Cloud-based DR a stepping stone into AWS

Amazon's recent earnings report shows that AWS is a hot line item. Companies testing DR in AWS could help spur its enterprise acceptance.

AWS business is booming, according to recent Amazon earnings reports. And while some companies are still only testing the waters on their AWS use, cloud-based DR accounts for several test projects that could move into production., an online loyalty provider in San Francisco, is one company banking on Amazon Web Services (AWS) disaster recovery (DR). moved its DR environment from a colocation provider to AWS last year, and if all goes as planned, that cloud-based DR environment could take over production duties sooner rather than later.

MyPoint's DR push to AWS began in earnest a couple of years ago when the contract for its DR colo was up for renewal. At first, there was talk getting rid of DR altogether.

"People were saying, 'Do we even need a disaster recovery data center? It's nice to have, but we have never actually used it,'" said Anand Reddy, senior vice president of technology. Sanity prevailed and the company decided it would move DR to AWS, in a "pilot light" configuration.

After some false starts, found CloudVelox, whose software automates the migration, ongoing replication and testing of the 100-server environment to AWS. With the exception of two MySQL hosts, which live in AWS and are replicated using the database's native replication functionality, CloudVelox replicates the entire environment to Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes using an agent that runs in each of the servers. That keeps costs down, for a total cost of less than half of the previous configuration. Further, the new setup allows to test its DR environment on a regular basis.

Better yet, "I got out of the hardware business," Reddy added. "Even though it was a passive site, the hardware used to fail all the time," he continued -- essentially forcing him to send technicians to the data center to replace failed components.

MyPoints will extricate itself from the hardware business altogether when its contract is up at its production colo; it will make its cloud-based DR environment the primary one, Reddy said. Of course, MyPoint's "lift-and-shift" approach to cloud migration isn't optimal.

"The apps work as is, but they are not taking advantage of the elasticity of the cloud," he added, which MyPoints will approach once the data center has been decommissioned.

And as more companies become comfortable moving cloud-based DR of production workloads over to AWS, the public cloud provider will likely step deeper into the enterprise. 

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