Infrascale Survey Highlights the Heavy Costs of Business Downtime

37% of SMBs Have Lost Customers and 17% Have Lost Revenue Due to Downtime

 

Los Angeles – May 13, 2020 – Downtime is a major challenge for small and medium businesses (SMBs) today. The IT systems of nearly a quarter of SMBs have gone offline in the past year, according to new research from Infrascale, a cloud-based data protection company providing industry-leading backup and disaster recovery solutions. SMBs said the downtime creates business disruption and decreases employee productivity. More than a third (37%) of SMBs in the survey group said they have lost customers and 17% have lost revenue due to downtime.

“Customer retention is essential for business success,” said Russell P. Reeder, CEO of Infrascale. “It can cost up to five times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one, and when customers leave, businesses lose out on vital profit and operational efficiencies. Especially in today’s competitive environment, it’s challenging enough to retain customers. With all the cost-effective solutions available, downtime shouldn’t be a reason for concern.”

Nearly a fifth (19%) of SMBs admit that they do not feel their businesses are adequately prepared to address and prevent unexpected downtime. Of those SMBs that said they feel unprepared for unexpected downtime, 13% said they do not feel their business is prepared for unexpected downtime because they have limited time to research solutions to prevent downtime. More than a quarter (28%) attributed not feeling prepared for unexpected downtime due to IT teams at their organization being stretched. The same share (28%) said they don’t think their business is at risk from unexpected downtime. Yet more than a third of SMBs (38%) said they don’t know what the cost of one hour of downtime is for their businesses.

The Infrascale research is based on a survey of more than 500 C-level executives at SMBs. CEOs represented 87% of the group. Most of the remainder was split between CIOs and CTOs.

 

Downtime Can Prompt Valuable Customers to Head for the Exit

“Customers today are extremely demanding,” said Reeder. “They are intolerant of delays and downtime. The Infrascale research highlights this business reality.”

Thirty-seven percent of the SMB survey group admitted to having lost customers due to downtime issues. This problem was especially pronounced among business-to-business entities; close to half (46%) of B2B businesses have experienced such a loss. As for business-to-consumer SMBs, a quarter (25%) said they have lost customers due to downtime problems.

 

Downtime Also Leads to Business Disruption and Loss of Productivity and Reputation

Loss of customers and revenue are just two of the downsides of IT system-related downtime. Downtime also can hurt employee productivity and adversely impact a company’s reputation.

SMBs said the biggest downtime risks are business disruption (29%) and decreased employee productivity (21%). As noted above, nearly a fifth have lost revenue (17%). Reputation impact (16%) and cost (13%) came in next.

Software failure (53%) and cybersecurity issues (52%) are the most common causes of the downtime that creates these business challenges, according to the Infrascale survey group. A significant but far smaller share of the SMB survey group blamed downtime on hardware failure (38%), human error (36%), natural disaster (30%), and/or hardware theft (24%).

 

SMB Downtime May Not Last Long, but It Is Still Costly

A tenth of SMBs (10%) said their per-hour downtime cost was more than $50,000. Thirteen percent said their per-hour downtime cost was between $40,001 and $50,000. A quarter (25%) of SMBs said the per-hour cost of downtime for their business was between $20,001 and $40,000. A slightly larger share (26%) said they incur a loss of $10,000 to $20,000 for each hour of downtime, while 27% said their cost of downtime per hour was under $10,000.

The good news is that the survey group indicated downtime typically lasts for minutes instead of hours. More than a fifth (22%) of the survey group said their downtime events typically last anywhere from five to 15 minutes. Just less than a fifth (17%) of the group said their downtime commonly stretches on for 15 to 30 minutes, and another 17% said an hour. Just 6% said over an hour.

“The downtime duration results may seem reassuring, but in today’s challenging and fast-moving business environment, every second counts,” said Reeder. “Even if your company was down for minutes, just think of the reputational damage it can cause as well as real costs when data cannot be recovered. There is really no excuse these days for not backing up your data.”

 

Despite the Many Downsides of Downtime, Some SMBs Remain Unprepared

Nearly a fifth (19%) of the B2B survey group said they do not feel their business is prepared for unexpected downtime, and B2C organizations feel even less prepared. More than a quarter (27%) of B2C survey participants said they believe their business is unprepared for unexpected downtime.

“These survey results illustrate that there’s plenty of room for improvement when it comes to business uptime,” Reeder added. “Organizations can benefit from application and server backup, ransomware mitigation, disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), encryption, and state-of-the-art endpoint protection. Investments in such solutions enable them to avoid downtime and enjoy business continuity, which are essential for a growing and thriving business.”

