It s All About Restoring Your Data Achieving Rapid Business Resumption with Highly Efficient Disk-to-Disk Backup & Restore

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1 It s All About Restoring Your Data Achieving Rapid Business Resumption with Highly Efficient Disk-to-Disk Backup & Restore All trademark names are the property of their respective companies. This publication contains opinions of StoneFly, Inc., which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyright by StoneFly, Inc. and is intended for use only by recipients authorized by StoneFly, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of StoneFly, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law.

2 It s All About Restore Page 2 Peace of Mind Peace of mind comes from knowing your backed-up data can actually be restored quickly and reliably. Backups can be easily verified, but there is high anxiety associated with confirming the reliability of a restore. In most cases, knowing that a restore actually works usually occurs after data is lost. Keeping your fingers crossed should not be an integral part of a data recovery program. You ve heard the horror stories. Perhaps you ve even been a victim yourself. Following are some true stories: The backup set required restoring one full backup on a total of five tapes and five incrementals on one tape each. After running the restore process on seven out of the ten tapes, the restore fails on a bad sector on the second to the last incremental. After 6 hours, the entire restore process has to be completely restarted after copying the incremental to another tape. A sales manager deletes an important with the details for a proposal. Even though the file is backed up, to restore this required restoring an entire data set. The IT department refuses because it will take 14 hours to restore the data set and the sales manager can t prove that single is worth the cost to restore it. The sales manager loses the deal and the company doesn t meet its quarterly numbers. A company purchased and configured a high-end, expensive, and full-featured tape library for the company's system backups. Unfortunately, the backup library was placed right beside the primary system. When the primary system got fried during a lightening storm, so too did the backup library. A system suffered a serious disk failure. The operator attempts a restore only to discover that its automated backup hadn't run properly for fourteen months. A tape had jammed in the drive, but no one had noticed. A new IT administrator managed to delete the contents of an entire password file. He attempted to restore it from tape only to overwrite it with the deleted file. High profile events, such as recent natural disasters, provide harsh reminders of the many ways information can be lost. Among the most common are hardware and software malfunction, human error, computer viruses and natural disasters. A study by the Contingency Planning Research & Strategic Research Corp. revealed that among the causes of data loss, 44% are caused by hardware and system malfunction, and 32% by human error. Other causes of data loss include software corruption or program malfunction (14%), computer viruses (seven percent) and natural disasters (three percent). There are three main quantifiable costs associated with each incident of data loss: the cost of technical support in the recovery effort, lost productivity due to user downtime, and the possible cost associated with data that is permanently lost. The value of lost data will vary widely depending on how easily it is replaced: in some cases the data may be re-created in a short period of time, which would translate to

3 It s All About Restore Page 3 a relatively low value on the lost data. In other cases, the value of the lost data may take hundreds of man-hours over several weeks to rebuild, and thus the value of the lost data is very high. In some instances, the lost data may be irreplaceable, making the data invaluable. Losses in mission critical databases or custom applications can lead to severe business losses. Benefits of Disk-to-Disk Backup Three trends are making disk-to-disk backup solutions not only feasible, but also viable for organizations to consider. The first is the availability of inexpensive Serial ATA drives, providing low cost disks that can be employed specifically for backup and restore. Second, the iscsi standard (Internet SCSI) allows companies to develop cost-effective IP SANs (Internet Protocol Storage Area Networks) for disk-to-disk backup. Finally, a new generation of backup and restore software supports disk-todisk backup and restore methods. Additionally, optical storage technologies can be employed instead of tape to meet the new compliance regulations. In an IP SAN configuration, the backup software instructs client servers to send backup data to logical volumes presented by the IP SAN over a dedicated Gigabit Ethernet link. An intelligent networking platform uses volume management to make these logical volumes appear as a local disk to each client server. In this way, the backup operation is a simple disk copy operation that is performed at disk-to-disk speeds. The entire operation is as fast and seamless as writing backup data to a local drive that actually resides at the client server. See Figure 1. Figure 2: Backup software sends client data from DAS or internal disk on host servers to the IP SAN during the normal backup window. Likewise, network logical volumes are also backed up to backup volumes. Older volumes can later be copied to tape as a background activity. Backup operations are further enhanced by Ethernet s inherent ability to support concurrent server data transfers on the network. This intrinsic feature enables multiple client servers to backup data to their own logical disks at the same time, without having to wait for other backup jobs to finish. Running multiple backup jobs simultaneously dramatically reduces the time required to backup data.

4 It s All About Restore Page 4 Once the client servers complete their data backups, a master backup server can fetch the data directly from the logical volumes and place it on tape or an archival media such as WORM or optical drives. This transfer can take place without regard to the backup window since all of the client servers have already completed their respective backups and returned to normal operation. As an added bonus, the system administrator has complete control over configuring the size and number of IP SAN volumes presented to each client server, thus providing the ultimate flexibility in determining how much and how long backup data remains accessible at disk speeds. For example a system administrator could choose to have as little as yesterday s backups, or as much as last month s daily backups accessible via the IP SAN. Enabling Restore Operations Data loss or corruption can trigger a tape-based restore, resulting in lengthy downtimes. According to Gartner, up to 35% of all backup tapes will not restore in the way that users expect. Due to the mission-critical nature of today s messaging and collaborative applications, minimizing downtime and providing swift data recovery are paramount. Therefore, rapid disaster recovery and high availability remain the most significant achievements for implementers of disk-to-disk backup systems. The random access nature of disks makes them much more efficient for restore than sequentially accessible tape. This provides the following benefits: Data is logically mapped to storage resources using storage policies, which eliminates administrators' need to identify the physical location of data before a restore Automated movement of data from disk to tape, no manual intervention required Data path traceability enables administrators to more easily discover and remedy configuration issues for backup, restore, archiving and migration operations Auto discovery of storage devices by software - removes human intervention so there is less chance of incorrect configuration Automatic Default storage policy includes all data - no unprotected data How Disk-to-Disk Restore Works In an IP SAN, client server data is backed up to logical volumes. In Figure 2, for example, servers 1 and 2 backup data Monday through Friday. In order to facilitate the quick recovery of recently backed-up data, the system administrator has chosen to keep five days worth of backup data on each of those logical volumes. In the rare instance that a client server needs to restore this data, backup software is pointed to the correct logical volume on the IP SAN to copy the required data. Instead of restoring a whole dataset, the backup software can locate the correct file in minutes rather than hours. The entire transaction is conducted over a dedicated Gigabit Ethernet IP SAN using a simple copy operation.

