Technology Assessment and Roadmap

Business Continuity Assessment

Backup Requirement Assessment and Review of Current Backup Strategy

  • Understanding customer requirements for business continuity from both legal and practical perspectives.
  • Gathering information on mission-critical workloads, possible sources of downtime, implemented backup strategies, and restore point and time objectives.

Assessment of Existing Implemented Backup Solutions

  • Evaluation of existing implemented disaster recovery software and, understanding it’s functionality to the business continuity requirements.
  • Providing recommendations according to available budget, required functionality and available market offerings.

Assessment of Backup Infrastructure
Virtual or Physical machine backup and recovery is a 1/0 intensive task; meaning production workloads may suffer if the backup infrastructure is under provisioned or misconfigured. Infrastructure bottlenecks may affect backup and restore times as well as disrupt the production.

Assessment of Backup Storage
Backup storage is an important part of the backup infrastructure and deserves a closer look. Lower end home NAS devices or other general consumer electronics are sometimes used to store business data because of the affordability of such products. Cheap storage, however, may not be reliable under 1/0 intensive workloads and may lead to a backup file and backup metadata corruption.

Restore point objectives and restore time objectives dictate what type of storage is more suitable for a specific disaster recovery scenario. Deduplication appliances, Linear Tape-open devices, Directly Attached Storage, Network Attached Storage, S3 compatible Object Storage may be chosen depending on required RTOs and RPOs.

Backup Restorability Testing
It is crucial to conduct periodical test restores for required workloads as there are many reasons successful backups in some rare cases may still lead to unsuccessful restores: backup file corruption, backup storage malfunction, pre-existing machine file system corruption, malware caused operating system files corruption and in some “unicorn jumping over the rainbow” scenarios backup software bugs.

Offsite and Air Capped Backup Configuration
3-2-1 backup rule is commonly implemented for business critical data, the rule recommends three copies of backup files to be created, where two of the copies are stored on different storage media types, one of the storage media may be air gapped, and one copy is kept offsite.

Instant VM Recovery
Entire VM restores can take time depending on the restore scenario making the end user wait for the machine to become available. Instant VM recovery allows the VM to be accessed immediately in a matter of seconds running directly from the backup file. This VM can be later migrated to the production during the off hours.

Site Replication and Test Failover
Workloads can be replicated to a DR site and be available at a stand-by. In case of a disaster recovery scenario the available machines can be failed over to the DR site providing continued availability to the end user, once the production site is restored, changes made to the VMs on the DR can be failed back and the operations can be resumed as normal.

Cloud Backup and Cloud Replication
Small businesses may not have access to an offsite location or to an entire DR site, in this case a small fee can be paid to a contract for renting the right amount of storage processing resources to host offsite backups or replicas.

Automated Backup / Replica Testing in Insolated Virtual Labs
Manual backup/replica restorability tests are often overlooked as these tasks can be time consuming for the staff and resource intensive for the live environment. Automating backup restorability testing is the solution that allows IT administrators to focus on other tasks, while allowing automation to perform the actual backup restorability tests during the off hours, when the live environment is not heavily used by the end users.

Granular Item Recovery / Restorability Testino
Restoring an entire VM is a resource intensive task and not often required as most of the time users might only need a single item to be restored whether it’s a file, an email, an Active Directory item or an SQL database. It is important to take into consideration the backup software functionality to avoid staging operations overheads(???)

Backup for Cloud Workloads
Veeam Backup for AWS is a solution developed for protection and disaster recovery tasks for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) environments.

With Veeam Backup for AWS, you can create image-level backups of EC2 instances and keep them in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for high availability, cost-effective and long-term storage. In addition to image-level backups, you can protect your data by creating and maintaining a chain of cloud-native snapshots of EC2 instances.

Availability Orchestration
Meet disaster recovery compliance requirements – generate and automatically update documentation for DR procedures to eliminate the problem of outdated DR plans.

Automate DR procedures- create workflows that orchestrate failover and restore operations for Veeam Backup & Replication backups and replicas.

Prove recoverability – build test schedules to automate verification of failover and restore plans, with isolated and low-impact testing of VM backups, replicas and applications they run.

For additional information, download our Backup Disaster Recovery brochure here.

TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT AND ROADMAP

X10 Networks works with the customer to develop a sustainable IT and Security framework to address those risks, challenges and opportunities most integral to the district. Through proper discovery, assessment and implementation processes, our goal is to establish IT Infrastructure and Management service solutions based on our customer’s core needs.

