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Hyper-Convergence and the HPE HC 250 — An Interview with Nigel Barnes (Part 2/2)

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on June 20, 2016

HPE HC 250 enables  your disaster recovery and business continuity strategy

In part one of our recent interview with Nigel Barnes, HPE Technical Architect at Softchoice, we covered several use cases for hyper-convergence and the features that differentiate the HPE HC 250 from other options in the market. As we close out our interview, Nigel discusses how the HC 250 fits into a business’ disaster recovery and business continuity strategy.

Q: Nigel, you just shared some of the common scenarios where hyper-convergence can help an IT organization be more flexible and agile. What would you say is the most common scenario you discuss when speaking to customers about the HPE HC 250?

A: That’s a great question. Although I see where an organization might burst to the cloud to address seasonal capacity needs as we just talked about, the issues that seem to be top of mind for most of the business leaders I speak to are disaster recovery and business continuity. The organization may have their data center on-prem or hosted, but they’re looking to the cloud as the place for backup and replication. Since the HPE HC 250 has Azure stack built in, it makes it easy for them to meet this need.

Q: Perhaps you can explain what you mean when you refer to backup and replication. How are they different?

A: Backup is what businesses typically do—or should do—every night. They duplicate their data set onto separate media. That used to be tape, disc, or some other type of media that could be stored in an offsite location. With Azure, data can be easily backed up to the cloud. Then, should something happen, that data can be quickly restored.

One of the advantages of backing up to the cloud is that a restore can happen faster because you don’t have to go to an offsite location to physically retrieve that data. Plus, since the location where my data is stored isn’t in the same vicinity, a disaster can be relatively widespread, such as a storm that floods and disables an entire city, and my data is still safe.

Replication is when data is written to a separate location at the same time it is recorded at the primary data center. In the event something happens at my primary data center, I can immediately failover to the other data center and all my data is there and ready to go.

When we talk about disaster recovery, we’re usually referring to replication. For most businesses, the primary factor that needs to be considered is their Recovery Point Objective or RPO. RPO basically says how much data loss is acceptable. Obviously, this is going to be different for different organizations. Some can afford to lose an hours’ worth of data or more because they can recreate the data lost. Others can’t afford to lose even 5 minutes of data.

Of course, RPO needs to be balanced against costs. Typically, the lower the RPO, the more expensive the solution. However, Azure allows you to replicate your data to the cloud, providing the same level of secure, near-instantaneous access.

Q: It sounds like Azure functions as a data insurance policy, protecting your data should something happen at your primary data center.

A: That’s a good way to look at it. Disasters come in different forms, from a cyber attack on your data to natural disasters. Not every organization can afford to maintain a separate data center in a separate city. Azure allows you to accomplish the benefits of distance, without the time, complexity, and expense of maintaining a separate data center. Plus, since it’s in the cloud, if a disaster should happen, the time it takes you to recover is much shorter.

To learn more about hyper-convergence and the HPE HC 250, please reach out directly to Nigel or leave a comment below!

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