 

About Infrascale

Founded in 2011, Infrascale provides comprehensive, cloud-based data protection by delivering industry-leading backup and disaster recovery solutions. Combining intelligent software with the power of the cloud, Infrascale removes the barriers and complexity of secure, offsite data storage and standby infrastructure for real-time disaster recovery. Trusted and recommended by leading independent industry experts, Infrascale equips its customers with the confidence to handle the unexpected by providing greater availability, better security and less downtime when it comes to their data. Visit www.infrascale.com or follow us on Twitter at @Infrascale for more information.

 

Media Contact

Hannah Ruark
hannah@bospar.com
540-599-7887

 

World Backup Day 2020

Coming up on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 is World Backup Day. Your workforce, as are many others globally including ours, are likely now embracing a new normal of working from home – which means that you simply must ensure you’re backing up those computers that are now out of the office.

We are in a new world now. For many of us, our lives have changed overnight. As the world adapts to these unusual circumstances, don’t let accidentally deleted files, or even Ransomware hackers, become your priority by default. Backup your data and sleep – at least a little bit – easier at night.

Our conference calls from home look much different during COVID-19 than they did just a few weeks ago, and while we love the laughter that our pets and children bring, there’s additional risk involved when our delicate laptops are on the table.

Human factors aren’t the only risk to take into account, given the recent news: In the past month alone, Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common. Two of the latest examples in the healthcare space include hackers targeting the World Health Organization as well as a medical research firm on standby to work on a COVID-19 vaccine. Ransomware attacks happen across any industry, so unfortunately nobody is safeguarded against data breaches or data loss.

There are also additional security concerns for organizations which previously did not have a distributed workforce. While you’re ensuring your workers can feasibly work from home and have the technical support they require, your data could be left exposed and vulnerable. With this in mind, as World Backup Day approaches, there’s no better time to ensure your data is secure and always accessible.

Data protection plays an essential role in business continuity, and now is the time to address these vulnerabilities. As always, we remain committed to our customers and we’re standing by to best support you during these turbulent times.

If you’d like to review or discuss your backup or disaster recovery needs, call us on +1.877.896.3611.

From the CEO’s Desk: Infrascale COVID-19 Action Plan 

I’m sure you are inundated with information about the increasing escalation of the COVID-19 situation. These are trying times but working together we will be able to make it through.  

Thus, I wanted to briefly share with you some of the actions we have been taking at Infrascale to ensure we are there to support you for your backup and disaster recovery needs. 

As a global organization that has employees and customers all over the world, we have been closely monitoring this situation for some time. I want to personally assure you that Infrascale has been taking actions to protect the health of its staff so they can protect their families and communities. We have also put in place cross functional work streams across employees, financial, supply chain, sales & marketing, product, engineering, and customer success.  Some examples of such actions include: 

  • Starting in January we locked in our hardware supply chain for future infrastructure requirements. 
  • A few weeks ago, we suspended all travel and have been in regular communication with our staff to take the necessary measures to protect themselves, their families, and their communities – including working from home. 
  • As a global organization with offices and remote workers around the world, we already have the technology systems in place that allow us to work outside our physical offices and support remote operations in a secure data environment.  
  • We are centralized on cloud computing applications and have the highest-level access to several collaboration tools to ensure we can keep in regular and visual communication with all our team members and customers.  
  • Our leadership teams are staying up to date on the latest information from governments, public health officials and experts in various industries so we can help our customers adopt best practices for business continuity and mitigation of losses. 

We greatly appreciate your understanding, cooperation, and confidence in our team during this time. We want to reinforce that we are here to help you in any way we can, and particularly to support you with your business. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns.  

Together we will work our way through these uncertain times, and I will continue to personally keep you informed of any relevant developments at Infrascale regarding this situation. 

Together with you – Onward and Upward,

Russell P. Reeder
CEO 

PRODUCT RELEASE: INFRASCALE DISASTER RECOVERY v7.1

PRODUCT RELEASE: INFRASCALE DR v7.1 

We are excited to announce the latest release of the Infrascale Disaster Recovery product: IDR v7.1. This latest release, live as of this week, brought many exciting new updates to the Infrascale product. Thank you to our Product and Development teams as we continue to strive to exceed our Partners’ expectations and continue toward our goal of eradicating downtime and data loss for all businesses.

THE HIGHLIGHTS 

Additional Boot Verification Details 

New in IDR v7.1, are additional boot verification details. This includes a new feature where screenshots of boot information is now at your fingertips within the Monitoring tab in your Infrascale Dashboard. Be sure to check this out, and should you have any feedback to continue improving our processes, please let us know! 

