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A brief guide to testing your Druva cloud disaster recovery strategy

Organizations face more security threats and risks of data loss than ever before and even with the best technology and processes in place, it’s only a matter of time before ransomware or disaster strikes. That’s why you need cloud disaster recovery (DR) — for fast, air-gapped recovery of business-critical data. Putting a comprehensive DR plan in place should be a crucial step in your IT strategy. You should also have a strategy to periodically test your DR solution to avoid last-minute surprises during a disaster or ransomware attack. As trust is lost in a ransomware attack, the ability to recover in the cloud provides customers with a safe environment for recovery even while security teams may be investigating the source of the breach.

A DR plan is nothing without frequent testing

IDC research indicates close to 90% of companies have some form of backup or disaster recovery in place¹. However, an untested disaster recovery plan has no guarantee of working when required. Some organizations think their backup or DR copies will help them in the event of a ransomware attack. A July 2021 IDC survey of 791 organizations found that of customers impacted by ransomware, approximately 32% of customers who did not pay the ransom were able to recover encrypted data files from backup2. The frequency of changes without IT environments, especially around networking and security, is increasing with an emphasis on security. As your environment changes and your business needs evolve, DR testing becomes critical for your overall DR strategy. Determining the frequency and degree of testing (full or partial DR simulation) are two key elements to include in your plan. 

Cloud DR and disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS)

Druva’s cloud disaster recovery solution allows organizations to improve business resilience while reducing costs and complexity. With Druva, you can easily meet RTO and RPO requirements with our simple and reliable failover orchestration for VMware VMs.

Druva’s disaster recovery functionality enables you to recover and spin up already backed up VMs in your Amazon Web Services (AWS) account (i.e. your AWS VPC). This functionality enables high-performance business continuity without the need for additional dedicated on-premises software, storage, or hardware, which reduces costs and improves IT agility through greater automation and less complexity. VMs are recovered on-demand in the cloud to reduce system downtime to minutes.

How Druva helps with your DR testing strategy

A cloud-native solution allows you to immediately spin up VMs in the cloud for development and testing (dev-test) however you need to ensure network configuration and permissions on your cloud account are configured in a secure manner along with the cost to operate the Cloud account. Ensure your VMs operate as expected and that data that has been backed up is in compliance with your RPO. Testing is not a one-time affair — it should be a regular and ongoing part of your IT strategy. Set a cadence that makes sense for your organization and is part of your overall DR strategy. Here are some benefits of using Druva DRaaS with your DR testing strategy. 

  • One-click DR failover and failback
  • Separate DR failover settings for production and test
  • Enhanced security with AWS PrivateLink.
  • Proactive checks for DR failover and failback.
  • Integration and automation of DR operations with business continuity tools like ServiceNow and BMC Remedy, among others 

Let’s delve deeper into how Druva proactively checks the AWS and on-premises environments, and the guest operating system of a VM to give you recommendations that can ensure that your DR failovers and failbacks are successful when disaster strikes.

DR failover checks

Druva DR failover recovers the VM in your AWS account based on the settings configured in the DR plan. Druva runs guest OS checks for VMs to ensure that they are ready for DR and also checks your AWS environment for potential failures.

Guest OS of VM

These checks ensure your VMware VM is ready for DR failover in your AWS environment. When the VMs are being backed up, failover checks for guest OS kick into action and provide the status; if the VMs have successfully cleared the checks and are DR ready or not. With these checks in place, you can prepare a robust DR strategy and avoid any failures during failover.

AWS environment

Druva checks your AWS environment proactively to ensure that the AWS account/VPC networking/permissions are good for the failover of VMs. These checks run immediately after you create your DR plan and periodically every 24 hours to alert any discrepancy on your AWS account. There is also an option to rerun these checks on demand, especially in a scenario where you want a DR failover. DR failover checks for the environment can be further classified into the below high-level checks:

  • Incorrect IP settings in DR plan
  • Incorrect EC2 instance type for failover VM
  • Issues with the subnet (networking)
  • Unavailability of the DR copy for failover 

DR failback checks

A DR failback operation causes the AWS EC2 instances (created during DR failovers) to fail back to your VMware infrastructure. The DR failback check functionality preemptively identifies issues with the AWS or VMware environments that could cause the DR failback operation to fail. By fixing any identified issues proactively, you can increase your success rate. Druva estimates that by taking advantage of our features customers can expect a success rate of at least 80%, and the flexibility to run DR failback checks on-demand allows you to be even more prepared.

Key takeaways

Putting together a comprehensive DR plan and testing it frequently closes a well-known gap that has plagued IT for years. With organizations under the constant threat of data loss, even with the best precautions it is only a matter of time before disaster strikes. 

With Druva, you and your team can remain worry-free when a disaster strikes. Your organization can bounce back in minutes with cloud-native, one-click automated disaster recovery for on-premises VMs. With Druva’s cloud-native backup, disaster recovery, and archiving, organizations can reduce their TCO by up to 50 percent by eliminating the need for on-premises backup and DR hardware.

Looking to learn more? Read my last blog on Druva Cloud DR which details integration with AWS PrivateLink for greater security and speed, or visit our cloud DR webpage for even more details. 

 

¹ IDC, Future Enterprise Resiliency & Spending Survey, December 2021.