Data Protection Dashboard Provides Easy to Use Status Window

Data Protection Dashboard Provides Easy to Use Status Window

Global Data Vault Web Portal

At Global Data Vault, we ensure the quality of your recovery environment through constant monitoring. Nothing is more important to your business operations than your data and the systems that support it. Not only do we monitor your readiness, we make it easy for you to check in on the status of your data protection as well. Today, we’d like to introduce our improved customer dashboard.

Built as a Global Data Vault web portal, this single screen allows our customers full visibility of the status of their local and remote recovery options. The beauty of it is, it’s available – securely — 24/7/365 and can be viewed from any device with a browser. It works well on PCs, tablets, and mobile devices.

The keys to note are:

  • 100% of the environment is recoverable locally
  • 100% of the environment is recoverable remotely
  • The Restore Points “RP” are all within the last 2 hours – locally and remotely
  • The green “Yes” in the “Loc” and “Rem” columns indicate these restore points are within the promised agreed service levels, which are generally 4 to 8 hours

This same portal is available for physical and virtual environments as well as for much larger environments.

We provide this dashboard for all clients, from enterprise level to small office. Here’s an example of the portal screen of a company with 2 servers and 6 protected disks:

customer portal shot 1

The details of the portal are explained in this screen shot:

portal-shot-2

To access your own client web portal, visit globaldatavault.com, select “support” and then login with your customer id and password.

Not a Global Data Vault client yet? Request More Information on our Cloud Disaster Recovery Solutions Here

Virtual Environments for Disaster Recovery – Managing Configuration

Virtual Environments for Disaster Recovery – Managing Configuration

Using Virtual Environments for Disaster Recovery – Managing Configuration

Creating a virtual environment for your server system is part of every disaster recovery plan. Off the shelf virtualization technology such as VMWare, Hyper-V and Virtual Box, allow you to create a software representation of all the hardware and software associated with a server. Essentially you’re taking a physical server and translating all that hardware into software.

When we describe the virtualization part of the process, it sounds a bit like magic, but it is not. There is significant configuration to put in place in order to make it work.

Translating the hardware into software is necessary so that the entire “workload” – which is everything that server does whether it’s a email server or application server, or whatever that particular server’s function is – can be duplicated and moved to the cloud. This virtual machine must function just as its physical machine twin, so if something happens in the real world environment, there is an exact duplicate in a virtual environment.

This magical process becomes complex when the time comes to recover or fail over to the virtual machine you’ve created. Ensuring the correct hardware/driver configurations can pose a formidable challenge in the virtual environment.

This image represents all the virtual devices that have to be configured correctly before your VM environment will function properly:

  • Memory
  • CPU
  • Disk interfaces
  • Network interfaces
  • Video drivers
  • Communications ports
  • Optical drive controllers
  • Printer ports
  • USB drivers

For the virtualization and failover to be successful, the virtual machine has to have the exact specifications of what the finished machine is supposed to look like before the conversion is performed, including memory, what kind and how many processors, network cards and interfaces how many and what, etc.

Configuring these environments is a sophisticated project that can be time consuming for even the senior IT professional. For most 5 – 8 server environments, a day should be allocated for this project alone — and that’s if the virtualization goes smoothly.

Global Data Vault Builds Clients Virtual Environments

An added benefit of Global Data Vault’s disaster recovery solution is that we take care of all this for you. Our competitors make this a client-run project but GDV is different. We build the virtual environment for our clients before even installing the databases, and we continually monitor all the components that make up your network servers for any changes.

Building the virtual environment is quite expeditious (typically only requires about an hour) and we monitor any hardware and software revisions on an ongoing daily basis. By updating your virtual environment in real time, we eliminate your downtime when a real disaster occurs.

 

RPO and RTO Monitoring

RPO and RTO Monitoring

A critical step in creating a disaster recovery solution is determining your RPO (restore point objective) and your RTO (restore time objective). In essence, these are the point in time that you need your data recovered to, and how fast you need to achieve that restore point.

Establishing what RPO and RTO are necessary for your company is crucial, (see more information on RPO and RTO), and that both the local and remote backups are synchronized with the correct restore points.Blank_Square

Most of what Global Data Vault clients are moving across the wire are differential files. For example, if you have uploaded a big database to the cloud, the only items that are updating going forward are data points that have changed, which then have to be reassembled in the cloud. Unfortunately, that reassembly provides plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong. Unless you’re monitoring the process all the time, it’s hard to ferret it out that there’s a problem happening, and it’s difficult to discover what happened in order to fix it.

