Disaster Recovery

We are still in the Pilot phase of Disaster Recovery and are adding schools in at no cost until a proper pricing structure is in place.  Please check out the FAQ to get your questions answered about what exactly is Disaster Recovery and please use the form posted to submit your request to be selected for the DR Pilot.

DR Request Form

DR FAQ

  1. What is Disaster Recovery?
  2. What applications can I DR into IlliniCloud?
  3. How long will the process take to DR our servers?
  4. Who has access to my data once it is in the IlliniCloud?
  5. How long is my data stored?
  6. How do I manage what data is being sent to the DR service?
  7. How is DR different from my local backups?
  8. How does DR work with my local backups?
  9. How much does this all cost?
  10. Can I replace my local backup with DR?
  11. What kind of support do you offer for this service?
  12. Who is eligible for this service?
  13. Do you have a reseller option?
  14. How fast of a connection do I need to do DR?
  15. How do VMWare backups work?
  16. Is there someone I can contact in case of an emergency?
  1. What is Disaster Recovery?

    Disaster recovery is the process, policies and procedures related to preparing for recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure critical to an organization after a natural or human-induced disaster. This can consist of core systems such as Financial or Student Systems or it can be more encompassing to include file data (staff and/or students) along with other critical application data. In the case of such a disaster you can restore the data back to a new system or run in the short-term on IlliniCloud provided infrastructure in the cloud.

  2. What applications can I DR into IlliniCloud?

    We offer a wide variety of clients that can be installed. We currently offer the following: Windows or Linux File System, Windows System State, Active Directory, Oracle, Microsoft SQL, MySQL, Exchange, Lotus Notes, SharePoint, and VMWare.

  3. How long will the process take to DR our servers?

    That varies based on the amount of data you have and the speed of your Internet connection. We use a technology called client side deduplication that will check all the information before sending it over the wire to see if it has been sent before. Even if you are doing a Full backup if you have backed up the data once before it will not send it over again. Once the initial full backup is done the amount of data you have to send is greatly reduced. On top of that compression is used as well. If you have a large amount of data (500GB or more) we can send out a HDD to seed the initial data so the first time you run a backup the data will already be on the server and it won't be sent over the wire. This could cut down 500GB of data down to only a few GB.

  4. Who has access to my data once it is in the IlliniCloud?

    By default only your school district has access to your data along with IlliniCloud admins that are capable of creating and altering accounts on the DR system. In the case you have data sensitive enough you do not want even the IlliniCloud team to ever access it you can encrypt the data. All other school districts are in their own partition of the system and do not have access to any of your data or vice versa.

  5. How long is my data stored?

    We are offering a Disaster Recovery service not an Archival service so we only keep the data for 90 days. In the case of an emergency and you need to restore data and it might take more than 90 days you should contact us and let us know of the situation so we can extend that window as needed. We are planning to offer an Archival service for long term storage of data, but the DR service is strictly for a short-term restore of data.

  6. How do I manage what data is being sent to the DR service?

    Every school district will receive their own unique username and password to login to the Java Console that exists in the IlliniCloud. These credentials can be used to create backup or restore jobs, schedule those jobs, and view reports and information about the status of those jobs. Any existing clients/servers you have added to the service will show up in the console and you can schedule the data. More detailed instructions will be sent once you are signed up for the service.

  7. How is DR different from my local backups?

    The software runs like a local backup. You have Full, Differential, and Incremental Backups just like you do if you were using a market leading backup software package like Backup Exec. The difference is the data is not stored on your premises and can be recovered in the case of an incident where you could not restore from your local backups. We still encourage everyone to run their local backups along with our DR solution.

  8. How does DR work with my local backups?

    We recommend scheduling your DR jobs around your local backup Window. Due to the fact Windows needs to use VSS and other technologies to perform a successful backup it is not recommended to be running 2 such jobs at the same time. In some cases people run their full backups on Friday or Saturday and then do their DR jobs on late Saturday or Sunday based on the amount of time it takes to complete the job.

  9. How much does this all cost?

    Right now we are still working on the pricing structure and we expect it to be based on the amount of GB used and will be a yearly fee. Once we have an exact cost and form of payment we will notify everyone using the service and at that point they can either continue or stop using the service. A certain allotment of space will also be part of your IlliniCloud Annual Membership that will most likely be enough to cover vital systems such as their SIS and Financial systems. There are no additional costs beyond the GB fee as all of the clients are included as part of the package (so no separate fee to backup SharePoint or Exchange).

  10. Can I replace my local backup with DR?

    We encourage school districts to continue to run their own local backups to be able to handle any one off restore issues (such as a student deleted a file or need to restore a mailbox). While it is possible to use our DR service as the only backup service in your district, we strongly discourage that practice.

  11. What kind of support do you offer for this service?

    The IlliniCloud operation team offers support for all aspects of setting up DR in your school district. We also working with the regional Netspecs in your area to assist school districts that need additional technical support or assessment of what data that needs to be added to your DR plan. When submitting the form requesting to be added to the DR service we have a field you can select and we will bring that local Netspec in on the initial call and any future steps that you wish to include that person in.

  12. Who is eligible for this service?

    LEAs and public and private school districts. If you think you might not apply please contact us and we will be happy to talk with you. For the most part we are providing our services to educational organizations.

  13. Do you have a reseller option?

    No, we don't. If you know someone that is interested in the service please have them fill out the form.

  14. How fast of a connection do I need to do DR?

    The faster the connection the easier it is going to be to send larger sets of data. We work with everyone from those with T1 lines to those with over 100Mb worth of Internet Speeds. We use a technology called client side deduplication that greatly reduces the amount of data that is sent over the wire after the initial data has been seeded. Even with a T1 line we can work with you to get that data seeded via a shipped HDD and the amount of data you need to send after that process will be greatly reduced as it will only send new data over the wire.

  15. How do VMWare backups work?

    In order to do a VMWare backup you will need to have a separate VM or server setup to perform the backups. Suggested minimums are 2GB for Server 2003 and 4GB for Server 2008 with 50GB of disk space. You will need to have at the minimum a VMWare Essentials package as the software ties into vCenter. You will not be able to perform backups on the free version of ESXi. The bare level essentials package is relatively cheap if you wish to upgrade to the supported minimum version. Once the software is installed it will connect to vCenter and can snapshot selected machines.

  16. Is there someone I can contact in case of an emergency?

    We do have an emergency contact line that you can use and the number is 309-557-8812 that is available 24/7. You can get this information from the Support section of our website along with a support form you can fill out for any non emergency related questions or support that you might need. You may also contact dr@illinicloud.org as well for any inquiries.