Knowing all the options to help protect your environment is great but it’s time to put the pieces together. The question you should be asking is not “If it will happen?” but “Are you prepared when it does happen?” Do you know your backups are safe? If you restore those backups, do you know that your applications will be in a proper state? Do you know how long it will take to recover your data in the event of a disaster? Is there a plan in place of what servers must be brought online first and who will need to be involved to make that happen? Are you waiting for ransomware to activate in your environment or are you taking steps to mitigate damage before it happens? This article will help you take the steps today to answer those questions and what tools we offer to make this possible.
Testing backups is just as crucial as taking the backups in the first place. This brings up the concept we discussed earlier with 3-2-1-0, meaning 0 errors. There are several ways to test the backups: manually restore the machine and test components with Instant Recovery or full machine restore, leverage SureBackup jobs to automatically bring up and test the components in an isolated environment, and using Veeam Availability Orchestrator to test in a disaster recovery environment. The following sessions will cover how you can use SureBackup and Veeam Availability Orchestrator to automate some of your testing.
SureBackup is a process that spins machines up from backup files or replicas in an environment that is isolated from your production network so they can be tested with various scripts. There are three preconfigured types of tests you can run out of the box with SureBackup: Heartbeat with VMware tools, Ping test from the Veeam Backup & Replication server to the isolated VM, and application tests, both preconfigured and custom. The heartbeat test uses VMware tools installed inside the guest to make sure that the guest operating system is running in a consistent state. The ping test is done by the Veeam Backup & Replication server to the isolated environment where the VM is running to make sure the network interface is up and if the machine can respond. When running application tests there are a number of predefined scripts that can be run for different server roles: testing ports for DNS, checking and updating the bur flags so that a domain controller comes up in authoritative or non-authoritative state, mail and web server response, and a script to check that SQL databases are available. Beyond the predefined scripts, SureBackup can run custom scripts if there is a specific application that needs tested outside of what is already provided. This is a powerful feature built into the Veeam Backup & Replication test and verifies your machines within the backups.
Veeam Availability Orchestrator
Veeam Availably Orchestrator is a one-stop shop for automating and testing your DR site. This application not only tests your DR site replicas but provides detailed reports on the components boot-up time, giving accurate RPO and RTO readings. Veeam Availability Orchestrator provides a one-click solution to bringing up everything from your critical application to your entire site from one window. The custom reports allow you to make detailed records of the DR site health, reports to hand up the management chain, component health reports for application owners and so much more. If you would like to get started and see everything this tool can offer, start with this blog: The Ultimate Guide to Veeam Availability Orchestrator.
Make a plan
Last but very much not the least, create a plan for any type of disaster that can happen and not just ransomware (weather, malicious admin, etc.). What every company needs in a disaster is going to be different but a great place to start is by asking questions and gathering information. Some top points that should be addressed: determine what machines are mission critical, who are the application owners and who to call when one is down, what is the company’s threshold for data loss in the RPO/RTO, what are the compliance and regulation needs that need to be accounted for, if the cloud is in the picture and what support contracts you have. Make sure the plan includes conversations with all departments, so nothing is missed, and create a backup in case something in the plan fails. The most important part of planning is scheduling a maintenance window to test that plan for faults.
In short, no company is immune to disasters such as ransomware. If it hits and there is no plan, then the damage can exponentially be worst. There are many great tools Veeam offers to alleviate the pressure that comes with planning for the worst day but the first place to start is with a meeting to see and address the company’s needs.
- First step to protecting your backups from ransomware
- The 3-2-1 rule for ransomware protection
- 3 storage options against ransomware
- How VCSPs help against ransomware
- Are you prepared when ransomware does happen?
Helpful ransomware prevention resources: