Syneto builds hyperconverged infrastructures which converge more than just servers, storage and networking into a single all-in-one solution. A “next-level of hyperconvergence” philosophy and implementation, also converges native file sharing capabilities and most importantly for this discussion: built in Disaster Recovery.
It is very important to understand Syneto’s TAM (Total Addressable Market) if we are to make a deep-dive into the decision-making process of the buyer and user audiences who make Disaster Recovery decisions. Their target market is small/medium businesses, remote/branch offices and small/medium datacenters in large companies. Moving forward, I will provide you with a unique glimpse into the reasons, planning and selection criteria which small/medium enterprises (98% of the market) take into consideration when selecting a Disaster Recovery and Business Resiliency solution.
We interviewed Dragos Chioran, Syneto’s VP Marketing & Design, on Disaster Recovery matters.
QUESTION: What was the initial catalyst or drivers for the Business Resiliency/ Disaster Recovery projects you’ve been involved in?
With Syneto, we have been delivering disaster recovery solutions for about 8 years. From 2009 to 2015 we focused on SDS (software defined storage) infrastructures with smart and easy to use backup and recovery features. Since 2015, we responded to the needs of our target market by delivering hyperconverged infrastructures with, for the first time, built-in Disaster Recovery capabilities. Our latest product range, the HYPERSeries 3000, allows our end-users to restart their entire IT infrastructure in just 15 minutes if a downtime incident occurs: malware, hardware failure, accidental deletions, etc.
In the last 8 years, I have met hundreds of IT managers and talked to them about the reasons for implementing an effective and resilient DR strategy. To understand why SMBs are investing their scarce budgets in data and application recovery capabilities, we have to look at some statistics: Industry analysts like Gartner and others, have shown that 76% of companies experience an outage each year, and 40% of companies go out of business if they cannot access their data for 24 hours. Those are quite deadly numbers.
It is easy to understand how any business owner or IT manager, looking at these frightening statistics, decides to invest in infrastructure resiliency. So what are the main causes of downtime? There are three main reasons for application downtime and data loss:
- Hardware/software failures
- Human error
- Natural disasters
Businesses may experience a combination of all these factors. Last weeks Global Ransomware attack or ING Romania’s recent 10 hour downtime come to mind as a great examples. The drawbacks a business suffers in such situations are clear: loss of money and, most importantly, credibility.
QUESTION: Explain how your end customers started planning, started, completed a Business Resiliency/ Disaster Recovery initiative?
During the planning and acquisition stage, every decision-maker has to look at the same basic set of capabilities in order assess the requirements of a new IT infrastructure. Because businesses in the digital age revolve around their applications and data, the requirements they look into are:
- Workload: They have to choose an infrastructure that fits the workload but is also capable of handling unforeseen events. Which applications are vital for their business? Do they need an extra degree of security for some data?
- Performance: The infrastructure should be able to perform well with their constant workload but at the same time end-users must choose the type of disaster recovery which matches their resiliency requirements in terms of RTO, RPO and resource overhead. If their datacenter is hungry for resources, a 3rd party backup solution which eats up IOPS and bandwidth might not be the best choice.
- Capacity: Last but not least, how much space do they need? From a DR perspective, a product with data replication features which allow for zero-space allocation snapshotsis usually an obvious choice.
Once the new IT infrastructure with a solid DR capability has been chosen, end-users must complete their Disaster Recovery initiative by setting up a disaster recovery plan and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse it. To achieve the lowest possible RTO, we advise our customers to take the following steps:
- Test the most common scenarios. What are the most “likely” disasters that could interfere with their business?
- Identify the main business needs. Which are the applications that are vital for their business?
- Analyse the interdependencies of applications. Each business operates using various applications that are more or less interconnected.
- Constantly evaluate business impact. End-users need to be aware of the business and IT impact in order to prioritise business needs and adapt your plan.
End-users always start by considering their own specific business and IT requirements when choosing a vendor. For our SMB/ROBOT/Small & medium datacenter market, the criteria are:
- Complexity: End-users need most simple and easy to use Disaster Recovery solution in order to easily get back to business in case of a downtime incident. Traditional IT infrastructure offerings usually are very complex and hard to manage. This happens because the infrastructure has many independent and interconnected components. With the HYPERSeries 3000, we “converge” all this into a single appliance.
- Cost: Cost is always an important aspect. The Disaster Recovery must maintain a low footprint on the IT budget. Although it is very important for an end-user to recovery data and application, the DR component must not take up a big part of the TCO for the IT infrastructure.
- Performance: Any DR solution must perform to the customers’ expectations and plans. It must deliver the right RPO and RTO in order to achieve its true purpose: keep the business running smoothly and without additional costs in case of a downtime incident.