New Ignyte Bare-Metal Backup Engine 

In this feature update, you will see a new, built from the ground up, faster bare-metal backup engine. This has been built by the Infrascale R&D team, and this feature will be the default for bare-metal backups in our next IDR release v8.0. 

Improved support for Hyper-V Clusters 

Walso add improved support for Hyper-V clusters, we also fixed existing Hyper-V and VMware backup bugs. IDR v 7.1 also features improved performance and reliability in DDFS replication to the cloud.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Overall, these updates were released with many other product improvements and bug fixes. As our technology continues to improve and evolve, keep your eyes peeled on our docs portal for all the details. You can always access this information at docs.infrascale.com. Looking for the detailed release notes for IDR v7.1Check out the release notes here
 

We’re also hosting a webinar on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 to walk through all the new features and what the mean to you. You can register ahead of time, or, simply watch the replay video on demand if you’ve missed it. Check out the webinar here.

Stay tuned for more exciting product updates down the road!

-The Infrascale Product Team 

PRODUCT RELEASE: IDR V7.0

We are thrilled to announce the latest release of the Infrascale Disaster Recovery product: IDR v7.0. This latest release, live as of this week, brought many exciting new updates to the Infrascale product. Thank you to our Product and Development teams as we continue to strive to exceed our Partners’ expectations and continue toward our goal of eradicating downtime and data loss for all businesses.

THE HIGHLIGHTS

Streamlined Setup Experience

Retention 2.0 All new in IDR v7.0, the new streamlined setup will greatly simplify the provisioning of appliances within the Infrascale Disaster Recovery product. This will further improve the appliance user interface for all partners. Should you have any feedback to continue improving our processes, please let us know!

Automated Seeding Process

In this feature update, you will see a more automated, simple seeding process. This brings a shorter and more reliable seeding experience due to less manual work. This feature was a direct request from you, our loyal partners. You asked, we answered!

Added Deployment Flexibility

Need an entry-level, rack-mounted hardware appliance? Now, you got it! This new appliance has capacity to protect 1-2TB of data, higher performance, and is excellent for those introductory customers. This not only improves deployment flexibility, but it helps keep costs low – which in turn keeps your costs low as well.

ADDITIONAL ITEM(S)

Overall, these updates were released with over 100 other product improvements and bug fixes! As our technology continues to improve and evolve, keep your eyes peeled on our docs portal for all the details, which you can access at docs.infrascale.comLooking for the detailed release notes for IDR v7.0? Check out the release notes here.

Stay tuned for more exciting product updates down the road!

-The Infrascale Product Team

WINTER RELEASE: INFRASCALE DR V6.17

This Winter marks the latest release of the Infrascale Disaster Recovery service. IDR v6.17 brings new quality of life improvements, some key fixes and introduces the all new Infrascale Documentation Portal! A big thanks goes out to all current Partners as well as our Product and Development teams for working toward our mission of eradicating downtime and data loss for businesses of all sizes.

THE HIGHLIGHTS

Retention 2.0 (Applies to VMware & Hyper-V retention policies)

Retention 2.0 will bring about new retention options for both VMware and Hyper-V backups. Now, backups can be configured to daily, weekly and monthly rollups, whereas previously all restore points were preserved. For customers that perform frequent backups, this change requires far less space on the appliance and prevents the need to replace over-filled hardware. In addition, this allows customers to configure long term retention for no additional cost!

Infrascale Documentation Portal

All new in v6.17, the Infrascale Documentation Portal! We have centralized all documentation for you in terms of specifications on each product, notes on getting started, release notes, product info, and more. This web portal with instant and full-text search functionality is an improvement on past documentation, where users had to rely on short, specific KB articles or downloadable PDF documents. The new documentation portal is practical, user friendly, and comprehensive. Should you have any feedback to continue improving our documentation portal, please let us know!

Unlimited VMware Incrementals

In this feature update, you can run one full VMware backup, and subsequently run incrementals forever. Currently after a certain number of incrementals, you’ll have to perform a full backup. This is not ideal for, say, a 10TB machine as the full backup will take quite a bit of time. Now that we’ve enabled unlimited VMware incrementals, you won’t need to run full backups any longer.

Restore Files to the Appliance Network Share

Need the ability to quickly restore individual email messages from an Exchange backup? An instant restore to a local network share allows for this to be done in minutes rather than hours. This release item allows users to instantly restore individual files from any backup job to the Appliance Network Share, including file-level jobs, MS Exchange backups, VMs and disk images. So, if an end user needs one individual email but can’t recall the subject line, the admin can perform a restore to the local network share and the end user can then search the content to find the individual file.