This is where we believe that Global Data Vault maintains a competitive advantage. We monitor every customer’s data to assure that data is:

  •          Current locally
  •          Current at the remote recovery site
  •          And that all images are quiescent and uncorrupted

And we provide the ability for our customers to also watch it, which makes Global Data Vault unique. We couldn’t be further from the self-service backup and disaster recovery solutions on the market that only provide a manual as a resource for when things go wrong. That is, IF you figure out that your backups are corrupted.

Global Data Vault takes care of RPO and RTO monitoring, and we’re testing them as well. If your backup happens at a point in time where only some of your system updates have happened, then you have a database that doesn’t make sense anymore. You need to be aware of it, and we’re going to alert you to it and go one step further. We’re going to help you fix it.

GDV is monitoring your backups 24/7, and we provide the interface to see what we’re monitoring, as well as enable you to check it yourself through an easy-to-use dashboard. If a backup goes awry, Global Data Vault takes action behind the scenes to fix it.

We like to refer to this as simplicity on the other side of complexity. Our clients call it peace of mind.

Cloud Disaster Recovery – Where’s the Beef?

Cloud Disaster Recovery – Where’s the Beef?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 27 years since Wendy’s launched its now world-famous, TV ad series known simply as “Where’s the Beef?”

First airing on January 10, 1984, the original commercial titled, “Fluffy Bun,” featured three elderly ladies examining an exaggeratedly large hamburger bun topped with a minuscule hamburger patty from a fictional competitor who’s slogan is “Home of the Big Bun.” The other two ladies poked at it searching for the small bit of hamburger beneath, exchanging bemused comments (“It certainly is a big bun. It’s a very big bun. It’s a big fluffy bun. It’s a very big fluffy bun.”) before being interrupted by actress Clara Peller’s outraged, irascible question, “Where’s the beef?!”

Global Data Vault believes that we’re seeing the same thing in Disaster Recovery solutions – a great deal of fluff, but not much beef. So what is the metaphorical “beef” of disaster recovery?clara

Let’s start with what it is not:

  • The “beef” is not cloud storage
  • The “beef” is not virtual machines
  • The “beef” is not user interfaces
  • Or bare metal recovery
  • Or compression or data deduplication
  • Or local appliances

These are ingredients to the perfect “burger” or cloud disaster recovery solution. Much like when you order corn flakes in a restaurant – you don’t have a meal until you get some milk. They are components to the recipe that enhance the flavor, but not the cornerstone ingredient.

Global Data Vault believes that the real “beef: is found in two simple measurements: Restore Point Objective (RPO) and Restore Time Objective (RTO).

Your RPO is the measure of how current (or how late) is your data when you need it for a real recovery. RTO is the measure of how long it will take before your systems are working at full capacity in the aftermath of a disaster or other event requiring a recovery.

Global Data Vault consistently provides most current RPO and the fastest RTO to our customers. We achieve high quality in our solutions through the unique and innovative systems we have developed over the past 10 years.

Our systems enable Global Data Vault to deliver real BEEF in our Cloud Disaster Recovery solution.

Join us for our 8-part series on our blog where each week, we’ll post more details about what it takes to deliver a true working Cloud Disaster Recovery solution – the beef. Make it easy on yourself: We’ll deliver a synopsis of this discussion to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter (see sign-up on the right) or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Mobile Phone Security

Mobile Phone Security

Can you think of a day without your mobile phone? In the never-ending pursuit of efficiency, our reliance on these miniature CPU’s is directly related to our ability to stay connected – and it grows greater every day. Unfortunately, so do the risks to small and medium sized business for data loss when those devices go missing.samsung

A recent study by Symantec found the following among small to medium-sized businesses (SMB’s):

  • 39 percent allow employees to use mobile phones without limits
  • 37 percent allow employees to use mobile phones with limits
  • 17 percent have no mobile phone policy
  • 7 percent prohibit mobile phone use completely

The same study estimates that SMB’s (companies with 45 – 499 employees) lose $126,000 annually from lax mobile security, loss and theft. For larger enterprises, they estimate a yearly loss of $429,000. (more…)

Data Protection Solutions for Payroll Service Companies

Data Protection Solutions for Payroll Service Companies

Payroll is a daunting, time-consuming task for companies. Oftentimes the entire payroll function is outsourced to a provider to handle the calculations for taxes, the filings, and the actual distribution of funds.

Payroll service companies carry an important responsibility for their clients. Companies depend on them to be reliable as paychecks are pretty important to employees who expect paycheck_21477827_stheir checks on time; their lives hang in the balance if they don’t get paid. Employees will quit if their money doesn’t show up when promised. Ensuring those payroll systems run without interruption is mission critical for the payroll company, their clients and the employees they serve. One glitch in the system can literally affect thousands of people’s lives.

Payroll is particularly time sensitive because funds have to move and are subject to bank cutoff times, there is very little wiggle room to keep a payroll delivery on track. (more…)