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Disaster recovery readiness monitoring applications

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Disaster recovery monitoring systems perform four primary functions:

  1. Data capture and discovery
  2. Data compilation
  3. Data analysis using predefined configuration data and performance metrics
  4. Data presentation

DR monitoring systems typically connect to their intended systems via internal (e.g., LANs) and external networks (e.g., the Internet). Systems “sniff” for specific activities as defined in their logic by sending out specially designed packets to look for specific activities.

Data captured during the discovery process is analyzed according to predefined parameters. “These products collect information on applications, systems, hardware configurations, links between systems, etc., to produce a map of the IT infrastructure and the linkages,” Toigo Partners’ Toigo said. “They can also be integrated with configuration management database [CMDB] software for easy reference.” The CMDB stores data about IT infrastructure assets, relationships and configurations. But since it doesn’t have analytic capabilities, it’s difficult to effectively use that data to protect data and ensure business continuity.

Some examples of DR monitoring systems

Aptare Inc. StorageConsole 8 Fabric Manager. StorageConsole 8 is a monitoring system that addresses data storage; it’s designed to provide greater visibility and management capabilities into SANs. It’s part of an Aptare portfolio

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that also includes Backup Manager, Capacity Manager, Virtualization Manager and Replication Manager. The SAN mapping capability gives administrators a view of the SAN topology from server to fabric to storage systems. A change management feature performs a dependency analysis based on proposed changes to a SAN.

BMC Software Inc. Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping. The system features a library of predefined product configurations (32,000-plus, updated monthly); reference data for hardware power consumption and heat dissipation, and software end-of-life dates; as well as automated diagnostics that identify the location and cause of discovery issues. Software doesn’t have to be installed on discovered devices.

Continuity Software RecoverGuard. The latest version of this product, RecoverGuard 4.0, leverages data contained in the CMDB by scanning the infrastructure, performing analyses of the information it collects, and identifying issues that could impact availability, recoverability or data protection. RecoverGuard’s knowledge base contains more than 2,000 gap signatures and hundreds of potential data protection gaps.

This was first published in November 2011

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