Cloud Backup-as-a-Service. A Technical Whitepaper

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1 Cloud Backup-as-a-Service A Technical Whitepaper Flying Waters 2014

2 ABSTRACT Backup is one of the most time-consuming and resource-intensive IT operation. Business are required to keep production applications highly available. As such, it gets difficult to divert the resources, time and budget towards non-production process such as backup. The industry analysts believe that backup consumes as much storage and resources as production, if not more. This paper reviews the pros and cons of adopting various Cloud-based backup architectures and discusses how Backup-as-a-Service can reduce costs and free-up resources. 1

3 BACKUP CHALLENGES Businesses are faced with ever-growing data requiring increased Storage requirement. This in turn poses to be a major expense on the IT budget. Businesses incur high ongoing management costs and expensive licensing models. Reliability and Security of backup copies is also a concern. CLOUD BACKUP ARCHITECTURES Cloud Backup solution eliminates the requirement for an offsite/dr storage infrastructure for retaining backups. It gives businesses the ability to have only most recent backups on Near-line Storage and move backups into the Cloud for long-term retention. As such, the Cloud backup strategy significantly reduces infrastructure costs. The Cloud backup also provides faster recoverability by allowing businesses to resume operations on the Cloud Servers in case of a disaster in their production data center. It gives businesses the benefit of a complete DR site, without necessarily incurring capital expenditure. FlyingWaters Backup-as-a-Service removes the pain of managing a cumbersome backup processes. The backup to Cloud and restoration from Cloud are taken care of seamlessly. It is available for a simple monthly charge without any long-term commitments. We choose the Cloud Service Provider for your data to meet your business, technical and financial requirements. We can also ensure that your backups are protected and made available to you anytime without the risk of Cloud Service Provider going out of business or not being available when you need due to an outage. The following are the common approaches for backing data to Cloud: 2

4 BACKUP SOFTWARE TO CLOUD There are a few backup software vendors (notably Veeam and CommVault) that provide an option to backup data directly to the Cloud Storage. This feature doesn t require keeping backup copies locally on the on-premise storage. The time it takes to restore (RTO) depends on whether the backup is being restored to the on-premise server or to the Virtual Server on the Cloud. There are pros and cons to using backup software with the option of backing up directly to the Cloud. Pros No requirement for a local storage to store the backup copies. Cons Expensive to restore because Cloud Service Providers typically charge for outgoing data. Every restore requires the backup software to get the data from the Cloud Storage. Time-consuming to restore to the on-premise server. The data has to travel from the Cloud to the on-premise server over the Internet. As such, it takes longer. Minimized search functions due to data not being stored locally. Creates dependence on the backup software vendor for restoration. Sometimes, it requires the business to change from the existing backup software to a Cloud-supported backup software vendor. 3

5 CLOUD-INTEGRATED NAS This is a new trend in the Cloud industry; A NAS Storage Array that integrates with Cloud Storage. There are only a handful of products in the market that can deliver this functionality. Some are delivered as a hardware appliance while some others are delivered as a Virtual Appliance. Some keep the data in the native format on the Cloud while others use a proprietary format. Some are good with large size data while the others are good with small size data. FlyingWaters analyzes the environment and chooses the right product for the customer. FlyingWaters nasanywhere is one such Cloud-Integrated NAS solution. It is presented to any backup software that can backup to a UNC path (CIFS or NFS). It s Data-Locality mode keeps backup copies both onsite and on the Cloud Storage. It can be configured to retain only the most recent backup copies on the on-premise storage, thus reducing on-premise storage costs. The data is pushed into the Cloud using HTTPS, which makes the transfers secure. Pros Faster Restores. Reduced Restoration Cost from the Cloud. Reduced Backup Storage costs. Supports most backup software s. No need to change your existing backup vendor. No need for additional Cloud licensing for your backup software. Cons Requirement for local storage. A hardware or a virtual appliance must be deployed to enable backup to Cloud. 4

6 CONTINUOUS CLOUD PROTECTION The businesses are challenged with the growth of unstructured data. This problem proliferates into the backup environment as well. A large chunk of backup servers and storage is required to protect this data. FlyingWaters JetStream eliminates the need for backing up unstructured data using the backup servers. It is available as a virtual appliance that replicates the data from any file server to the Cloud. As the files change or gets deleted on the primary file server, the appliance keeps versions of the older copies of the files on the Cloud. The virtual appliance has an upload buffer to optimize the Cloud replication. Pros Faster backups of file servers. No local storage requirement. Incremental Backups Forever. Restore to Cloud Server or on-premise servers. No backup software requirement. Reduces current backup costs. Cons Restoring from Cloud to on-premise can become expensive. The backup plan must be carefully architected to avoid running into this situation. A hardware or a virtual appliance must be deployed to enable backup to Cloud. Limited user exposure to this new technology. 5

7 CONCLUSION FlyingWaters works with businesses, assesses their individual needs and provides vendor independent advice on the best product to suit their needs. FlyingWaters Backup-as-a-Service is about providing the best solution and support for businesses irrespective of the product and platform used to deliver the service. 6

8 CONTACT INFORMATION For further information, contact: Flying Waters LLC Rockville Pike Suite 400 Rockville, MD Ph: (855)

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