ADDITIONAL ITEM(S)

Below we’ve listed some of the additional items included in this release, which add up to yet another major quality of life improvement for our techs and their customers.

Windows Backup Agent UI Refresh

Now, we’ve simplified installation of the Windows Backup Agent for mass deployment. This will allow for a more simple mass deployment and results in a better user experience. Not only are there fewer steps to complete the installation, but a new user won’t need to move back and forth between the appliance and the machine to copy passwords as was previously required…

WHAT’S NEXT

Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks for replication limiting! With replication limiting, we’ll soon give our customers the option to limit replication to just 1 job per day. Previously, multiple jobs per day would run and create a backup bottleneck. Soon, what you’ll see will help resolve any issues that may arise when the system can’t keep up with replication jobs. You will be able to set replication to once-per-day, which will decrease the amount of bandwidth used for replication. As these policies will work on a per-machine basis, you will have plenty of flexibility and control over these options.

Stay tuned for more exciting product updates down the road!

-The Infrascale Product Team

Ransomware Protection in 2019

While you may be hearing that the total number of ransomware attacks declined in 2018, that doesn’t mean your data is safe. In fact, CyberSecurity Ventures predicts that ransomware will cost businesses $6 trillion by 2021 and Cisco considers it more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs.

Knowing how grim this all sounds, how do you truly protect your business? Here’s our checklist:

  • A major vector for an attack is an attachment in an email. You can do a couple things to safeguard from this vector. First, scan all attachments with a good anti malware solution and make sure the definitions are up to date and your solution provider has some protection from zero day attacks. Secondly, and maybe most important, is to train your staff to be weary of attachments –even if they come from a trusted source. If it looks suspicious, do not open it. If it is something that you feel may be important or it appears to come from someone you know, contact them and ask if they sent it. Another related vector is malicious websites that are a conduit for malware. Be sure your anti malware solution can block suspicious websites and web links.
  • Have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy and a solution of managing and mitigating the impact these devices have on the security of your environment. You need control over the notebooks, mobile devices, and tablets that enter your network. Your solution must provide you with sufficient visibility into what’s connected to your network and what those devices are doing. You need to be able to enforce policies that prevent users from accessing compromised websites or downloading suspicious files.
  • Run modern operating systems. Systems like Windows 7 may be user favorites and may support some legacy applications, but they are the cyber criminals’ dream. They lack the sophisticated built-in defenses found in operating systems like Windows 10. If your business uses Macs, you are not immune. Be sure to get users on the latest version of Mac OS as quickly as possible.
  • Patch every server, network device and endpoint with the latest security patch. This is critical as it can be an effective vector for attack and many IT departments are lax about patching.
  • Secure your network by deploying a layered approach; protecting your endpoints, network, email, and DNS layer. Do not ignore IoT devices. They are vulnerabilities too! They’re often ignored or even unknown to the IT department, but by removing simple points of vulnerability, you can effectively block the attack before it enters your infrastructure.
  • Protect your assets by segmenting your network to prevent an attack from being able to spread. Segmented networks will limit the number of resources that that can be attacked from a single entry point. This also allows you to deploy the strongest defenses where the highest value services and data reside without burdening the entire network with the expense and complexity of these defenses. This is all intended to ensure that your entire network is not compromised in a single attack and any damage that does occur is in the lowest value portions of the infrastructure.
  • Closely monitor network activity. This allows you to identify patterns of attacks before they can cause real damage. Deploy a good Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tool and use it.
  • Most importantly, have a business continuity plan that details how to respond in the event of an attack. Carefully choreograph all the steps you need to take and what your users need to do to be sure they do not make the situation worse and are ready to resume work once your systems are back online. Core to this plan is a disaster recovery solution that is designed to restore your critical business functions quickly enough to avoid the effect of a prolonged outage. This is your life vest when all else fails and the criminal gains sufficient access to your systems to cause major damage. It is the only option available today that can foil every known attack.
  • Orchestration eliminates the panic by allowing you to rely on a pre-planned, automated, and tested recovery. To be effective, the business continuity solution needs to continuously protect your data and has orchestration that automatically restores your entire infrastructure, including servers, network devices and storage to an offsite virtualized environment. The automated orchestration is a key element because it translates to speed and predictability of the restore process when your team is operating under the pressure of an outage. Infrascale’s Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution can deliver a guaranteed failover in 15 minutes or less.

As we know, ransomware is on the rise and it is clearly here to stay. Ransomware is doing some real damage to businesses, and increasing in its sophistication to better target vulnerabilities. All businesses are at risk unless you take action on this checklist of defensive measures to lower your susceptibility to an attack. The true fix is an effective business continuity plan that restores your systems and gets users back online as quickly as possible.

