Posts Tagged ‘disaster recovery’

El Nino Effects from California to Chennai

Parasar Kodati

Product Marketing Manager
Parasar Kodati has more than ten years of experience in product management and marketing spanning scientific computing, embedded software development, and data acquisition technologies. When not working he may be found plotting with his mischievous daughter, cooking Indian street food or reading eastern philosophy.

The El Nino effect dramatically amplified the seasonal rainfall for Chennai causing one of the worst flooding in the southeast (or southeastern) Indian city. The disruption was so bad that it actually made material difference to the quarterly financials of IT giants like TCS. On the other half of the globe southern California started seeing the effects and continues to prepare for “potentially destructive” rainfall.

The question of protecting information infrastructure continues to rise given the increased digitalization of the economy. The good news is natural disasters need not be IT disasters. Our customers are asking us more and more for help to protect their information in a way that gives absolute confidence in the ability to recover. They are also reporting incidents where their investments save the day, not just when a natural disaster hits but also for avoiding IT disasters that can be caused by facility issues, power failures, software bugs or manual errors. The most recent recorded incidents include a major provincial hospital in North China reporting a faulty UPS forced array failure which could’ve caused the loss of valuable patient medical records .Another hardware failure event happened at an IT Service Provider that serves banks and financial institutions in Kentucky where 356TB of data were at risk to be lost forever. How did these companies recover their data?  They were smart in the way they planned for a natural disaster. These are the steps they took:

  • Formed cross functional teams representing application owners, DBAs and storage architects to review data protection and availability requirements for different workloads. Just a note that a lack of coordination often results in accidental architectures that are hard to maintain and can lead to poor visibility and gaps in protection coverage
  • Identified potential disasters, failure modes and response strategies for workloads of varying degree of criticality
  • If they were in a natural disaster prone area, they thought about the minimum distance a second datacenter needed to be located for business continuity
  • Clarified metrics around both recovery time (RTO) and data loss tolerance (RPO) and the impact those metrics had on their business. They needed to think about what the impact would be of their entire sales force not accessing key applications for an hour or half a day? How would that change if was the end of the quarter or end of the year?
  • Mapped protection strategies to the different workloads in a way to justify the ROI from different technologies
  • Invested in vendors and technologies that were capable of achieving their data protection objectives for today and that could adapt to their changing business needs

In these examples and in the diagram below the customers’ relied on VPLEX to save the day and their data.

Don’t Let Your Data Get Burned

John Amichetti

Product Marketing Manager, EMC

Latest posts by John Amichetti (see all)

Laptop in fire flames

Our world is becoming increasingly reliant on data and failure to protect it can be catastrophic. That may sound like hyperbole, but the loss of data can literally mean the loss of your business. Whether it’s the threat of hackers, system failure, or human error, data protection should be at the forefront of every business’ mind. Unfortunately, not every business is prepared for all risks against data loss, including natural disasters.

As for data protection preparedness, a large, Italian data center and telecommunication services company learned the hard way. One day, due to an AC failure, they fell victim to a fire that ravaged their data center. Many of their storage devices were completely fried; along with the tapes they held for disaster recovery (which they kept on-site).

The tapes were melted entirely, leading to a potentially devastating scenario of data loss. In addition, their EMC Data Domain CPU, which they used for protection storage for operational recovery, was destroyed. In fact, everything was damaged except for the metal disks inside the system.

This is only one example where a company’s data protection strategies were not able to stand up against a potential disaster and this type of disaster can happen to anyone. However, there are certain steps you can take to ensure your data is protected.

