The Importance of Using Point in Time in a Recovery Site

Once more, a very brief ski weekend in VT was erased from the front of my mind by the surprising realities of my job upon Monday morning. Today I will focus on something near and dear to me, has been spoken and written about in many publications, but seems to still obtain overlooked during the design process. Nowadays I will talk about the importance of point in time copies of the replicated data in a recovery site. Now some of you, a new comer to storage may say, “Huh? inch

As we all know, data replication solves the problem of moving data in one place to another. Replication is applied though software or hardware and is done at a level that is usually not file system or operating system aware. It provides protection from disasters and system outages, and to the oblivious user, also predicts the future will not your taxes. In all seriousness, replication implemented at the storage array level replicates data at the block level from array A to variety B, without regard for what the data is definitely, asynchronously and or synchronously. There is a difference between async and synchronize replication, but for the sake of today’s discussion, the difference does not apply. The key problem with replication is duplication of data “without regard intended for what the data is. ”

You need to fail over to your recovery site because of a flood, fire or another act of god or innovative human in your data center. You believe, no problem I am OK and will be up and running soon, because you have prepared with this, by implementing replication. You may shortly be very disappointed, because data replication replicates everything “without consider for what the data is, inch and if your array was impacted in an adverse way prior to the shutdown of the replication mechanism, and the impact was some data corruption, you now have corruption in your recovery web site. Your well thought out plan has failed.

Replication without point in time copies/snapshots is like putting a brick on the accelerator of your car and jumping out-eventually without controls the car will hit something. Point in time copies/snapshots of data provide just what the name infers, a place in time picture of your data.
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There exists a difference between snapshots and duplicates of data, but that is a subject that can take up an entire blog, and we are just talking about a concept here. You can maintain multiple copies/snapshots of your duplicated data, throughout the day, on a rotating routine to take pictures of your replicated data. For example , if I have copy A in my primary site and duplicate B in the remote site, I can have copies C, D, Electronic and F of copy M from different points in the time in the remote site. This plan needs to be set up based on business specifications and is a topic for another day.