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At one time, disaster recovery monitoring software focused almost exclusively on configuration validation. The idea was that the software could read the configuration data for infrastructure components involved in the DR process and then analyze it in an effort to detect misconfigurations, coverage gaps and so on.
Although this approach was beneficial in the right circumstances, it had one major disadvantage. The software of the time often lacked visibility into some of the more critical DR mechanisms. For instance, a product might be able to monitor software-based replication, but not hardware-level replication or vice versa.
Current disaster recovery monitoring software still scans an organization's configuration data, but the process is more comprehensive. Products now scan servers, clusters, storage hardware, the virtualization stack, database servers, physical networks and virtual networks. There are also monitoring products that focus specifically on clusters, private clouds and SAN storage.
DR scans are automated, as is the data analysis. If the disaster recovery monitoring software detects a configuration problem or a single point of failure, an alert is generated. Depending on the product, the software might even offer remediation guidance. The software may also provide administrators with a rich reporting dashboard that can be used to drill down through the reported data.
Another way disaster recovery monitoring software has changed over the last several years is that newer products do not merely analyze an organization's configuration, but validate DR readiness. For example, a DR monitoring application might examine the replication process between a production server and a replica server to ensure servers remain synchronized. Such software might also evaluate an organization's ability to meet its recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives. In an age when many organizations have no tolerance for downtime or data loss, disaster recovery monitoring can be a way for businesses to stay ahead of threats.
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