A gap analysis in business applications and technology compared to other customers within industry vertical and its best practices include:

  • Recommendations for business applications and IT architecture
  • IT risk assessment in order to identify the single point of failure for critical IT infrastructure in relation to business continuity and security practices
  • Business case analysis of requirements for the type of level of service that should be contracted compared to in-house.

Establishment of a roadmap in line with your company’s goals will allow a clear understanding of the existing state of IT infrastructure and future growth requirements over the next 3-5 years. From day one, our focus will be to provide recommendations; supported by best practices, in the industry. We do this by establishing a partner centric model to assist with strategic planning and establishment of a shared vision of success!

Phase I – On-site Meeting and Information Gathering

  • Site visits
  • IT infrastructure review and analysis
  • Performance network security and diagnostic information collection
  • Client infrastructure assessment
  • High level strategic applications assessment and review of best practices
  • IT infrastructure assessment and review of best practices
  • Communications infrastructure assessment and review of best practices
  • Business Applications assessment and review of best practices

Phase II – Information Analysis and Best Practices

  • IT Support coverage (Support processes and support tools)
  • Network Infrastructure (Wifi, LAN, WAN, BYOD)
  • Security Infrastructure Assessment (Firewalls, Perimeter and Edge Security)
  • IT Infrastructure (Servers, Storage, Backup Disaster Recovery)
  • Workstations
  • Mobile Infrastructure (Laptops, Tablets, BYOD, Etc.)
  • Business Applications
  • SCADA, BMS, IOT, OT Infrastructure

Phase III – Report Preparation and Review

  • Draft report and review to ensure information accuracy
  • Final report and approval

Phase IV – Strategic IT Roadmap and Presentation

  • Presentation of the final report, executive summary and strategic IT roadmap
  • Executive Summary report and recommendations
  • Technical report including a break down into projects and associated infrastructure upgrades

Education Technology Assessment

There is a fundamental need for modern educational infrastructure to support the growing demand of digital adoption in K-12 and Higher Education. Education Institutions are being forced to do more with less – seeking greater robustness and value from IT Infrastructure. X10 Networks works with School Districts to develop a sustainable IT and Security framework to address those risks, challenges and opportunities most integral to the district. Through proper discovery, assessment and implementation processes, our goal is to establish IT Infrastructure and Management service solutions based on our customer’s core needs.

Establishment of a roadmap in line with the district’s goals will allow a clear understanding of the existing state of IT infrastructure and future growth requirements over the next 3-5 years. From day one, our focus will be to provide recommendations; supported by best practices, in K-12 and Higher Education to our customers. We do this by establishing a partner centric model to assist with strategic planning and establishment of a shared vision of success!

Phase I – Information Gathering / Planning

a. Creating a shared vision of success

  • Understanding SD’s mission and key objectives;
  • Research features of successful models for professional learning environments;
  • Exploring relationships between effective use of technology, student engagement, and student success;
  • Validate the proposed technology models, and how technology can be used to enhance student learning.

b. Needs assessment

  • Review server infrastructure
  • Assess client infrastructure

IT Infrastructure review to determine current and future education priorities over the next 3-5 years.

c. Gap Analysis

  • Identification of the project scope and adoption plan will be established based on gap results – all to be in-line with the district’s needs.

Phase II – On-Site Assessments

  • “Living” project plan established and deployed to key stakeholders
  • IT priority items will be aligned with the districts learning objectives; allowing for transformational change
  • Perform networking & security infrastructure assessment & review of best practice
  • Perform high level strategic applications assessment & review of best practices
  • Surveys, interviews and workshops will allow for beneficial feedback and input to support with project direction, priorities, and end deliverables.

Monitoring & Measuring (ongoing)

  • Ongoing monitoring of progress and alignment to strategic objectives will be conducted throughout the implementation phase
  • Wins and challenges will be communicated with key stakeholders; best practices will be captured and shared among the district
  • Ongoing commitment and accountability will be monitored on both X10 and the districts end
  • Dialogue and feedback will be established by routine check-ins through the means of conference call and meeting opportunities.

Phase III – Report and Review

  • Validate applicable technology models against industry trends and best practices; all based on research and feedback from the educators
  • Propose a program to adopt technology into SD environment
  • Draft a report, and review it to ensure information accuracy

Phase IV – Solidify Strategic IT Roadmap

  • Validate applicable technology models against industry trends and best practices; all based on research and feedback from the educators
  • Propose a program to adopt technology into SD environment
  • Draft a report, and review it to ensure information accuracy
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