovery.

Brian Pereira can be reached at brianp@networkmagazineindia.com

 
     
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