USE CASE: Virtual Disaster Recovery

The Customer

vdrMid-sized company in the retail industry. Over 500 employees, 120 company owned stores, and thousands of partners through North America, Europe, and Japan. Company headquarters in San Francisco, CA with traditional as well as web based retail operations. To support evolving requirements imposed by regulatory entities, the parent company, and key channel partners – the company needed to improve its ability to recovery its critical business systems more quickly and reliably in the event of a disaster.

Pain Points

Problem: Existing Disaster Recovery design was cumbersome and did not meet Recovery Point & Time


  • Customer had a legacy Disaster Recovery (DR) solution that relied entirely upon off-site shipment of backup tapes and manual processes
  • Executive leadership of the firm significantly tightened the Recovery Point and Time Objectives
  • Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) was shortened from 24 hours to 4 hours
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO) was shortened from 72 hours to 24 hours
  • The Recovery Process for their legacy DR solution involved cumbersome manual processes (run books) the IT Staff would be required to execute
  • Testing the recovery process was also painful by requiring IT staff to travel to distant locations for on-site work and leaving uncertainty in the recovery capability
  • The IT budget had been slashed by 20% and the legacy DR solution spend was in excess of $10k/month – Director of IT was looking to reduce this by a third while improving RTO/RPO

Business Value

  • Disaster readiness and compliance significantly improved; reduced RTO from 72 to 24 hours and reduced RPO from 24 to 4 hours.
  • Capex preservation; excessive capital associated with traditional DR plans averted with DR-as-a-Service model.
  • Monthly spend reduced; monthly cost to maintain, update and test DR Site and Plan lowered by 40%.

Solution Design

Solution: Implement a Virtual DR Solution with SLA’s supporting 4 hour RPO and 24 hour RTO

NuSpective presented the high level concept of Virtual Disaster Recovery – utilizing replication capabilities already native to their production environment (in this case NetApp SnapMirror, VMware Site Recovery Manager), linking to a Hosted Service Provider pool of virtualized storage and compute resources, with a guaranteed SLA that would meet the 4 hr. RPO/24 Hr. RTO requirements. By using this advanced virtualized architecture we projected the customer could save 40% off their current spend.

Problems Solved:

  • RPO reduced from 24 hours to less than 4 hours with a guarantee SLA from the Virtual DR Service Provider
  • RTO reduced from 72 hours to 24 hours with a guaranteed SLA from the Virtual DR Service Provider
  • Manual Processes Eliminated – new Virtual DR solution is turnkey in the event of a disaster; no manual intervention by IT Staff required to bring systems back online
  • Recovery Testing Made Easy – the testing of the new Virtual DR solution now involves much less time and cost and can be performed numerous times a year; increasing the confidence of business
  • 40% Savings on Monthly Spend

Benefits Added:

  • DR is now backed by a guaranteed SLA by the Virtual DR solution provider
  • RPO/RTO can easily be ‘tuned’ if requirements change in the future – perhaps requiring even tighter RPO or RTO tolerances

NuSpective consulted with customer to explore different approaches and vendors that could solve customer’s DR pain points. In conjunction with our Virtual DR Services Partner, NuSpective provided a recommended solution complete with detailed architecture and pricing. We then project managed the successful implementation of this solution and now provide ongoing consolidated monthly bills for the service.