Disk-imaging technology, faster storage, and new protocols have changed the average recovery time objectives (RTOs) from hours to minutes. But in the modern world, data is so critical that many businesses are working to reduce RTOs even further, and with good reason. Today a business that doesn’t have access to its data can lose $100,000 every hour, in addition to the potentially huge costs of recovering that data.
While these lightning-fast RTOs can be achieved by traditional technologies, like replication, high-availability, or fault tolerance, they come at a high total cost of ownership (TCO). This effectively eliminates them as an option for most small businesses.
Fortunately there are new, innovative technologies that empower your business to boot a system copy directly onto an existing virtual machine (Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere ESXi, for example) and bring your most important systems back to a functional state in under a minute so you can get back to work immediately after a data loss incident.
See how one of these new technologies works for yourself in the simple step-by-step list below:
1. Your hypervisor reads from virtual storage
The backup agent installed on your system’s virtual host creates a virtual storage device on your host that acts like a remote, virtual data store. Any time the hypervisor reads from this virtual device, your backup agent will retrieve the data from the traditional backup storage location — whether it’s stored on-premises, in local drives and storage devices, or in the cloud – and present it to the hypervisor.
2. Your hypervisor restores a copy to a virtual machine
Each time this happens, the virtual storage device is populated with a copy of the most recent backup. As a result, when there is a data loss incident the hypervisor can read any portion of your backup – from email inboxes to full-image system states – and recall it to a virtual machine with just a few clicks. Because there’s no need to move the entire backup to the hypervisor storage the backup can be launched immediately.
3. Your hypervisor preserves backup data for future recovery
And don’t worry, if the hypervisor is needed to write new data, it will automatically be written to a temporary storage location on the host. This preserves the backup data in the virtual data store exactly as it is to ensure it runs properly if needed for recovery.
Throughout the entire process, the technology is transparent to the hypervisor. If needed for data recovery, your virtual machine will start, your operating system and applications will be operational, and your selected data will be available for production use in a matter of seconds so your business can get up-and-running while a full-scale data recovery effort and preventative measures take place.
With this tool and process in place, machines can be booted back to a functional state in less than a minute. Of course, your results may vary depending on the complexity of your system setup but, it’s worth knowing that, with the right modern tech tools, any RTO is achievable.