Disaster Recovery (DR) is still an option rather than compulsion for most organizations. However, in a bid to stay compliant and in the wake of so many disasters; organizations are now gradually taking DR seriously. However, only having enough DR infrastructure is not the only key to success. In an exclusive interview with Channelstech2, Dr. P P Subramaniam, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sanovi Technologies, speaks about Sanovi’s DR monitoring tool, their channel plans for India and more.
Q. Tell us about Sanovi’s DR monitoring tool and how it started.
A. Sanovi is a six year old company which started off in 2002. It started as a services company mainly focused on designing and architecting DR infrastructure. The founder of the company are four techies based in US. On coming to India, they found absence of DR infrastructure. They landed at a time when companies really wanted to know how to architect a DR site. By 2003 they realized that what they were suggesting as best practices and strategies could also be productized to some extent. So they wrote scripts to automate some of these processes. In 2004, it actually stood out as a complete product, which could manage a company’s entire DR or BCP.
Q. How does this solution helps strengthening DR?
A. A DR or BCP environment has primary and secondary infrastructure. The important thing to do is to ensure that the data is getting replicated all the time to the secondary site. Also, whenever you need the data can you just use the data. For this, one constantly has to monitor the process of replication and whether the data is replicated to respective log, servers etc. One has to make sure that it is equivalent with what is there at primary site. This entire process is getting automated. There are two important concepts: RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective). The former means that in the event of a disaster is striking your primary site and making it non-functional, how long will it take for the secondary site to recover and run the business seamlessly as it was in the last minute.
Thus, Sanovi as a tool allows you to replicate and monitor the progress of the replication and tells the RPO and RTO. It constantly gives a clock saying when disaster is likely to strike. If an organization decides it will have one hour recovery time this tool will tell you if you are ready for hour or not. And accordingly the organization has to make changes in its infrastructure enhancing server speed, increasing the number of servers, enhancing storage capacity). It automates and hence, there is no need for human intervention. It also allows to do drills.
Q. What are Sanovi’s channel plans?
A. In phase one, Sanovi was a services company and so the business was of direct type. In the second phase, we released product and the model then involved relationship with System Integrators (SIs) like the Wipro. For distribution we have recently signed Ingram Micro and iValue. In the Middle East, we have one partner called Rocksys. The focus is to leverage on large opportunities with Wipro and reaching Tier two partners on the SMB front with our distributors’ help. We have already signed Tier two partners in Hyderabad, Chennai and other cities. We look at having a maximum of 15 odd Tier two partners.
Q. How are you planning to take Sanovi products ahead?
A. Generally, a single product company has limited margin, limited market share and therefore limited a lifespan. However, if the single product becomes crucial for the customer, then you can live a lifetime on it. Initially, when DR was created, companies put their most critical applications on it. However, over a period of time newer applications are also becoming critical. We are also focusing on verticals like BFSI, telco and manufacturing at the moment.
Q. What training or partner programs has Sanovi planned?
A. We have a lab in Bangalore that has servers and storage systems of all mix. This is where we test all vendor applications. The pre-sales team gets trained in the pre-sales program on what they need to understand about the customer environment. For the post-sales, we do the entire implementation hands-on including configuration and drills. It is a three module training for the post-sales, while a single module for pre-sales.
Q. How do you see DR and BCP going ahead in India?
A. In 2001, all customers were talking about consolidating. In 2008, all these customers have DR but in different phases. Say if we call these phases as zero, one, two and three. At zero, we can see that there is some little infrastructure with one person sitting on remote site. In phase one, there will be more data and infrastructure, and a few more trained resources available. At stage two, it is the same as one except that one is sure that the DR is working as one does drills. A typical stage three is where one has hundred applications, which are on DR, and they are being constantly tested. Very few companies are in stage three currently. Under IT budgets, getting money for DR is the biggest challenge, since, money is needed for primary infrastructure also.