Disaster Recovery: What are we doing to safeguard your data


Disaster Recovery, or DR, is always an important subject when moving to any new system. We’ve all had the experience of a cell phone going missing and losing all our photos. Or a hard drive crashing and losing our precious documents. But the stakes are much higher when the very survival of a business depends on the success or failure of the DR process. Just to put your minds at ease: Pinewood SA has invested heavily to ensure that there are multiple ways in which your data is backed up, to cover any and every eventuality.

As you are probably aware, Pinnacle is hosted at the Telkom Cybernest Data Centre in Bellville, Cape Town. The Data Centre itself is state-of-the-art, and has been awarded ‘Tier 4’ status (the highest global data centre rating). This requires it to have:
  • Multiple independent distribution paths serving the IT equipment
  • All IT equipment must be dual-powered and fully compatible with the topology of a site’s architecture
  • All cooling equipment is independently dual-powered, including chillers and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Fault-tolerant site infrastructure with electrical power storage and distribution facilities with expected availability of 99.995%

This means the allowable downtime for the data centre itself is only 26 minutes per year!

So the environment in which your data is hosted is top notch. But what about the data itself? All-in-all, Pinnacle is backed up 4 times, with a further redundancy built into the server architecture equaling a fifth:

1. The Pinnacle servers are virtualised in a cluster. This effectively means that if one or more servers go down, there will be absolutely no impact on your business, as Pinnacle is passed seamlessly to another server within the cluster

2. SQL Server Transaction Log Shipping is used to back-up all the data to standalone DR servers on a ‘live’ basis. In the event that the whole cluster fails, these DR servers will take over

3. Microsoft Data Protection Manager (DPM) is used as a further method of backup within the data centre, to ensure that if both (1) and (2) fail, that the data is saved and available

4. In the event that something major happens at the data centre (such as destruction by fire or earthquake), the data is also backed up using Microsoft DPM to an offsite location

5. Finally, a tape backup of all the data is made every day, and a new tape stored off-site each month

It should be apparent that Pinewood has taken every precaution to protect your data, and to make sure that we will have you up and running again in no time in the event of a ‘Disaster’.

Now, if only we could do the same with our cellphones and home PCs!

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