Ask The Experts: How Fast Can Data Be Restored?

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle talks about BCDR strategies and the importance of calculating customer data restoral times with EvolveIP’s CTO Scott Kinka. Find out more about BCDR and unified options for cloud services from Scott and the EvolveIP team here:

Andrew: Okay, we’re diving ahead, guys, in our Advanced Data Networking Solutions Professional certification track with yet another Ask the Experts session. I’ve invited Scott Kinka to come back into the studios and share with us some of his insights on BCDR. Mr. Kinka, welcome man.
Scott: Really happy to talk about this one.
Andrew: All right, very cool. Hey, let’s talk about a certain aspect of DR solutions. Specifically, recovering restoral. It seems like a lot of solutions, you know, give you an opportunity to check the box, “Yes I’m backing up my data,” but don’t really take it to the next step of, “Okay, what happens when I lose that and I need to restore it?” I wanted to get your sense of how—it’s obvious how important restoral is, but what are the characteristics of that? What should customers be concerned about? What are reasonable expectations that customers should have about data restoral? What are your thoughts?
Scott: First of all, I would say your question is absolutely accurate and I think it’s a great spot for our partners to add value. Because you’re gonna run into many customers who just believe backup is the DR strategy.
Andrew: Right.
Scott: And look, DR isn’t—DR is a backup strategy if you don’t mind the restoral process. Unfortunately, what we really need to be clear on is that when you back up it does not take into account restoral. Right? It doesn’t . . . you still have to have a box to bring it back to.
Andrew: Yep.
Scott: That box has to have bandwidth on it, and you have to be able to get data to it. And that’s really where our customers fall short. If the building burned down, I know the data is someplace else, but where am I going to restore the data to get myself back into business operation? That falls back into their DR and business continuity plan. What do I do when I have a problem?
Andrew: Yeah.
Scott: But I think the key to any backup restoral process is really to consider the amount of data that they’re going to need to restore to get themselves back into a position where they are in business continuance, if you will.
Andrew: Yeah.
Scott: If it’s exchange, I can’t bring back four messages. I have to bring back the entire message store. Right? If it’s an ERP, I have to bring the whole thing back. So we’re talking about an entire server image. These are often times not small.
Andrew: Right.
Scott: Hundreds of gigs, terabytes sometimes.
Andrew: Sure.
Scott: And there’s many calculators online that you can very easily find that have bandwidth . . . just search bandwidth transfer calculator.
Andrew: Yeah.
Scott: And variable one is how much data do I have, and variable two is how much bandwidth I have. It’s gonna spit back to you how long it will take to get that data back on site. And I don’t think many people are prepared for the answer until they actually run it.
Andrew: Right.
Scott: Go in and put in a terabyte and then put in 1.544 megabits per second, which is the T1 your customer has.
Andrew: Yeah.
Scott: And step back.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Scott: So I think it’s a great tool. I honestly do it in front of customers and prospects.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s interesting.
Scott: When we’re having the DR, do I want to replicate—which is keep a live store up on the other side that I can actually work from—versus do I just backup to your cloud? My answer is, let’s just talk about how much bandwidth do you have. I plug it in here. How much data is in there? Two terabytes, great. Are you prepared for two and a half days?
Andrew: Yeah, that’s right.
Scott: And that may be fine, depending on what the system is.
Andrew: Right.
Scott: That’s the operative conversation. That’s where our partners can add tons of value in just making the prospect think. It’s great that it’s in the cloud, it’s protected, but it’s still not magically getting it back. It’s still got to come over the wire. And at the end of the day, that’s really the calculation exercise. It’s very similar to the WAN design conversation. How much bandwidth do I need for all this real-time communication, and file storing and sharing and all that kind of stuff.
Andrew: You know, the restoral side of the BCDR discussion it seems like in itself is an enormous argument for cloud infrastructure as well. I mean, restoring to another virtual machine that’s already in the cloud is dramatically faster, isn’t it?
Scott: Yeah, no question. We even do . . . we have a scenario on the server side where you can do server reserves. Right. Which we give you the ability to say basically, “I’m going to keep local. I’m going to spin up a machine in EvolveIP’s cloud.” Get it prepped.
Andrew: Yep.
Scott: Get the names right. Get everything in case those local machines are done and turn them down.
Andrew: Yeah.
Scott: And it involves that were billing for a percentage of the general production portion of those servers. And then they choose just to do backup.
Andrew: Yep.
Scott: Or what they’re doing is they’re backing up into our network. So the restoral times from a cloud-based backup to a cloud-based server being on our private network infrastructure is significantly shorter than if they were trying to drag that backup back down into our cloud over the WAN.
Andrew: Yeah.
Scott: Stored to a local machine.
Andrew: Yeah. Huge difference.
Scott: Absolutely.
Andrew: Very cool. Scott, thanks for jumping in. Always great to have your insight, your wisdom on this stuff. Spot on.
Scott: Yeah, great.
Andrew: Good deal. Guys, that’s Scott Kinka, CTO of EvolveIP. One of our go-to cloud providers in the portfolio. Do make sure you spend some time in the learning center. It has some great information. If you study it, watch their videos, read their white papers, talk to their smart guys, they will help you close bigger deals in the cloud. Good selling.