Disaster recovery in the cloud


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Datto Inc.’s SIRIS appliance provides full agent-based local backup and restore of physical and virtual servers, which are all captured as images and converted into VMDK files for storage on the appliance. These can also be exported and run on a standard ESXi host if desired. These files are replicated on an incremental basis to the Datto cloud (they have data centers in Pennsylvania and California), where they’re stored on similar nodes that have the compute and memory resources necessary to host the virtual machines.

When a disaster occurs, users or their MSPs log in to a Web portal to select the servers and versions that need to be recovered, make configuration decisions and start their virtual machines. When the primary site returns to service, users can perform a data merge of the VM images they’ve been running in the cloud with those at the primary site to capture changed data; alternatively, they can have a portable drive shipped to their site if the changed data set is too large. Testing of VMs can be done automatically, for VM images locally or in the cloud. According to Datto, its market is the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) space, although its largest appliance will support up to 20 servers and multiple appliances can be deployed to scale. The appliances are sold and supported through VARs and MSPs exclusively.

Quorum onQ

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Quorum Inc. developed its technology initially as an appliance-based, instant server recovery solution for small to midsized companies, not as a backup solution per se. The Quorum onQ Appliance is a 2U server with up to 12 CPU cores and enough resources to support up to 40 virtual machines or recovery nodes. When implemented, the on-site system creates virtual machine clones of critical servers and stores those images on the onQ Appliance; the images are updated as often as every 15 minutes on the local appliance. If the primary is a physical server, the onQ Appliance does a physical-to-virtual conversion, creating VM images. The onQ Appliance can be deployed as an HA alternative to clustering packages or as a DR offering that’s replicated to another onQ Appliance in a remote facility.

In 2011, Quorum added a cloud-based service for off-site replication providing users with enterprise-class data centers (in California and Washington, D.C.) in which to store images and provide the infrastructure to run virtual machines from the cloud. Virtual machine images are kept in a ready-to-run state and failover is a one-step process that takes just a few minutes. Automated, one-step testing is performed daily to provide assurance that updates were successful and that VMs can be restarted. According to Quorum, its primary market is midsized firms with five to 80 servers. Customers can buy onQ Appliances and set up their own DR infrastructure, or engage a VAR for implementation and support.

This was first published in August 2012

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