Weak links can appear at any point in the data retrieval chain. It is important to strengthen that chain by having two key things in place. Firstly, the right tools to facilitate rapid and reliable recovery. Remember that complexity has a cost in terms of recovery speed.
Secondly, have the recovery process well-defined and practised in advance. This will involve external service providers helping to lay out recovery plans and playing an active role in testing. It is critical to ensure that the internal people involved in the recovery process are well trained and understand the correct procedures.
How do you build a smart solution with reports on performance and alerts to warn before issues arise?
Native tools provide only rudimentary views, not nearly enough to help IT make good decisions in troubleshooting and proactive analysis. Tool selection is critical. Modern IT infrastructure is complex with many different applications, services, operating systems, hardware and the critical virtualisation layer to be monitored. It's difficult to gain visibility across all of the systems, therefore look for something that can join the dots between the application, operating system, virtual layer, storage and hardware. Framework tools like Microsoft System Center or HP Operations Manager can be augmented with third-party plug-ins from vendors like Veeam to provide the whole picture and add real value.
Context is the most important factor in a monitoring solution, particularly in a virtual environment. An application can be impacted by performance on an unrelated virtual machine that happens to share the same resources. It's important to understand what performance or capacity data means in the context of the surrounding environment. It will be useful to look for solutions that provide proactive capacity alerting. For example, at Veeam we synthesise alerts from different metrics and use them to clearly highlight when the virtual environment will be under pressure.
Pick a solution that provides a clear knowledge base, empowering more levels in the IT department to fix problems sooner without spending time to escalate problems. This means issues can be resolved before they have a serious impact on the business.
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