Today’s business is increasingly digital and cannot tolerate interruptions in the operation of systems or data losses. The price to pay is not just economic but also permanent damage to the firm’s relationship with its customers.
To ensure the continuity of services and the availability and integrity of data, there are consolidated methods, ranging from simple backup to disaster recovery solutions that employ a vast repertoire of copy, snapshot, and asynchronous/synchronous replication technologies.
The effectiveness of the aforementioned methods is assessed on two criteria: recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO).
In the jargon of IT safeguarding, the “recovery time objective” of a system is the time required for its recovery if certain types of events occur that make it unavailable. RPO, on the other hand, refers to the frequency at which data is safeguarded and therefore to how much of the current running jobs one is willing to lose in the event of an accident.
With the RTO and RPO parameters, the characteristics of the protection systems are designed and assessed – from nightly backup on tape to synchronous replication of data on twin sites in high reliability – which correspond to very different implementation costs.
Fortunately, the objectives of RTO and RPO are not the same for all departments: an HR department can tolerate work interruptions with less damage than, for example, production departments, logistics, or customer assistance. The safeguarding of data and applications finds a strong ally in cloud storage services which, if chosen appropriately, allow to reduce infrastructure costs.
The most modern software architectures that use Docker containers can take advantage of automation, through orchestrators such as Kubernetes. Since in Kubernetes environments deployment is dynamic, safeguarding is no longer based on the individual systems but is in the hands of the orchestrator who has the functions for the discovery of software components and binary images along with configurations, and other information useful for recovery.
Safeguard is therefore achieved at a higher level of abstraction, using the orchestrator to automate tasks at the physical level, both on-premise and on cloud services. Kubernetes manages both stateless and stateful application components, as in the case of database and event streaming environments in an operational state.
Open-source software tools now make it possible to integrate the safeguarding of data and applications with declarative methods in deployments. Using this method, the safeguard instructions travel in parallel with the components to be protected, avoiding the risk of misalignments at each update.
As part of its consultancy activity, BinHexS can detect the customer’s RTO and RPO requirements, to design and implement the most effective safeguard and disaster recovery systems using the best available technologies, keeping costs of implementation and maintenance of solutions under control.