How to build a data protection plan that ensures application recovery

By Thor Olavsrud, CIO |  Data Protection

Why Application Recovery Is Challenging

Application recovery remains a tricky process with many incremental and highly manual steps, Davoll says. He
notes there are three factors that make application recovery challenging.

First, he says, not all apps are the same. Some are mission-critical while others are not as essential.

"Organizations have to be strategic about the way they go about setting their application recovery objectives,"
he says. "One-size-fits-all recovery simply isn't an option."

Second, infrastructure is fluid. With the combination of physical, virtual and cloud environments that is the
reality for many organizations today, application assets may not be living together in the same place within the
underlying infrastructure.

"Some application assets may reside on a physical server, while some may reside on a virtual machine," Davoll
says. "Some assets may even reside off-premise. If you're backing up with a traditional server-centric approach,
truly restoring the application now requires searching multiple backups, in multiple locations, for all of the
necessary components. This can be a time-consuming process, and when it comes to application recovery, time is not
your friend."

Third, most strategies require a two-step and two-person restore.

"In most cases, the backup admin needs to restore the image of the data, and from there, the application
administrator needs to reconfigure the underlying application," he says. "When you're fighting against the clock to
meet stringent user expectations, a two-step, two-person process is never ideal."

Application Recovery Best Practices

To ensure that your organization can get its applications up and running as rapidly as possible, Davoll suggests
following these four best practices:

1. Understand user expectations. Understand the recovery time and recovery point objectives
you're committed to in your SLAs, and then go a step further and talk with end-users and company leaders about
their true service level expectations. Success is about perception and much as results. Make sure your stakeholders
know what to expect before building your recovery strategy.

2. Develop a tiered recovery strategy. If all applications aren't the same, then the recovery
of those assets shouldn't be the same either. Align your backup and recovery strategy for a given application with
the criticality of that application to the business. The more critical the asset, the more quickly you need to be
able to restore it.

Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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