OK, if this was a disaster recovery situation, the clients systems would have been restored and in the most part operational within 48 hours, which for some clients may be seen as an acceptable risk, but from my experience even the smallest client can become quite frustrated when they lose access to something as innocuous as email for as little as 30 – 60 minutes, so in all honesty, can you really say that a 48 hour recover point objective is acceptable?
Well, let me continue with the job at hand, which just to remind you was to create a replicated environment for our client.
After the successful completion of the “seed” replica, it was a matter of configuring and running the actual VEEAM Replication Job, which after initial “Seed” must first calculate a digest of the installed disk and then a consequent creation of the “fingerprints” for that disk, which will aid the system in the deduplication and compression of the consequent data that will be transmitted across the WAN. Once again, dependent on the size and quantity of disks that the replicated system contains, this part of the process is also somewhat lengthy.
In the case of the Microsoft SQL Server this initial replication process took 19 hours and for the Microsoft SBS 2008 Small Business Server a staggering further 30.5hrs to complete successfully.
Once the initial replicas have been created, the time required to keep them up to date is drastically reduced, dependent on the schedule you wish to apply, which can be continuous, daily, weekly or pretty much any period you chose, although my recommendation would at the very least, be to perform this daily.
Creating and maintaining an off-site replica, although a time consuming process, and one that appears tedious, may however, one day, in the event of a disaster, provide you with the ability to get your systems up and running again in a very short space of time. Once those replica’s are in place and that unexpected disaster occurs it is simply a case of running up those replicas to their latest restore point and your systems will be back up and running in the space of time it take to run up those replica VM’s.
I think the most important point that anyone should take away from this exercise, is that unless you actually test your backups or replicas at regular intervals, you will never know what your TRUE recovery point is. Wouldn’t it be better to know NOW and not have to wait until the day you REALLY need them.