Loss of business critical data often equates to loss of core mission capabilities; however, backup and recovery is typically a somewhat neglected discipline. Once data is lost, then there’s usually a great deal of panicked shouting and finger pointing, not resulting in any sort of useful action. At Fuse we have more than a decade of experience designing, implementing and maintaining solutions to backup and efficiently recover data, using products from industry leaders such as Symantec, Oracle, Quantum, and Data Domain. We understand that the time to think about data loss is before it happens. Fuse engineers can design, build, optimize and operate backup and recovery solutions at any level of complexity, from the branch office to the headquarters campus. We understand what’s required to craft a well thought out backup and recovery system, from the challenges inherent in operating in a highly secure network, to the trade-offs between backup speed and recovery speed. We understand how to manage the life cycle of a backup image. We understand that snapshots are not backups (you’d be surprised how often we run across this point of confusion); and we understand that backups are not disaster recovery (this one is pretty common, too).
Although disaster recovery and backup and recovery are often closely related disciplines, it’s important to understand that they have two distinct purposes. Backup and recovery systems are generally intended to protect against logical or single-system-level failures. In other words, if a user deletes a file or a rogue application corrupts a file system, then you have a logical failure; the hardware is okay, but the data is damaged. A catastrophic hardware failure of a single server would be an example of single-system failure. Backup and recovery systems are ideal for dealing with either of these situations. However, a backup and recovery system is not capable of coping with the loss of an entire data center (perhaps due to a power loss event) or the loss of an entire building or campus (maybe as the result of a natural disaster). Data center or site-level failures fall within the realm of disaster recovery (also variously referred to as business continuance or mission assurance). Fuse engineers have practical, real-world experience helping our customers design and implement solutions to replicate key data sets and data feeds, keep critical services online without disruption, mitigate immediate IT impacts, and keep their people focused on mission performance, even in an emergency.