Are you Leaving Endpoints Exposed?

We all know the drill when it comes to data protection: make sure that you can failover servers and business-critical applications in the case of an outage, right? Well, in reality that’s only a fraction of the real picture.

Most businesses these days are either leaving data completely unprotected, or not sufficiently protected. Instead, this is what the data protection plan looks like for a typical SMB:

  • Servers, critical business applications: Disaster Recovery functionality is in place
  • Branch offices, remote workers, endpoints: EXPOSED
  • Cloud Applications (O365, Salesforce.com, G Suite, Box, Dropbox): EXPOSED

While we’ve taken into account servers and mission critical apps, there’s in fact a large portion of business data that isn’t sufficiently protected. There are many reasons for this; Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is one trend that presents challenges with endpoint backup and recovery. Cloud apps add yet another hurdle as they will generally have retention policies in place — say 30 days — but after that the data is gone. Forever. So how do we work around this in order to completely protect our business data?

In this post, we’re taking a closer look at endpoint data protection. In earlier days (read: before BYOD), there was less to worry about when it came to endpoints. As employees started creating, editing, and storing business data on laptops, tablets, and smartphones, it suddenly became a data protection concern that needed to be addressed. What would happen if one of those devices was lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised by hackers? What would happen if one of those employees became disgruntled and left the company – taking along with them, valuable business data? It’s all too easy to leave a smartphone in a taxi, spill coffee across a laptop, or have a tablet go missing in an airport.

Protecting this data, of which 60% is unique and does not exist in other backups, can be an issue with IT. Let’s just say that the management of thousands of endpoints isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Aside from the IT nightmare it presents, most businesses see endpoint data protection as an expensive add-on of which those budget dollars should be spent elsewhere.

We’ve also heard the common viewpoint of, “I have all of my data synced via a sync & share product, so it’s protected.” Sorry to break this to you, but your consumer-grade sync & share does not mean you have a backup at all. If you delete a file from your sync, it’s also deleted on your device. There is no replicated copy for recovery.

So, what is the solution for endpoint data protection? First, consider the types of endpoints you have to protect within your business:

  • Laptops including Windows and Mac
  • Tablets and smartphones across Android and iOS

You need a solution that can protect across varying device types and operating systems. Next, centralize all this data in the cloud with a provider that gives you cloud flexibility. Remote backup and recovery from the cloud is especially important with endpoints, as they’re in distributed environments and can’t always be physically accessed by IT. Whether you have your own data center and need to utilize a private cloud or prefer to use a public or vendor cloud, it’s important to have cloud choice. When it comes time for a recovery, you’ll be glad you did. Transparent deployment that stays out of an end-user’s way will make make it much easier when rolling our your endpoint backup solution.

Additional mobile device management (MDM) features are a critical component to a proper endpoint data protection strategy. Geo-locate and remote wipe, for example, can mean the all the difference between having your data fall into the wrong hands versus staying secure and protected. With geo-locate you’ll be able to determine when and where the data is accessed, as well as by who. Geo-fencing capabilities can prevent access to devices should they turn up in a geographically un-allowed area. Remote wipe capabilities, specifically select wipe, will allow for only business data to be wiped, leaving personal data unaffected, should an employee wish to part ways with a company unexpectedly.

Once you have your solution in place, you’ll want to set up frequent backups — multiple times per day — in order to capture newly changed or created files. Backup all devices on any OS, protect it in the cloud, access it anytime, from anywhere. For IT, this solution will not only alleviate the historical problems and concerns with endpoint backup and recovery, but it will make their jobs easier in the long run.

For a more detailed look at endpoint protection tips and strategies, check out our recent webinar! This on-demand webinar provides insight to the blind spot of backup, endpoint data protection. You’ll learn how to utilize the cloud to fix backup’s blind spot. You’ll hear from both Infrascale and Storage Switzerland to learn the tips and trips for endpoint backup and disaster recovery. You won’t want to miss it, watch on-demand now: Using The Cloud To Fix Backup’s Blind Spot: Endpoint Data Protection.

Will Your DR Solution Rise to the Challenge?

This may sound like a familiar situation: You have the latest and greatest disaster recovery software available. You have carefully designed processes in place to monitor the system, to be sure that the backup jobs run when scheduled and all your data is protected. Your system supports Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) to dissimilar hardware, so you will be able to restore your systems on new hardware, if needed. All this gives you 100% confidence that, in the event of a disaster, you can recover all your systems and get your infrastructure back up and running. Sounds like your data protection plan is on point, but even assuming that you can recover these critical systems just as expected, we have some news for you. You’re still not properly protecting your business.

