Important Takeaways about Instant Recovery

By CIOReview | Thursday, September 29, 2016

After purchasing and implementing an Instant Recovery product there are misconceptions prevailing in the enterprise regarding the actual offerings of the product and the promises that were made by the vendor during purchase. So, CIOs must clear the air about the technology before procuring it, citing about Instant Recovery, its recovery is not instant. To execute an instant backup and recovery system it requires time and is not automatic.

Today, as enterprises are more inclined towards cloud technology, data centers and hypervisors are embedded with a backup and recovery system. The first generation backup and recovery system took long hours to recover servers from breakdown. The loss incurred during such time is huge for enterprises. But with advancements in technology, Instant Recovery diminishes those long hours to minutes. An Instant Recovery is just a snapshot of Virtual Machine (VM) which runs temporarily on secondary storage system until the primary storage is revived from breakdown. This offers users to work seamlessly despite any outage or failure occurring in the servers.

Enterprise CIOs should not haste towards direct implementation but should have a clear picture of Instant Recovery system before investing. A deep, practical experience of the product or system can be learned by going through some of the case studies which are available with the vendors or can request for a demo version of the product. Below mentioned are some hidden facts of instant restoration which are less known to CIOs:

Performance Remains the Same: Installing a new restoration system does not mean that performance of the VMs will increase. It is a misconception that, restoration is connected to performance; recovery is executed only for backup and restoration. CIOs get mistaken about Instant Recovery as also a performance enhancer for VMs. In real-time, Instant Recovery process involves directing users to secondary storage and this helps customers to improve their work efficiency by reducing the ideal time during any server outage.

Recovery is not Instant: Instant Recovery does not mean that the restoration takes place immediately; it takes some minutes to revive the primary storage. No recovery system today has a zero downtime. Instant Recovery activates when sever has met with an outage or failure. Manual help is needed to run Instant Recovery procedures. So, Instant Recovery consumes some time to restore the data from backup file.   

Confusions Pertain in Backup Copies: There has been instance where two Instant Recovery policies were used having the same storage checkpoint. In such cases, if Instant Recovery Policy B saves a snapshot of volume 2 on storage checkpoint where Instant Recovery policy A has already created and stored a snapshot of volume 1 then snapshot created by policy A is gone. This conflict occurs when browsing through the storage checkpoint for restoration.

Point-in-time Recovery is Passive: Point-in-time Recovery (PITR) is a system where database administrators restore or recover metadata from a point of time in past. In Instant Recovery system PITR has been disabled and myriad CIOs lack this fact. So, CIOs need to have discussions regarding passiveness of PITR in Instant Recovery with their respective database administrator and then proceed forward with the vendor.  

Further, Instant Recovery is applicable to VMware and Microsoft’s Hyper-V. These are some of the facts which will help CIOs overcome their misconceptions regarding Instant Recovery. There are efforts going on to run a VM directly from a backup file by booting.