Over the years in IT, we’ve all had tasks become more efficient due to the improvements and evolution in technology. Heck, even a fairly recent college grad in an IT-based major can attest to technological changes over their time in school to their present career position. Conversations with other IT professionals who’ve been in the industry for 25 years or more bring up recollections of writing Cobol and RPG programs on punch card machines, using 8”, 5.25”, and 3.5” floppy drives, night-long backup sessions that wrote to reel-to-reel tape machines, buying the new Computer Shopper magazine (that thing was big enough to be used as a personal defense weapon), NetWare, no internet, and many other things a couple of graying geeks will quickly recall over a couple of drinks in the evening. Yes! It’s always fun remembering the good ole days. But we all must remember those “good ole days” also fit the opening line of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities”, which also had a second side … “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …” So, what about the worst of times? Who can erase those bad memories from a tech age gone by? A notable bad memory from the day, and I’m sure most would agree with me, was the dreaded “DR Test.”The “DR Test” was usually a mind-numbing exercise where a couple of guys would gather up a pile of backup tapes and some other equipment and fly or drive off to a DR facility possibly owned by the likes of Comdisco, SunGard, or others. The first part of this exercise usually consisted of rebuilding the tape catalogue --a process that typically took hours. I remember that so clearly. Oh my, there was only so much you could eat to pass the time. In the end, you’d be graded on your success -- or with hindsight, your lack of success. To be honest, I can’t ever recall seeing a success score of 100%. The mainframe guys usually got the closest to 100%, but the distributed-systems guys typically ended up with a lower score for a variety of reasons that included trying to restore to dissimilar hardware and the lack of a reliable recovery process in the backup product(s) used. From a business perspective, less than a 100% successful DR test is not something to brag about. It’s failure. An unfortunate truth is that similarly painful, non-reliable DR testing still exists today. This brings me to what is one of the killer offerings from StorageCraft—namely, StorageCraft Cloud Services. StorageCraft Cloud Services was first introduced back in 2012 and has been continuously enhanced since its release, making it the perfect extension to StorageCraft’s time-proven ShadowProtect SPX and the new must-see ShadowXafe and OneXafe Converged solutions. Just as these backup and recovery products provide systems with agnosticity to the underlying physical hardware and hypervisor they run on, the same agnosticity is provided with DR failover and failback in the StorageCraft Cloud Services offering. With Windows and Linux machines (physical or virtual), the backups are taken by ShadowProtect SPX, ShadowXafe or OneXafe Converged, securely replicated to StorageCraft Cloud Services and booted on-demand for test or actual site failover, all with one or two mouse clicks! One or two mouse clicks? Yes! Once you perform the initial configuration in the easy-to-use web portal--machine-by-machine bootup orchestration, DR networking, IPsec configuration, port mapping, and CPU/RAM-resource-allocation on a machine-by-machine basis-- it’s nothing more than a single mouse click for a test-site failover and two mouse clicks for a real DR-site failover. Want to conduct a “DR Test” once a year, once a quarter, or once a month? No problem! Once you’ve configured everything in the Cloud Services portal, you can simply sit back, relax and click the mouse to launch the test. Where was this StorageCraft Cloud Services offering years ago?! Definitely cool stuff! If your DR testing isn’t this easy, you gotta check out StorageCraft Cloud Services and start making good memories with DR.
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