Let's continue our look at highlights from the roadmap for Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery deployment that I see emerging based on shifts in IT architecture thinking and advancements in technology: 1-3. See initial post on RTO/RPO, re-centralizing branch infrastructure and virtualization 4. Build high-availability into your IT environment locally 5. Establish a secondary datacentre site (internal or third party) 6. Deploy automated failover technology (e.g., scripting) 7. Optimize the pipe linking primary and secondary datacentres 4. On Building High-Availability Locally … if you've virtualized only 15% to 25% of your servers, it will likely cost too much to even consider a secondary datacentre site for BC/DR purposes! Get virtualization up to 75% or 80% first, since that reduces the amount of physical equipment involved and gives you the ability to quickly and easily move a virtual server to another physical host in the event the original host crashes. Once that's done, but still before considering a secondary site, add the necessary backup and redundancy infrastructure in-house to support your RTO/RPO objectives locally. This would involve, for example, ensuring sufficient available capacity on redundant or clustered physical hosts to accommodate virtual servers moved there as a result of a primary host failure. Also consider advancements such as near-line disk storage, perhaps in conjunction with local data de-duplication, for local backup and recovery. It is cheaper than tape and its performance characteristics support more aggressive RTO and RPO. And with vendors coming out with 8-core-socket servers that will support server consolidation ratios as high as 60:1, local high-availability becomes very practical and cost-effective since a single physical host may be all that is needed to support failover for critical applications. We are currently at this point at Compugen–our 100 servers are more than 80% virtualized, and we have sufficient backup and redundancy locally within our datacentre to ensure high-availability and that our RTO/RPO objectives can be met. Although this yields a very reliable infrastructure, all our eggs are still in just one basket–our primary datacentre. We now need to set up remote data replication and application recovery capability–a secondary datacentre–to ensure that the business will continue to run in the face of a catastrophic primary datacentre event. In my next post, I'll continue my commentary on the new BC/DR paradigm I see emerging, including considerations for a secondary datacentre. Feel free to e-mail me if you have thoughts on BC/DR you'd like to share, or to find out how Compugen can help you cost-effectively navigate the new Business Continuity roadmap.