The Acronis solution uses virtualization to “host” snapshots and provide access to them for DR. Access to snapshots in the cloud is via a virtual local area network (VLAN). Our initial installation of your DR service includes configuring a router in our data center with one or more production VLANs and one or more test VLANs, that arrangement lets you divide your network traffic to suit.
Testing zones are defined as groups of contiguous states in addition to a combination of Alaska, Hawaii, and other countries; eight zones have been defined. Remote Recovery servers are automatically assigned to a testing zone based on the geographical location of the client’s LCA. The testing zones are intended to distribute the demands of activation testing so that the Acronis Disaster Recovery Services can be available to all clients who need them during an actual emergency or disaster event.
Clients may test the activation of their Recovery Servers, one or two at a time, and at a time specified by the servers’ testing zone. There is a rotating calendar of testing windows by zone: Zone 1 servers may be tested in week one, zone 2 servers in week two, etc. Test activations are limited to seven days. Thus a client can test during one week every 8 weeks.
Clients may declare a real disaster at any time (regardless of the zone’s testing schedule), doing so allows them to activate one or more Recovery Servers on their production VLAN. This activity may be billable depending on their contract.
Acronis Support may declare a disaster event for states facing an imminent and predictable disaster situation. When a disaster event is declared, all activations for clients’ servers residing in affected states are unrestricted for the duration of the disaster event. All client test activations from states unaffected during the event are suspended.
When your account has declared a disaster event, or Acronis has declared a global disaster event, a yellow notification banner is displayed at the top of Recovery Console.
There are three types of storage.
DR/Backup Storage: A mirrored storage volume that may contain LUNs, data stores, and file shares. DR/Backup storage is created by Acronis engineers to backup unified storage devices, it contains block-level snapshots.
File Archived Storage (File Level Backup): Cloud-based clustered distributed object storage. The client’s Local Cloud Hub periodically backs up the client’s CIFS shares into this storage. Files are automatically versioned and retained according to a defined retention schedule. Individual files and folders can be restored back to either the original location or to an alternative location. File Archived storage is created on the Storage page.
Primary Storage: A LUN that has been created from the remote cloud storage and made available via iSCSI target. Primary storage is created on the Storage page.
You can see four types of virtual servers in the Recovery Console.
Primary: A virtual server constantly running in the remote cloud. Typically, it runs the Active Directory (AD) and Exchange services. Acronis creates the virtual machine and provides the operating system. Further maintenance of the server is the client’s responsibility. The server must be attached to the production network.
Local Recovery: A local collection of snapshots from your production server. The name of the Acronis server is the same as that of your server that it is protecting. Any snapshot can be activated on the LCA.
Remote Recovery: A replicated collection of snapshots from the Local Recovery server, located in the cloud. The name of the server is the same as its paired Local Recovery server. Any snapshot can be activated in the cloud.
Archived (applicable to snapshots taken by FalconStor): A copy of the weekly and monthly snapshots from the source Remote Recovery server, used for long term snapshot retention. These servers are located in the cloud. They can only be used for data recovery. The name of the server is the same as the Remote Recovery server from which it is created. An Archived server is created when a Remote Recovery server is assigned a retention policy of type Long Term Storage.
Bootable and non-bootable recovery servers
New recovery servers are created as not bootable (they cannot be activated as virtual machines). When you change them to bootable, you assign them to one production VLAN and one test VLAN. Later, when you activate a snapshot on the server, you choose between the two VLANs. You can at any time change the identity of the production and/or test VLANs assigned to your server.