The problem arises from the fact that traditional disaster recovery was originally developed even prior to internet, when the pace of business was slow as a snail compared to today’s standards. Businesses could accept a longer Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Systems were less complex, which aided in making traditional disaster recovery an acceptable solution. The transaction rate of most businesses would allow a down time of a few hours with little problem, and even a day or two with some inconvenience. In today’s world, not only would such disruptions in vital systems be unacceptable, but the complexity of modern systems would add to the recovery time afforded by typical disaster recovery solutions. What is needed is a modern disaster recovery solution, that also provides business continuity functionality, at a price that everyone can afford.

In the past, disaster recovery solutions were so costly and sophisticated that only the largest companies had the financial resources to afford them (not to mention the staff to operate them). Only the “big guys” were able to benefit from virtual non-stop operation of their IT infrastructure. At the time, most disaster recovery systems consisted of duplicate environments idling along with a team to manage the failover — should the need arise.  Fortunately, technology evolved, and thanks to virtualization, orchestration, deduped file systems and the cloud, true business continuity is now available within the budget of companies of any size.

To get a better idea of the difference between legacy disaster recovery and today’s DRaaS solutions, let’s examine the workflow differences between the two solutions once a failure occurs. The goal of a traditional disaster recovery solution is to allow the restoration of individual systems back to physical or virtual hardware from some type of backup. The problem with this approach is several fold:

  • It is focused on the individual systems and not the entire infrastructure. This means that all the dependencies for services necessary for the operation of restored systems are a manual process and therefore slow and prone to human error. Imagine repointing IP addresses and MX records manually after the restoration of an Exchange server.
  • It is dependent on the limitations of the availability of physical hardware or virtual systems that are largely manually configured.
  • Typically, large amounts of data are moved from backup locations to target systems to complete the restoration of failed systems. This includes: operating systems, applications, databases and data. This is always a slow process.

In the end, this all adds up to a very time-consuming and tedious process, that often requires several attempts and re-work to get everything functioning as it should.

The goal of a modern DRaaS solution is to restore the function of the entire IT infrastructure after a single or multi-system failure, while minimizing human intervention and downtime. To do this, the business continuity solution leverages several key technologies:

  • Virtualization — provides complete flexibility in deploying any scale of machine at any location which allows your business to dramatically speed recovery time in the event of a disaster, and also allows you to test multiple disaster scenarios without affecting your daily operational processes, so that you can be ready at a moment’s notice.
  • Orchestration — orchestration creates intelligent workflows to support real-time recovery of applications by understanding the dependencies of applications and systems and ensuring that each process comes back in the correct order and in a completely automated fashion.
  • Data deduplication — one of the advantages of data deduplication is the ability to replicate a reduced data set to a remote location without the same network bandwidth requirements as conventional replication. It also makes it easier for replication to occur at any time due to the small amount of data that actually has to travel between locations.
  • Cloud based resources — having the ability to spin up applications and systems remotely allows complete flexibility for your business, even in the event of your primary business location becoming completely unavailable. It also provides complete flexibility and scalability for your business because the cloud-based environment is able to instantly provision any environment your business may require.

In the end, a well designed DRaaS solution will restore the function of your entire IT infrastructure with a single click and do so in a less than 15 minutes. Traditional Disaster Recovery solutions cannot match this as they were not designed for rapid recovery of complex interconnected systems. The pace of today’s business and the complex IT infrastructures used to maintain that pace require a modern system designed to meet the challenge.

Fall 2018 Release – Infrascale DR v6.16

This Fall, we have releases for 2 of our services, Infrascale Disaster Recovery (IDR) and Infrascale Cloud Backup (ICB).

IDR v6.16 boasts quality of life improvements, key fixes and new support for VMware v6.7!

ICB v7.3 includes many fixes, performance improvements and remote management improvements for distributed networks, plus new support for Windows Server 2019 and MS SQL 2017.

Again, big thanks to our Partners, who continue to be a cornerstone of our mission to eradicate downtime and data loss for businesses of all sizes.

And of course, hats off to our Product and Dev teams for their agile performance and turn-around time!

THE HIGHLIGHTS

VMware 6.7 Support (IDR 6.16)

This is a big but easy one to describe. While most functions remained stable with the update to VMware v6.7, there were a handful of workarounds we employed for our administrators to regain full and consistent functionality. With IDR v6.16, all functionality and performance experienced with previous versions of VMware have been returned, with the added benefits of the items listed below.

Custom QEMU Commands during LocalBoot (IDR 6.16)

Like any high performance machine, it’s sometimes handy to get in and make some tweaks before hitting the road. Administrators are now able to do this with editing a config file each time by configuring custom QEMU commands to run with boot operations.

