3 Steps to Failover

When it comes to disaster recovery and keeping your business running, there are three key steps to take, no matter the scale.

September 21, 2015

2 Min Read
3 Steps to Failover

When it comes to disaster recovery and keeping your business running, there are three key steps to take, no matter the scale.

Whether it’s a large-scale disaster, a crashed server or even just a file that gets deleted, it’s important to properly assess the situation, act on it with a plan and get things back to normal. In our case at Net Sciences, we were hit with three hosts, seven servers, an entire cluster–all down.

Step 1: The Incident Response

First we had to assess the situation and troubleshoot. Once we determined the cause, we were able to determine how to fix it. However, there isn’t a lot of time for “live” diagnosis and troubleshooting, because the customer has to recover rapidly and avoid costly and potentially dangerous downtime.

Thanks to Datto, we were able to get the best of both worlds–a fast on-site recovery for our client, and time for diagnosis for us back at our shop. On-site we had only two hours for analysis, in order to honor their failover SLA of four hours. Datto offered us a fast and reliable solid failover so that we could address the root issue, buying us time to experiment and properly diagnose, without violating our SLA.

Step 2: Implementing Failover

Next we had to execute the failover. With a proper plan, it’s possible to execute in 10 to 20 minutes per server. To help our clients and give them the confidence to help themselves, we place a shortcut on the desktop of each guest server to launch scripts that assign IP configuration after the failover. We also predetermine which servers will start simultaneously to optimize startup speed. And with great remote capabilities and Datto’s support, failover is possible without being on site.

Step 3: Getting Back To Normal

While a Datto system will run extremely well and keep your business going, you’ll have to get back to the primary servers at some point. And while it may not seem as simple as the failover process, failback can be accomplished smoothly with proper planning and the benefit of Datto support. Outputting thinly provisioned VM files and using a direct LAN-to-LAN connection, to your failback servers are big time savers.

Through planning and the proper resources, a potentially complicated and scary process feels simple. Without planning and without Datto, it could well take days to weeks get things back up to speed, and you won’t have the luxury of doing it off-site. As days turn into a week or more, your stress spikes, and, even after getting systems going, customers may see you as more goat than hero.

Thanks to Datto, averting a potential disaster makes you Superheroes of Recovery.

Joshua Liberman is President & Founder, Net Sciences. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsorship.


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