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Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan for Life Sciences Organization
Simplified DR management to mitigate unforeseen events and protect against formidable threats
Cyber threats presents the biggest danger to any organization. It not only hampers the online stability of a firm but also severely impacts its business setup and functioning. To counter the growing and diverse array of cyber threats, companies have set up various prevention mechanisms, the central to which is a Disaster Recovery (DR) environment. DR environment protects the cyber environment from natural disasters however it isn't very effective against malware.
ISSQUARED® has built a next generation DR in the Cloud for a large life sciences organization. The project details are discussed below.
Business overview and challenges
The DR strategy of the lifesciences company was expensive and in-adept against cyber-attacks. The strategy was a 'manual/automated site to site fail-over strategy' with the Production site at premise data center on the West Coast and the Recovery site on the East Coast.
This left the system, which has two major components- the applications and the database component vulnerable to any attack.
ISSQUARED® Architects and Engineers diagnosed the problem and accordingly created a design pattern that allowed the infected mission critical applications to be repaired and run at a known good state. This empowered the system to recover from natural disaster as well as a cyber-attack.
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Network Computing Architects, Inc. was represented in this transaction by martinwolf’s LMM Group, a leading M and A advisory firm serving the lower-mid-market IT industry.
Overall process included:
• Analyzing the existing DR process
• Building a baseline of current DR status
• Defining the restoration plan for the Infrastructure landscape which includes Network, storage, OS, Database, Load balancer, DNS, etc. in AWS Cloud
• The scope also extended to update DR plans and execute LIVE DR exercise
• Netapp SnapMirror (a proven data replication technology) leveraged to accomplish desired RPO to meet required SLA
• Established a small footprint of NetApp All Flash storage in a co-located on premise datacenter adjacent to AWS US-East region. It has a verified latency of 2-3ms.
• Cross Hypervisor replication (CloudEndure) was orchestrated to rebuild production servers in AWS Cloud for DR
• Automated server configured in cloud during DR rebuild with Ansible Playbooks
• Regulated DR runbooks and design specs rewritten and approved with these innovative technologies
• Executed LIVE DR exercise with several DR runs to validate all checks
Key Technologies involved
• Cross-hypervisor replication – AWS CloudEndure
• Cloud-adjacent storage – NetApp Private Storage and AWS Direct Connect
• Data replication and protection – NetApp Snapshots, SnapMirror, SnapVault, FlexClone
• Cloud compute and networking resources – AWS EC2, EBS, ALB and VPC
• Configuration management and automation – Ansible