We’ve recently augmented our existing tape backup solutions to include Data Vaulting. This new solution helps address our clients’ growing need to cost effectively backup their mission critical data, in fact we’ve now had our Data Vaulting solution successfully up and running for a number of clients and internally for sometime. Those clients are now enjoying significant savings in the form of a reduction of operational and capital expenditures, not to mention the benefits of increased data protection and security.
With a Data Vaulting appliance on customer site, data is pulled agentlessly from the designated servers (regardless of Operating System flavor or server type) and transported back to our datacenter where it is backed up to our SAN infrastructure. A much better form of storage medium than tape for many reasons! This is all carried out in real time and we can restore from any granular Recovery Point Objective (although we set the default to daily) and further, with the recovery time only dependant upon the size and aging of the data, shorter Recovery Time Objectives are much easier to achieve and certainly much shorter than tape.
Disk is certainly getting cheaper, but tape still wins based upon the pure medium cost on a per GB basis. Not only that, but some customers have TB of data and only a T1 to the internet, so you would think there would be all sorts of time constraints and cost impediments to backing up from customer site to disk back in our datacenter. Well not so, that is where de-duplication and delta-blocking comes in to play. I’ll save the technical discussions for later, but essentially prior to transmitting the data to be backed up, the appliance at the remote site removes any duplicate files, transmitting only one original file and a set of pointers to that file. Think short cuts on your desktop. Secondly, after the initial full backup, only the actual blocks of data that make up the files (again think bits and bytes) that have been altered are transmitted for backup and not the whole file. As if that wasn’t cool enough the data is further compressed and encrypted for transmission. Depending on the types of data being backed up, we see anywhere from 2:1 to 4:1 compression, this means we can effectively transmit and backup large amounts of data over small pipes!!!
Naturally, this solution works equally well for customers already located in our colocation facility that are looking to backup data and have it available for a rapid restore.
There are many more aspects to this solution we could discuss and probably will do at a later date:
- the fact that you can set a Quality of Service and prioritize which files/directories/servers are restored in what order when required.
- VMWare Virtual Machines can be backed up while in full operation without disruption.
- our offering has some great reporting features that can tell; the largest files; largest duplicates and file aging. The latter being very useful when putting this solution together with our Business Lifecycle Data Management abilities to archive off data to cheaper ‘offline’ storage.