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SonicWALL CDP Site to Site Backup Configuration and Disaster Recovery

By:Christine Fettinger

I have deployed several offsite CDP’s for clients that have one onsite recently. There is always the need to weigh their options when making this decision. What is the cost of the extra hardware and maintenance of it versus the cost SonicWALL charges to offsite the data at their facilities. What we have been finding is that after the first year the hardware pays for itself in cost savings if you have more than 50GB of offsite data. This is a significant cost savings over time and although it is hard to quantify, in the event of a disaster having your data offsite but, in the same locale will save a lot of time and money. Here I am comparing being able to go pickup the offsite CDP with all the data on it and deploying it within a couple of hours at the new temporary office versus downloading it from SonicWALL or having them send it via USB hard drive. This, along with virtual backup servers insures a very small amount of down time, in a disaster which an unprotected business could not recover from.

At CyberStreams we always recommend offsite data protection and there are many options available but, this is one of the better ones out there because of the significantly reduced amount of downtime. Remember though, the CDP only holds data they are part of the solution not all of it. Disaster recover needs to be planned out, but as I stated before an offsite CDP coupled with backup virtual servers is a rocksolid, efficient, and fairly inexpensive way for small and medium sized businesses to achieve this.
Okay now that I have stated why we do this let’s get down to the configuration tips and tricks I have learned through doing these:

1. First you will need to do the initial configuration through the web GUI to do the initial configuration.

2. Once the initial configuration is complete register it online, to do this you will need to login to your Mysonicwall.com account.

3. After registering on Mysonicwall.com you will need to complete the registration in the CDP by logging into the Enterprise Manager Console, this will ask you all the technical and contact info. You will need to get your registration code from Mysonicwall.com here.

4. Now you are ready to begin moving data from your original CDP (downstream) to the new one (upstream). SonicWALL and I recommend doing this onsite because, if you have a large amount of data it can saturate your bandwidth.
a. Note: when beginning migrating the data onsite use the hostname of the CDP and not the IP address. I am not sure why but, SonicWALL chose to associate the CDP’s by IP rather than serial number. So if you use the IP onsite, then take it offsite and change the IP it will purge and re-download all the data.
b. To do this login to the Enterprise Manager and click edit, the set offsite location.

5. To verify it is working, connect to the upstream CDP using the Enterprise Manager under the Status screen click on the Agent Summary tab.
a. Note: currently you cannot see the actually data on the upstream CDP using the Enterprise Manager, you just have to trust it is there. This is being addressed in the newer revisions and should be out in the next few months we have been told.

Summary:
Although it is not a perfect solution when it comes to configuration and troubleshooting, it is a very effective backup and disaster recover solution, that when deployed correctly presents tremendous value to any business that relies on technology. I don’t know about you but, I don’t know any company that does not rely heavily on it’s technology!