September 14, 2020

Leveraging Backup for Disaster Recovery at No Additional Cost - Is this Heaven?

Written by Wayne Silberman, Senior Cloud Architect, Clumio
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Imagine backing up your data and as the job completes it is stored securely offsite, immutable, and ready for recovery. Now imagine this without hardware, manual updates, or a price premium... seems like a gift from the Backup Gods, right?

We now have more tools at hand to prevent downtime and more resilience in our local and cloud providers' data centers, but the risk of entire data loss still exists and is greater than ever. In the early days, data loss was typically related to unreliable hardware, datacenter outages, lack of good technology, and poor process amongst others. Some of these risk points have been resolved, but we now have new risk points. In the software defined data center, we can lose massive amounts of data in a keystroke. Bad actors, malicious actions, viruses, malware, or just administrative error can put a company out of business. A deleted account, mass deletion of VMs or a volume on a storage array can impact hundreds of workloads and often are not recoverable with an undo button.

The Current Legacy Approach to Disaster Recovery

There are many Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions, but the oldest and most common method for some organizations often relies on backups. Backups unto themselves are not a DR solution, but having data offsite along with a recovery plan is often adequate to get a business back up and running. Once upon a time, this was an 18-wheeler filled with tapes and an army of people who rebuilt the environment over a couple of days. Today the demands are much greater and recovery within 24 hours or less is a business necessity.

Backup solutions have changed dramatically over the years from the simple DDS or DLT tape to full hyper-converged solutions and now cloud-based backup. The complexity, however, has increased exponentially. Traditional software solutions require intricate architectures, redundant hardware, data replication, and a complex runbook to get operations back to normal. Hyperconverged solutions reduced the complexity by eliminating the architecture and standardizing the hardware, but this was an incremental improvement. You can buy a brand new, out of the box hyper-converged solution that is (hopefully) correctly sized. This would require at least two appliances - one at the source and one at the DR location - an archive for long-term retention, a couple of 10 gig switches, SFPs, cables, rack space, and access to the datacenter for many hours to set this all up. The legacy software-based solution will require architectural work, complex sizing, and a slew of multi-vendor technologies to achieve the same. Any way you skin the cat, it is an expensive proposition. With tight IT budgets, usually DR solutions are the first to be chopped from the scope of any new projects. This puts the business at extreme risk.

The Clumio Approach

Clumio is a full SaaS backup solution, with an architecture that is second to none. With the ability to protect private and public clouds as well as SaaS solutions all without any infrastructure at all. You might call it a gift from the Backup Gods! We have replaced everything noted above and allowed enterprises to simply use their day-to-day backup for DR purposes. There is no special architecture or equipment to achieve this. Simply put, having your data DR-ready costs no more than current single site products.

The Clumio service operates by sending your backup directly to a highly resilient object store in the public cloud where it is held in an immutable, encrypted state. The data is now safe and recoverable. Indexing is done by the service for granular data recovery after the backup. The backup process is highly optimized with true global deduplication where all data, from all of your sources and from all sites is deduplicated. We protect significantly faster than on-premises solutions.

Since there is no reliance on hardware or software appliances, data recovery from the Clumio service to any location (physical or cloud) is now possible. Data is moved in a parallel fashion, in its deduplicated, compressed form, and expanded at the last moment. We can also leverage incremental restores to make this even more efficient. This leads to extremely rapid restores.

Using this technology, we have now armed companies with the ability to rapidly recover business critical data predictably to DR locations while reducing the cost and complexity which has plagued the industry for decades. Companies still need to ensure that networks, security, remote access, and so forth is provided at the DR location, but the headache of getting to your latest copy of data has been removed. Over and above all the technological benefits, doing this without a cost premium, without shipping equipment and doing it all remotely makes it business-justifiable.

We at Clumio are very proud of what we have built and would like you to consider us as you deal with the current datacenter access challenges and those brought about by migration to cloud and SaaS solutions. Please see our failover/failback demonstration where you can see our technology in action.

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Last modified on September 14, 2020

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