Phase two of the City’s virtualization project was to implement a disaster recovery solution. It quickly became apparent that the then industry standard of backing-up to tape approach wasn’t going to work to back-up the City’s entire virtualized infrastructure – rendering it nearly impossible to recover from a full site failure.
The solution that the City’s IT staff designed and implemented was to build a second datacenter inside of the City’s new Police Building that had just started construction. In addition to the datacenter, a 100’ radio tower was constructed on the Police Building property and a 2Gb wireless point-to-point link was established between City Hall and the new datacenter. This new “DR” datacenter houses a fully redundant network, including three additional physical ESXi servers, storage arrays, and network equipment. Now, all data and entire virtual servers are replicated, every night from City Hall to the Police Building’s disaster recovery infrastructure.
This DR strategy has enabled IT staff to bring up, or fail-over to, the entire network infrastructure in an offsite location in case the primary infrastructure is no longer available. IT staff utilize Veeam Backup and Replication software that allows them to start up any or all backed up virtual server images in a test environment. This allows IT staff to ensure that the City can restore quickly in a test environment without interfering in our production environment. This gives the City a short RTO (Return to Operation) Time and enables it to restore mission critical systems in minutes.