Can you discuss the importance of failover and failback for disaster recovery?

Failover and failback are the secret sauce in executing a disaster recovery (DR) plan. Assuming that your DR infrastructure is set up appropriately (you have the actual systems you need being replicated and protected appropriately at the secondary location), then failover and failback will in fact be the most disruptive element to your DR execution.

The disruptiveness of this process is usually defined by the amount of data change you have going on at the primary location, your available bandwidth, and how your data is being copied, mirrored or replicated to that secondary location.

If you're an architect, you should be interested in minimizing the data transmission while maximizing the synchronization between sites. Then focus on how to trigger failover while minimizing the time the operation takes. There are a bunch of technologies in this area; some technologies will vary, and that may modify how well you can execute.

There are some continuous data protection (CDP)-type replication technologies out there, such as InMage, that excel in these areas, minimizing data transmissions and maximizing synchronization between sites.

Check out the entire failover and failback operations FAQ guide.

This was first published in August 2008

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