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Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co.’s Discovery and Dependency Mapping Advanced Edition (DDMA). This system automates discovery and dependency mapping of services, applications and underlying infrastructure. Mapping helps facilitate failure impact analyses, which minimize downtime. Improved visibility into the existing IT infrastructure helps reduce operational expense, defers capital expense and improves business uptime. According to HP, 80% of all service disruptions are caused by faulty changes. This product can provide visibility for improved change management.
VMware Inc.’s vCenter Application Discovery Manager. VMware’s product provides continuous discovery and mapping of applications, their dependencies and configurations. The system provides real-time visibility into the data center from an application standpoint. VMware support enables discovery of application services and configurations in virtual environments, and complements VMware vCenter Server by mapping the physical to virtual dependencies.
Pre-purchase planning for DR monitoring systems
As with any system acquisition, successfully implementing a DR monitoring application takes a fair amount of planning. Perhaps the most important part of the process is determining specific needs and what you hope to accomplish with a product. For more tips about evaluating and buying a DR monitoring app, see the chart below.
WHAT TO ASK BEFORE BUYING A DR
Enlarge WHAT TO ASK BEFORE BUYING A DR MONITORING APPLICATION diagram.
“Do the basics: Make sure the product works and works on your configuration,” Montague Risk Management’s Lucey recommended. “Use change control and the monitoring tool to ensure that all production changes are also concurrently applied to backup configurations.”
Betan from H. Betan agreed and added, “The product should also not use too many resources that could slow down normal processing. Be sure to test the system thoroughly before it enters production.”
New tools for an old problem
To ensure your disaster recovery efforts are performing optimally, DR monitoring tools can help by proactively spotting potential problems before they occur. “A DR monitoring system can help users achieve several key goals -- they need to be able to recover and restore their data, re-host the applications and reconnect their users,” Toigo Partners’ Toigo said. Added executive Weldon: “These systems are at an early level of maturity, and since each IT environment will be different, remember that one size will not fit all.”
By identifying potential threats in real-time, DR monitoring tools can enhance your ability to respond to and recover from emergencies, thus providing a higher level of disaster recovery and overall preparedness.
BIO: Paul Kirvan is an independent consultant/IT auditor and technical writer/editor/educator with more than 22 years of experience in business continuity and disaster recovery.
This was first published in November 2011