Of course, it has been possible to create online replicas with snapshot and replication technologies for some time – primarily on large enterprise storage arrays. Today, this capability is available on mid-tier and SMB devices from a number of reputable vendors.
Creating a recovery tier of near-line storage can involve physical assets, e.g. a separate storage device, or logical-virtual assets, for example, an online tier co-located with production data. Either approach results in easy access to online replicas of production data. Online replicas can be created more rapidly than traditional backup copies because they maintain data in native format, using snapshot, mirroring, or replication technologies. These online replicas do not require a restore process and are thus more readily accessible than traditional backup copies.
In addition to providing online recovery, recovery tiers supplement the established backup protection tier, as well as the archive tier. This multi-tier approach to data management offers increased service levels, providing enterprises with a comprehensive data management approach and enabling IT to support corporate regulations dictating retention and availability of information.
Improving RTO and RPO
Recovery tiers offer an added benefit: improvement in recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) service levels. Of vital importance to corporations subject to virus attacks and other data-corruption that threatens Exchange and other business-critical databases and data stores, recovery tiers using online recovery volumes enable near-instantaneous recovery in situations which typically require days to restore from backup copies.
RPO and RTO service levels are also improved when online recovery volumes are used to create backup copies. By eliminating the need to backup from production data, sound recovery management practices solve the problem of squeezing all of an enterprise’s data into shrinking backup windows.
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