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Simply Continuous cloud disaster recovery service offers 'what if' testing with RecoverNow

Simply Continuous is preparing to launch RecoverNow, which will allow customers to test cloud disaster recovery scenarios.

Cloud disaster recovery service provider Simply Continuous is updating its data management software to let customers create "what if" scenarios to calculate how long it will take to recover data sets from the cloud.

Simply Continuous, which came out of stealth this year with a new cloud disaster recovery service that sends deduplicated data from the customer's site through Data Domain data deduplication arrays, has launched a public beta of a new feature called RecoverNow. The vendor is preparing to make RecoverNow generally available next month, CTO Chris Eidler said.

RecoverNow will let customers create customized service-level agreements (SLAs) based on their particular data sets and recovery time objectives (RTOs). Using the RecoverNow portal, they can filter their backup files by age, date, type or size, or see how long it would take to recover the entire data set backed up to Simply Continuous. Customers can see how long it would take to restore the data back to their primary data center as well as how fast Simply Continuous could have a new Data Domain appliance ready with data loaded on it for shipment. For customers with Simply Continuous AppAlive virtual standby servers, RecoverNow will also report on how long it will take to get applications up and running at the cloud data center.

Customers can set a "high water mark" for the time it will take to recover data. "If the time to recover becomes greater than eight hours, I want to know," Eidler said.

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Underlying this offering is a new database for file metadata developed by Simply Continuous. The database is also the foundation for new reporting features within the Simply Continuous GUI. The new Data Recovery Vault status portal will show statistics on the amount of bandwidth used for replication, lag time between data being backed up at the primary site and arriving at the cloud data center, the amount and type of data written to the source appliance, and remaining data to be replicated.

Simply Continuous also added support for EMC Data Domain DD140, DD610, DD630 and DD880 models, as well as version 4.6 of Data Domain's operating system.

The San Francisco Giants baseball team has had the Simply Continuous service in production for a little more than a month, according to network engineer and director of strategic IT initiatives Dave Woolley. The team has gotten a demo of the RecoverNow user interface, Woolley said, and will probably put it to use once it's generally available.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's a great start," Woolley said. "Hopefully a disaster won't happen, but if it does and everyone's freaking out, that's not the time to figure out how we're going to start recovering."

Woolley added that he'd like to see Simply Continuous expand its integration with his Symantec Corp. Backup Exec backup software.

"With Data Domain's files, you can't just select 'x.doc', or a specific file as you do with Backup Exec," he said. "It would help me if we were able to request files through Backup Exec [from the Simply Continuous data center] the same way we would request them locally."

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