  1. Eliminate the use of tape for long term retention or disaster recovery
  2. Ensure your disaster recovery system is off-site, making it less likely to be affected by a potential natural disaster
  3. Utilize a single data protection vendor


Even in the wake of this disastrous fire, the company’s data center was salvageable.  Due to the Data Domain Data Invulnerability Architecture, the entire index database was rebuilt in a mere 7 hours, after a simple head swap. Every single file (74 TB) was recovered and the system was back online in less than 24 hours. (more…)

Superna Ramps Up Workflows with VMAX3

Andrew McKay

Chief Technology Officer, Superna and Guest Blogger
Andrew is an innovator in all aspects of data center technologies with patents covering encryption solutions, automation/orchestration, secure Cloud computing, data replication and Disaster Recovery systems. Responsible for the strategic direction of Superna's core competencies, product evolution and software technologies targeting the creation of differentiated solutions that close the Enterprise, Cloud Service provider gap. He is focused on developing Superna's technology roadmap and relationships with strategic partners. Prior to joining Superna, Andrew was a senior technologist with Nortel where he pioneered the development of optical storage area networking products for Fortune 500 and carrier customers and developed a next generation of network based encryption products. He started his career as a Systems Architect at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police designing highly available and secure systems for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the FBI and Interpol.

Latest posts by Andrew McKay (see all)

IT is an integral part of most businesses today. At Superna, IT is our business. We design, test, and certify enterprise software on EMC and VCE infrastructures for other companies around the world—all day, every day. Therefore, we’re constantly exploring the latest and greatest in IT.


We’ve adopted nearly the entire EMC portfolio, including VMAX3, VNX, Isilon, VPLEX, and ViPR. They’re all tied into VCE Vblock Systems in our environment, which is 99% virtualized with VMware. This standardized, virtualized infrastructure has not only helped us grow our business, but also allowed for our IT staff to accomplish more in less time. We are able to spin up a virtual environment, onboard a customer, and start a new project in hours, rather than days, which it was previously taking. This agility is a key differentiator for Superna.

Most recently, we added VMAX3 to our environment. We were able to migrate the entire workload from our previous VMAX arrays to the VMAX3 in a matter of days and immediately saw a positive impact. From consolidation alone, we generated power savings of at least 20-25%. (more…)

Inoculate Your Data From Disruption and Disasters

Lisa Matzdorff

Voice of Customer, Data Protection and Availability Division
I have a passion for listening, more specifically, listening to customers share their IT stories, their experiences, their successes! Over the past 7 years in the role of customer reference manager and customer advocacy manager, I’ve had the pleasure of listen to amazing stories and meeting some very interesting people. The one thing that makes my job even better…I get to share those stories. When I’m not working, I’m volunteering with foster children, running 5K fun runs, playing fashion consultant “What Not To Wear” style, traveling, and watching reality t.v

Inoculate_your_dataAfter reading the blog 4 Things IT Can Learn From Massachusetts Record Snowfall, I began to think about natural disasters and other types of scenarios that could disrupt IT and for that matter companies as a whole. Every second of every day, volumes of irreplaceable data is updated.

Can your business afford its data to take sick leave? My guess is NO.


It’s SNOW TIME! Does Your IT Get a Snow Day?

Amy McCue

Product Marketing Manager
I dreamed about a career in Marketing for a renowned company throughout college and I’m finally living it! I graduated from UMASS Amherst with a communications major and never thought I’d be marketing backup and storage let alone focusing on Data Domain systems. Ambition and patience is key, a need to succeed, and a desire to learn and educate others. My happy hour consists of spending time with my family, trying to complete one of many house projects, and enjoying the company of family and friends. I’m a proud New Englander who enjoys the fall foliage, winter snow, and summer sun! You can also find me talking backup on Twitter.

Snow-DaySo far this winter season Boston has made history with a new snowfall record. Winter storms have slammed Northern New England, causing record-breaking snowfall, high winds with coastal flooding, and school cancellations causing major delays across the region. While city and town workers worked all hours of the night clearing the streets and sidewalks, schools getting a snow day, IT workers kept a close eye on making sure businesses didn’t run into any unplanned downtime causing disruption to any service level agreements.  (more…)




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