Define Client Schedules During Client Creation (IDR 6.16)

This is one of those simple but important time-savers. Rather than configuring a client, THEN going back to edit the schedule, we’ve combined these steps into a single, fluid motion.

“Legal Hold” backup/DR jobs (IDR 6.16)

Whether for a legal hold or any other reason, sometimes you just need to stop a backup from getting purged by the retention policies you have set. Administrators can now “pin” backup jobs to do exactly this. When an administrator “pins” a job, they are able to set the time-frame before the job would cycle back into the regular retention policy for that particular location (primary or secondary location).

*Note, this feature, like retention policies, are set per backup location; either primary or secondary. We note this because most services in the market require identical retention periods for replication services, but we figured we’d let you decide.

Improved Mass Deployment/Management for Cloud Backup (ICB v7.3)

We continue to find great success with our administrators using ICB to protect data at the point of data creation, rather than limiting BCDR plans to central servers. With this growing trend and major differentiation when comparing against traditional DR vendors, we’ve received many improvement requests to keep this growth going strong.

Details can be found in the table below, but there were a number of improvements to help administrators protect data across all devices for their respective businesses. This includes changes to workflows for deployment, changes to required permissions helpful when password resets are in order and difficulty in protecting personal folders when deployed with administrative credentials.

 

Full List – 

The table below contains the full release notes, and while there are too many to highlight, they add up to yet another major quality of life improvement for our techs and their customers.

