data seedingFor many business setting up a disaster recovery (DR) solution is paramount. Losing critical hosting services for an extended period of time is simply not an option. More times than not the DR location must be off-site at another geographic location in order to meet specific compliance needs. This will ensure important data can be recovered and critical services can be quickly restored. In order to achieve a complete geographically redundant setup, full data sets are required to be available at both locations. Businesses with large amounts of data are finding out that the initial replication of the data can be a huge challenge. This complexity can lead to increased costs and project delays.

While there are many different solutions for data replication depending on your RPO and RTO requirements, there are less options for replicating your initial data set to the DR site. Some hosting providers will offer physical seeding options to complete the transfer. This may include an encrypted physical disk drive solution where the customer loads data onto physical disks and then ships the media to the secondary DR location. The data is restored to the DR environment directly off the physical media it was placed on. While this process can work, it has some series issues. For example, this process can take days to copy, ship, and restore large data sets from physical media. This means your data can be many days old before you have completed the entire process. On top of this you are taking a risk that your data gets to the location you ship it to without getting lost or damaged along the way. Finally, costs can be high for this type of service because of the large amount of physical work required at both ends of the process.

Another option to seed or backup your initial data set to the DR location is using the Internet directly. This process is dependent on your available bandwidth at both the primary and DR locations. While this may work for smaller data sets it can take days or even weeks when dealing with multi-terabyte environments. For example, if you have 5 TB and a 50 or 100 Mbps limitation at one of the locations, it could take a few weeks to replicate the data. This wait is on top of the security risks and encryption planning you need to have in place before copying the data. Finally, if there is a problem with the connection over this extended period you may need to start the entire process form the beginning again.

So what is the best option for the initial replication of your data? At NetSource we think that selecting a datacenter with two locations connected via a fast, private, and secure connection is best. For example, NetSource’s Naperville SSAE16 Type 2 datacenter is directly connected via 10 Gbps fiber to our DR location in downtown Chicago (350 E. Cermak). NetSource can bridge the primary and DR environments for our clients using this connection so that the initial data set can be seeded at high speeds and in a fully private environment. This type of a setup is ideal because your DR site appears to be a part of the primary network making the two seamless. You get a fast and secure initial replication at a fraction of the price of physical data seeding.

Contact NetSource today at 630-778-1212 to cover your disaster recovery needs and discuss possible solutions addressing your large data seeding requirements.