5 It s All About Restore Page 5 Figure 2: The system administrator keeps five days of backups on-line to ensure quick recovery. This restores the data at disk-to-disk speeds that are as fast and seamless as accessing data from local drives in the client server. If client backup data more than five days old is required, it can be restored from tape by the backup server and then sent over the LAN, to the requesting server. Ethernet s inherent ability to support concurrent server data transfers on the network enables a client server to restore data from its own logical volume without impacting other restore operations that may be occurring at the same time on other servers. As a company s storage requirements increase, the IP SAN allows client servers and their associated logical volumes to be added, without increasing backup or restore times. Benefits of disk-to-disk backup and restore using an IP SAN include: Provides lower cost of ownership, ease of use, and performance benefits superior to traditional backup solutions Minimizes costs and simplifies operations using integrated IP SAN technology Offloads LAN-attached backups to the IP SAN creating a LAN-free backup environment Supports replication of backups to a remote IP SAN Eliminates the human element in handling tape Automated, policy based management of backups to ensure that they take place even if you can t be there An effective disk-to-disk backup and restore system requires configuring the IP SAN, including storage resources, backup software, and servers. The easiest way to ensure seamless operation is to look for a turnkey system, including the IP SAN components and backup software that all works together in a complete backup solution. Look for a disk-to-disk backup and restore system with the following key features:

6 It s All About Restore Page 6 If a backup fails for any reason, when the backup is restarted the system should pick up at the point of interruption rather than all the way at the beginning, saving time Support for standard iscsi protocol ensuring integration into standard Ethernet networks An auxiliary copy feature that can backup data from one server to the IP SAN volumes and then, without user intervention, have that server forward a backup copy to another server and IP SAN, even if it is in a remote location The ability to make backup copies from different media formats, for example from IP SAN to tape and then from tape to a remote IP SAN The ability to locate and restore a single file Re al World Examples Sites that have implanted disk-to-disk backup systems using an IP SAN have seen dramatic improvements, both in the time it takes to back up their systems, but also the time it takes to restore them. Ken Marsh, IT Manager at T.B. Penick & Sons "The StoneFly IP SAN is a dream come true," said Marsh. "I no longer worry about running out of storage in the middle of a huge project or having to spend endless nights performing backups." In particular, Marsh recalls several instances where project folders were accidentally deleted from the network. "Without the IP SAN, we could have spent tens of thousands of dollars recreating work that had been lost inadvertently," he noted. "Now, I can restore files in less than a minute and avoid disasters that could adversely impact both productivity and bottom-line profitability." In the past, Marsh and his small IT team spent most nights backing up the system with no time left for regular maintenance. Now, the team's incremental nightly backups take only minutes. Once a week full backups, which used to take days, are performed in less than 10 hours. When the disk-to-disk backup is completed, the IT team sends an archival copy to tape as a background activity that never impedes network performance. Brad Green, Director of Information Services, Denton Central Appraisal District (DCAD), North Texas DCAD uses a StoneFly IP SAN in conjunction with CommVault s award-winning backup and recovery software to slash back-up operations on the RISC 6000 platform. We reduced back up on that primary system from 10 hours to two hours, said Green. What s more, we can now back up 35 servers in the amount of time it used to take to back up one server. DCAD has also improved restore times considerably. Previously, if a file on any server was lost, it took several hours to recover the data, including securing offsite tapes and completing the entire restore operation. With the IP SAN, restores can now be completed in a matter of minutes.

7 It s All About Restore Page 7 Mirroring Supports Disaster Recovery in Backup Operations Mirroring provides a technique for creating and maintaining identical data sets on different physical IP SANs for data migration to a new SAN or replication for disaster recovery planning. If a disk fails within a mirror, it will have an identical set in a separate IP SAN. Local (synchronous) mirroring is performed between two or more IP SANs within the same storage environment. For example, building A can keep Exchange Databases in an IP SAN synchronized with a separate IP SAN in building B. Remote (asynchronous) mirroring is performed between two or more IP SANs in separate (remote) storage environments across a WAN connection. The remote site typically acts as a disaster recover configuration for the primary location. Mirroring provides the following benefits: Preservation of data integrity Enhanced disaster recovery planning Immediate access to business-critical data at a remote site Accelerated backup windows Consolidated backups and restores from multiple servers A system that combines disk-to-disk backup and restore efficiencies with mirroring provides a secure way to ensure that data is always accessible and that restores are always easy. For more information on implementing Data Recovery in an IP SAN environment, see whitepapers on StoneFly Solutions at

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