en-mirror: Eventually Your IT Systems Will Fail – Will Your Business Fail Too?

A single hour of IT downtime could cost your organization $10,000 – $50,000 per day. With traditional backup tapes, it could take you 72 hours or more to restore your systems – that’s IF the tapes work, and 50% of them don’t! With en-mirror from en-terpret.co we create exact and reliable duplicates of all your essential data and applications in our Maximum Security Data Center, ready to fire up at a moment’s notice and have you back to business before your customers even realize there was a problem. Here’s what en-mirror from en-terpret.co can do for you:

  • Ensures reliable, fast access to your mirrored systems in the event of an IT systems failure
  • A completely turn-key operation for you – your trusted partners at en-terpret.co handle all the details
  • Updates your applications and data on a regular basis so your mirrors are always current
  • Two free tests every year – an untested disaster plan is really more of guideline and a prayer!
  • Simple to install, simple to use
  • Cost-effective

en-mirror from en-terpret.co. Call us today at (773) 868-4381.

What does mean en-mirror mean for my organization?

In the case of a “disaster,” or just an operational “hiccup,” en-mirror enables you to run your entire IT operation from our secure off-site location until you are ready to bring your data and applications back into your facility.

How does en-terpret.co set up en-mirror on my systems?

With the skilled, experienced staff of en-terpretors, setting up en-mirror is easy as 1-2-3-4:

  1. We send you a CD with software that needs to be installed on each server that will be mirrored. We help you install this software by remote access.
  2. We send you a large USB hard disk to make the initial mirror. Please note that your system must be down to make the initial mirror, so we will work with you to plan an opportune time.
  3. Once the initial mirror is complete, you simply send it back to us and we move the data into storage at our maximum security Data Center.
  4. Finally, we \”fire up\” the system at our data center to make sure everything works as planned. This is the first of two tests included annually.

What Do I Pay?

  • $2,000 per server for setting up your mirrored system(s). This includes all necessary software licenses, installation and creation of the first mirror. Setup is done through remote access to your servers, which means little disruption to your business.
  • $200 per month per server for maintaining your mirrored systems in our maximum security Data Center, based on a two-year contract for a 100 GB server. Our expert staff of en-terpretors will keep your system ready to run at all times and help you update the mirrors on a regular basis.
  • We provide the opportunity to do semi-annual testing free of charge to ensure the system will work properly whenever you need it. This means we will start the server in our center and let you verify that it can run all the applications and has all the data you need.

Additional services and features are also available to meet your unique needs:

  • $750 per test after the first two. If you install new applications, hire new staff or your business changes in a significant way, you may want to run an additional test of your en-mirror system(s).
  • $1 per GB/month for additional storage added to the 100 GB server included in the base rate.
  • $500 per week per server for Disaster Operations. When you need to run your business from the mirrored systems we are ready to provide all necessary support services, including providing extra space in our maximum security Data Center and other resources you might need to ensure smooth, reliable operation during that critical time.
  • What makes en-mirror different from any other service on the market is the unique expertise of your partners at en-terpret.co. If you choose, we are available to assist you with such necessary tasks as implementing software to run at the server, installing remote-access tools such as terminal services, training users to run your business by remote access, and more. We can do as little or as much as you need.
  • We are happy to work with you to develop a business continuity plan based on the needs of your organization, including identifying a list of must-have supplies and contingencies, such as check blanks, physical space planning, customer and staff notification plans and more. Just call us at (773) 868-4381 to learn more.

To fully leverage en-mirror technology to run your business in the event your primary systems are unavailable, you’ll need to undertake certain preparatory tasks. We answer some of your most frequently asked questions below, but this list is not inclusive. Your partners at en-terpret.co will be happy to speak with you directly to address issues unique to your organization. Please feel free to call us any time at (773) 868-4381.

What can be covered?

en-mirror can cover Windows Servers (Windows 2000, Windows 2003 and the Small Business editions of both). If your server(s) run applications with database engines, mirrors may require shutting down the engine (unless the engine uses VSS) while the mirror is made. There are additional agents for Exchange servers.

Is remote access provided for?

When you are running from the mirror in our maximum security Data Center, your users are remote. This means they cannot simply access files and applications as they would when the server is down the hall in your office. You will need to provide for a remote way of operating. Most companies do this in one of two ways:

  • Install and configure Microsoft Terminal Services on the server(s). This is proven technology for one or more users – even all of them – to access servers from anywhere in the world.
  • Create and manage dedicated Remote Access Servers, which can be running Terminal Services, Citrix or other “thin client” technology. Then “en-mirror” these services as well.

Is all necessary software installed on our remote access systems?

Your servers likely have data folders, database images and other “back-end” components of your operations. What about the application software itself ñ your company’s Office Suite (i.e. Word, Excel, Access, E-Mail)? In normal operation these are installed at each user’s workstation. That won\’t work when running from the mirror! You’ll need to install at the server ñ or remote access server ñ each application you require to operate in an emergency.

What about domain and mail pointers?

When your mail or users can’t get to the “main” system, how do they get to the mirror? In most cases you would set up “backup” domain records with your internet hosting company. For example:

  • Create “mailbackup.company.com” as a low-priority MX record so mail automatically goes to the mirror if the main is down.
  • Create “emergency.company.com” to point to your mirror for remote access.
  • Make sure your company’s users know how to get there and perform their business roles.

What is the underlying technology that allows en-mirror to operate on our system?

en-mirror uses virtualization technology from VMWare to allow us to run your systems on our hardware and in our maximum security Data Center at a moment’s notice. VMWare eliminates the need to find or buy duplicates of your hardware to backup tapes. VMWare allows us to have server space available without incurring the upfront and ongoing costs of additional duplicate hardware.

How are the mirrors created and maintained?

en-mirror uses imaging software to manage images of your systems that are “ready for VMWare.” We have tested this software, as well as many others. This combination produces the “best” images and processes for managing them. We create an initial “complete” image on a USB drive and restore this to our system. Subsequent updates (“deltas”) of this image are maintained at periodic intervals.

How does this compare to Microsoft’s “Clustering” technology?
Microsoft offers storage clustering technologies where your data is maintained on multiple “disks.” Microsoft also offers server clustering technologies that maintain two simultaneously running instances of your system. Both of these technologies differ from en-mirror in a significant way: they are “realtime” and “online” mirroring technologies meant for automated failover. This requires duplicate hardware, high-performance connections between mirrors and additional operating system licenses. en-mirror does not require high bandwidth connectivity or additional OS licenses. It is not intended to failover immediately or automatically. And it may have data “as of last night.” en-mirror is much less expensive and more realistic for most businesses.

How does this compare to “realtime” mirroring technologies such as DoubleTake and others?

Similar to Microsoft Clustering, these are intended for real-time, automated failover. They work better over lower-performance networks by queuing changes and sending them to the mirror in bursts. However there is still a requirement for dual hardware platforms and significant software licensing costs. This is great technology also, if you need immediate failover to data as current as a few minutes ago. We can provide this service, if necessary.

How does this affect our normal backup processes?

Backups are made for two reasons: to recover a single file or version of a file and to recover entire systems (Disaster Recovery). For the former, companies use a combination of tape and disk backups or “snapshots” that can be accessed to restore small groups of data. This will not change. For the latter, most companies rotate a tape offsite. We believe en-mirror is a better alternative to offsite rotation for the purpose of Disaster Recovery. Many companies will stop their normal offsite rotation once en-mirror is up and running and fully tested. Offsite storage of year-end or other archival data should be maintained as usual. In other words, you should not throw away your tape drive, but you no longer need to perform offsite backups for the purpose of disaster recovery.