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Improve Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs): What are your options?”

rto recovery orchestration
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As the saying goes… “By failing to plan, you are preparing to fail” — Benjamin Franklin

It’s no surprise to any entity how imperative uptime is. But what does sometimes catch backup and recovery teams off guard is how sudden and detrimental even just a few seconds of downtime can be. Admins quickly learn how those precious moments after an outage can lead to haphazard and time consuming recovery procedures if you are not fully prepared by having orchestrated your testing recoveries beforehand.

As another saying goes…”The buck stops here”. President Truman’s no nonsense approach to crisis management couldn’t be more relevant for disaster recovery. And what better time to take responsibility than now? It’s unfortunately never been easier to be a bad actor looking to create havoc. Backup procedures are getting more and more complicated as workloads scale exponentially, attack sophistication is improving and the interconnectivity of multi-cloud is becoming the norm. And let’s not forget other threats such as natural disasters, network outages and human errors which can account for up to 65% of downtime. (Source: PEI)

When it comes to DR, we are only as good as our Weakest Link

Disaster recovery involves a multitude of steps: anticipating, backing up, planning and recovering and using native cloud backup tools for backup and recovery operations lead to severe limitations. For example, you are limited when turning EBS snapshots into the appropriate data volumes. In the event of an outage, do you really want to be sorting through your snapshot console looking for the one you need? Then trying to mount that snapshot onto an instance, booting the instance, and resolving all the configuration. This seems like a lot of hassle while you are dealing with an outage and angry co-workers or customers.

Planning to Fail with N2WS Recovery Scenarios

Typically after an outage of other disaster, you will need to get a lot of resources up and running quickly. Absolutely no one has the luxury of time at that point to search and recover resources one by one.

For this reason, N2WS developed a unique feature, Recovery Scenarios, which lets customers coordinate a sequence of recoveries for many (or all) backup targets in a single policy — all during one recovery session. No need to waste precious time individually recovering resources.

In addition, you can choose the priority of recovery by deciding on the order in which your target resources will be restored. And you can even make the sure the Recovery Scenario configuration runs the way it’s supposed to in the future by using the Dry Run feature.

Recovery Scenarios is accessed using the dashboard’s sidebar.
Dry Run option makes sure your Recovery Scenario is defined correctly without actually recovering the AWS resources.
 Recovery Targets tab lets you choose the resources to define in the Recovery Scenario.

Your Options for Recovery Orchestration

N2WS offers several different recovery orchestration processes depending on the scale of the disaster. All restore options are near-immediate and you only need to click the GIANT recovery button next to the option you want. No need to sort through instance IDs or multiple volumes for your file restore.

Three option are highlighted below, all with the goal of making sure that downtime is eliminated and your application and data are truly highly available:

VOLUME ONLY RECOVERY

Recover to a point in time of just your EBS volume and replace the (corrupted) existing without needing to do a full instance restore. Just simply roll back, keeping IP addresses and other configurations exactly as they were. You can also recover and delete the previous or auto-mount the recovered volume to a new EC2 instance. 

FULL INSTANCE RECOVERY

N2WS offers full instance recovery, where we we spin up a new entire EC2 instance with all associated volumes into the region or account you choose. This recovery operation is also fully orchestrated but gives you the chance to adjust any meta data like security groups, VPC, settings, or even machine type and size while performing the recovery operation. Best of all, it takes only seconds to complete.

FILE AND FOLDER LEVEL RECOVERY

For smaller disasters you can explore the files and folders of any EC2 instance and recover previous point-in-time individual files and folders. N2WS will mount the EBS snapshot and allow you to explore and choose which files/folders you need. This saves valuable time and allows quick recovery for both Windows and Linux EC2 instances. 

Set it and forget it” with N2WS Backup & Recovery

For automated backups including configuring what to backup, defining targets, setting frequencies, and choosing retention periods, N2WS Backup & Recovery allows you sleep worry-free. The tool supports backup of EC2 instances, EBS volumes, EFS, DynamoDB, Redshift, Aurora, Aurora Serverless, RDS, FSx, FSx for NetApp ONTAP, SAP Hana on AWS, Amazon Outposts and backs them up frequently and effortlessly. No loss of downtime due to near-zero RTO with 1-click recovery in 30 seconds (from a single file to a full environment restore).

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