Business Continuity PlanningNetSource offers a number of disaster recovery options for our hosting clients. NetSource has a fast dark fiber connection from our Naperville location to a secondary location perfect for DR hosting setups. Find out how NetSource can help your business implement this important function depending on your level of need.

Today, there are a number of standards and laws that require a business continuity plan (BCP). Besides the need to conform to laws, it makes good sense for businesses to protect themselves from emergencies. In the IT area, that means having data integrity and data availability during a crisis.

Find out how NetSource can help your business plan a disaster recovery solution for the hosting services you have hosted in our Naperville, IL datacenter.

Level 1: Data Backup
Level 2: High Availability Computing and Redundant Fail-over
Level 3: Off-site High Availability Computing and Redundant Fail-over

After employees, a businesses’ most precious asset is its data. Data must be reliably backed up. And a business needs to have confidence that the data is secured and can be properly restored when needed.

For businesses that depend on their IT infrastructure to always be available to customers and/or employees, using high availability computing with fail-over is critical. Data integrity is critical through backups, but, for many businesses, data availability is just as critical. Using redundant systems with fail-over allows important business services and data to be available when they are needed.

For the most demanding business applications, IT infrastructure and services must be available even in the most dire emergencies including a complete failure of the primary IT hosting site. Whether that site is outsourced to a data center or housed internally, a completely separate site is essential for those demanding applications.

Along with these disaster recovery hosting needs, process is also critical. A business needs to know that their redundant systems will function when needed. That means having appropriate testing, maintenance procedures, and documentation. It also means having procedures to bring the hosting environment brought back to its redundant state when the crisis is over.

1) Data Integrity – Data Backup

Data BackupData backups ensure the integrity of the customer data. NetSource uses r1soft for data backup and can offer this to both colocation and dedicated hosting clients. NetSource installs and configures a backup agent on your servers. By default, you get 30 days of backups for each server configured. The backup data can be encrypted as it is transmitted and stored for security of the data. Every day, NetSource checks that your server backups ran successfully. Then, you get a backup portal where you can restore individual files or directories as needed. In the case of a complete server or data failure, the entire server can be restored via a bare metal restore process. Your servers can be located at your office, at NetSource’s data center, or at a third party data center.

Another option for data backup, is off-site data backups. If a customer hosts in the Naperville data center, then data backups can be sent to the the Chicago backup server over the point-to-point fiber connection. There is a fixed cost to use the back haul connection in lieu of higher cost Internet bandwidth. NetSource’s dark fiber connection allows for fast, secure (not over Internet), and easy setups when data is required to be off-site. NetSource can also setup dedicated storage servers for your business so that you can use your own products to back up to our secondary location.

2) Data Availability – High Availability Computing

High availability computing ensures that customer services and data are available for use in real-time. NetSource can offer a solution that includes redundant equipment, usually in a load balanced configuration to ensure that services are available at all times. If primary equipment fails, then secondary equipment takes over. Load balancers take care of shifting traffic in real-time.

When redundant servers are used, it is important to make sure that data in duplicated across the equipment. This can include static content on a web site or dynamic content contained in databases. Either way, the content needs to be kept in sync between redundant servers. Windows includes technology to copy content to other servers but other technologies like rsync, Neverfail, and others are available to do the job. For databases, NetSource can use technologies like log shipping, data replication, or clustering.

A) Duplicate your equipment for redundancy
B) Load balance traffic between multiple servers
C) Log ship or cluster databases
D) Copy content over local network, built-in Windows copy function, Robocopy, rsync, etc.

3) Data Availability – Off-site High Availability Computing

The final step in disaster recovery involves using a site that is geographically dispersed. This allows a complete failure of the primary site and still have good data integrity and availability. The solution is almost identical to the on-site solution described above except that the equipment is located in a site preferably at least 30 miles away. NetSource offers geographically diverse solutions and can work with your company on a custom solution.

A) Use the Chicago location, partner location, or the customer’s office for the remote site
B) Use a point-to-point connection for content sync, if needed
C) Use an independent Internet connection with geographical load balancing.

Disaster Recovery Process

To be fully effective, systems need to be tested. Ideally, there should be a periodic test of failover to ensure systems continue to function as they should.

Also, there needs to be a DR recovery plan for every DR setup. The plan should detail how to recover the system back to its redundant state of operation after a failure. The plan needs to be documented and tested before you know you are fully protected.

All DR setups with customers should have:

1. A test plan, to ensure failover
2. A DR plan to ensure recovery to redundant state.

Contact NetSource at to discuss what DR solution is right for your business.