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Changing the data centre backup paradigm

04 Dec 2014

Virtualisation has changed the data centre and enterprise backup paradigm, says StorageCraft’s Greg Wyman.

Data centre virtualisation has changed the way organisations deliver infrastructure to their business. It has reduced cost, complexity and improved productivity, and given businesses the opportunity to do likewise with their backup and recovery technology.

The sole reason for backing up is to have the ability to recover data, systems or databases when needed, in the shortest time (recovery time objective) with as little data loss (recovery point objective) as possible, and ideally without excessive cost. Enterprises should ask themselves what three things they would like to change about their existing backup, recovery or disaster recovery product(s)?

Most answers will include reducing backup and recovery windows, and minimising cost and complexity. Automated recovery testing has become standard practice for most businesses to reduce the risk of unreliable or unrecoverable backups. A backup without integrity has little or no business value: the ultimate goal is to deliver true end-to-end business continuity.

Sector benefits

Real-time sector-based recovery technology will help to unshackle businesses from the pains associated with traditional file or block-based backup, recovery and disaster recovery products for their virtual and physical servers.

Sector-based technology eliminates backup windows, recovery windows and cost and complexity from the entire backup and recovery process. Backing up the sector only once removes the need to back up at the file level, as all data is treated as raw data and incremental sector tracking backs up only the sectors that have changed.

When sector tracking is combined with 15-minute continuous incremental backups, typically only a tiny amount of data is backed up. This eliminates backup windows and results in near-zero impact on the server being backed up.

Since backup is all about recovery, why compromise in virtual and data centre environments? The reality is that file or block-based backup technology used in virtual environments, can adversely impact the data integrity when backing up at the host level and the performance of virtual servers, the hosts, the network and the disk I/O will also be impacted.

Recovery solutions are available on a monthly subscription basis. For less than $2 per server per day, a business can have three-minute disaster recovery, real-time backups every 15 minutes (including databases), and near instant file recovery. Since a monthly subscription is an operating expense rather than capital expenditure, usually it resolves the budgeting challenges posed by perpetual licences.

What’s more, new servers are provisioned, backup can be switched on and the enterprise pays only for the time that server is in use. When the machine is no longer required, recovery can be deactivated or switched off and payment ceases. It’s a solution that delivers maximum flexibility and cost savings to the enterprise.

Greg Wyman is vice president Asia Pacific for StorageCraft which provides backup, disaster recovery, system migration and data protection solutions.

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