Short DescriptionExplanation
FIX: Weekly appliance report could not be generatedSome customers were unable to get helpful weekly reports and would need to manually gather the information. This is no longer an issue. This bug fix saves 4-6 steps per report.
FIX: Update of Agent installed on client could no be completed due to service not stopping properlyIn this case, it would require additional steps and time for the administrator to manually stop the service before restarting the update. This bug fix saves roughly 6 steps per agent.
FIX: DR backup could fail sometimesIn some cases, a DR backup would fail, which triggers alerts and additional follow-up. The causes are varied, and most fixes were simply to re-run a backup. We’ve fixed what seems to be central to the issue, saving roughly 4-6 steps per event.
UPDATE: New technology for Browse&restore function – increased list of supported file systems, stability, multiple bug fixesSome new types of file systems could not be browsed during restore before introduction of this technology, thus we are decreasing time spent to restore one or a few files drastically – customer will not need perform restore of the whole system or mount notbrowsable disk.
UPDATE: Full support for VMware 6.7VMware 6.7 is now fully supported, whereas before, users could run into some issues here and there.
NEW: Ability to add DR schedule during creation of Client, column shown by default now in the list of ClientsBefore, these were separate steps. Setting up new clients is now 4-6 clicks shorter.
FIX: Some jobs could not be deleted by retentionRetention periods are important to reduce unnecessary usage on both the primary and secondary appliances. Now, all jobs can be removed by policies unless exempted by the “pinning” feature.
FIX: Hardware Monitoring section did not show CPU and Hard Disk information on some modelsFixed so all data shows for all models.
UPDATE: Support for local boot of DR images /VM backups of clients with disks with 32 sectors per trackWe have customers with specific models of hardware and disk geometry now they have them fully protected – we will be abel to boot them in case of DR event.
NEW: Ability to specify custom QEMU commands during LocalBootIn very specific cases local/cloud boot settings need some tweeks by support inside of the appliance, which were not persistent, with this update this specific settings can be stored without need to edit configuration files.
FIX: Automatically set correct CPU model during LocalBoot
NEW: Ability to change CPU model during LocalBoot
During a DR restore, we automatically recommend/use settings based on the machine being booted to reduce the chance of booting an a machine into an environment that will underperform while simultaneously saving time in doing so. We’ve improved this automation and extended customization of boot settings from being only available for cloud boots, to restores on the local appliance as well.
REMOVED: Autoarchive of differential and incremental levels of backups on Virtual MachineWe are treating all backups of VM as fulls, it was inconsistency and preparation step for Retention 2.0 policy (coming in 6.17)
FIX: Disabled ability to edit clients on secondary applianceRemoved the confusion with ability to edit clients on secondary – that was making no sense.
FIX: Disable visibility of Boot verification images in the list of clients in case Boot verification is turned offIf Boot verification was turned off after sometime of working it would show in sometime very old boot verification results and was disinformational to customers.
NEW: Ability to connect to appliances inside local network with https://devices.infrascale.comThis will remove steps to connect keyboard and mouse during initial setup in order to know IP adress of the Appliance – after turning on any appliance will become visible on devices.infrascale.com.
FIX: Ability to bond network interfaces on some models of appliancesNew 550 appliance had disabled some network settings as it does not have boot ability which were required to increase connection speed by bonding network interfaces.
UPD: Set “date until” to +10 years from current moment for previously pinned jobsMany compliance requirements are for the length of data retention, and the “pinned jobs” feature released earlier this year did not allow jobs to be excluded from retention policies long enough, requiring a reminder and manual adjustment of the “pin” after some amount of time.
FIX: Unable to boot VM with dynamic disks in certain circumstancesThis was a major fix for customers in this situation, as they would have to go through a much more traditional baremetal recovery process rather than a quick, easy DR recovery flow.
UPDATE: Reduce amount of storage used for performing DR backupsThis helps reduce the need to upgrade primary appliances due to the need for temporary storage of files during DR backup procedures. The temporary storage footprint is now significantly smaller. The result of not having enough space would be that backup jobs would fail, or run much more slowly and require a storage upgrade.
UPDATE: Preserve disks order during LocalBoot on Appliance on in the CloudSome VM have got a lot of number of disks and our boot process in some cases could not detect correct boot disk which lead to boot fail. We have implemented more sophisticated algorithm and number of boot failures will decrease now.
FIX: Ability to use UK keyboard layout
NEW: Ability to choose keyboard layout for locally booted machine
Keyboards aren’t all the same. The default option was the US ENGLISH QWERTY keyboard layout, and we now support the UK ENGLISH QWERTY keyboard.
UPDATE: More concise description of requirements for performing LocalBoot on Virtual ApplianceWe have removed pain, when customers were trying to boot image inside of the virtual appliance and were facing information that not enough resources are assigned in order to be able to boot – now it’s stated how much exactly memory and CPU are required.
UPDATE: Correct link to the Knowledge Base in Support tab of ApplianceInsideWe are routing customers now to maintained and updated version of Infrascale’s Knowledge Base.
FIX: Sometime VMware backup of turned off machine could failIf a VM within VMware was turned off, the backup would occassionally fail. This is common for VMs created as templates, but not regularly used.
UPD: Show user-friendly message on Browse and Restore if no data can be found.Our users where confused in some corner cases, when we could not browse the disk and show it content – we just showed empty screen, now we give friendly message about such situations.
FIX: Jobs re-imported from archive or pushed back from secondaries will not be deleted by retention at onceIn case of different retention settings on primary(short) and secondary ( longer) job restored from archive or pushed back to primary would have passed retention and deleted. Now it will be automatically pinned in order the user would be able to restore and manipulate the job.
NEW: Ability to pin particular job until some date in future“Pinning” a job excludes it from retention policies for as long as determined by the user when “pinning” a job. This is helpful in many cases: compliance, breach investigation, employee turn over, legal disputes.
FIX: Garbage Collection history now shows dataProcess of freeing space on Appliance is done during Garbage Collection – now it’s possible to see how it is working.
FIX: VMware client will show progress of backup nowReduced number of clicks in order to check how progress is working – now it is visible on all Clients.
FIX: Backup would failed of the Hyper-V guest migrated to another host
UPDATE: Stability of DR backups
UPDATE: Stability of Hyper-V backups
In general, this is a group of updates and fixes that improve the reliability and reduce the TCO when protecting Hyper-V environments as well as fixing an issue caused after Hyper-V VMs migrate to new hosts.

Previously, these issues would result in alerts/warnings that would take techs time to evaluate and resolve.

NEW: RAID status is shown on console screenMany of our administrators cited this as a big help rather than having to dig around for the info, deeper in the console. Here you go!
UPDATE: Ability to perform Linux DR backup with non-root user credentialsA lot of Linux distributive have root user deactivated now by default due to security measures, so our customers could not perform backups of such Linux machines – we opened ability to perform backup with any users credentials (after special settings are done)
UPDATE: Changed customization of replication bandwidth limitSome of our customers are not working Monday-Friday and would like to have more flexible way to customize replication bandwidth limit – now any day during week can be set to decrease speed.
FIX: Daily report will show correct restore point date in case of last backup has failedDaily report was showing not latest but first very old restore point and made confusion that no recent backups are available per machine. So now we show correct most recent restore point.
NEW: In case of appliance decomission you can securely shred all dataWe have added script in order customer would be able securely delete all data on appliance in case decommissioning.
FIX: DDFS in case of shutdown will be unmounted at once.We have changed logic of deleting files in DDFS in order to being able to unmount filesystem ot once.

 

What’s Next?

We’re on the cusp of some major changes under the hood that will result in simpler deployment steps and improved performance.

We’re also going to be announcing updated and new integrations with Connectwise Automate.

Stay tuned!

-The Infrascale Product Team