I am currently working on a network design project at San Diego State and have a few questions regarding database disaster recovery solutions. For our project, we need to plan for the recovery of data on our database server in case of a disaster. I attempted to find information on which online backup services are the best but was unable to find anything. I was also wondering about regular backup options i.e. tape and offsite storage.
I have heard Iron Mountain and Arcus Data are good but I would appreciate some help in this matter as well. Which solutions and companies are the best? I have seen ads for Live Vault and AmeriVault but haven't been able to sift through the press releases and find any valuable information.
For our mock business we are an e-commerce company that is expanding and setting up a satellite office in phoenix that is connected to a main office in San Diego, CA. There are initially going to be about 1,000 orders per week and by 2004, 5,000 per week. Hopefully this is enough information to answer my questions. For some reason our teacher only wants us to limit our disaster recovery to the database storage.
Hmm, a DR plan for a mock company for school. Please tell your teacher that I think that including DR planning in a class about network design is just wonderful. To quote Linda Richmond, "I think I'm getting vaclempt".
You have basically three options: backups with offsite tapes, replication to an offsite facility or online backups to a service like the ones you mentioned. Which one would work for you depends on your uptime requirements and budget. The online backup service would probably be the least expensive but they will not be able to grant you the same speed of recovery that the other solutions offer since you are backing up across the Internet -- even if it's across a dedicated connection. It won't be Gigabit Ethernet, that's for sure. Replication will offer you the quickest recovery time but it is also the most expensive. You must buy systems to replicate to, software to do it and the bandwidth to perform the replication. (You've got two of those taken care of with your Phoenix office, though.) Tape backups and offsite storage are the more traditional options but you have to keep in mind where you're going to get the systems to restore TO in case of disaster. If your data center catches fire, what computers are you going to load your backup tapes on? (By the way, Iron Mountain and Arcus are the same company. Iron Mountain's the new name.)
I hope this helps.
This was first published in June 2002