Storage Features for Modern Data Protection and Disaster Recovery Practices

May 5, 2017 Off By Hoofer

Article Contributed by StoneFly, Inc.

Means of disaster recovery and data protection (DR / DP) for the enterprise are constantly changing in response to increasing data-volumes, rising business demands and faster recovery needs. IT teams have to make smart choices to ensure they can keep their businesses online all the time and take advantage of the latest technologies.

Contrary to the old more or less passive role, today’s Storage Systems are becoming key players in DR / DP practices. If you’re in the market for new storage, paying attention to a few key factors will help you address your DR / DP challenges.

Any storage solution you choose must include snapshot, cloning and replication. Inline deduplication and Compression are also essential in helping you conserve both storage capacity and network bandwidth. These technologies must operate at the right granularity to control DR / DP costs and improve efficiency.

Primary storage must provide the tools you need to monitor and control DR / DP processes and the elasticity to utilize a variety of secondary storage targets. You may need to be able to recover and replicate to and from a cloud service provider or public cloud, storage from the same vendor, or secondary storage such as a backup appliance (virtual or physical). Your storage must integrate with the DR / DP processes and tools you currently use or plan to use in the future. 

The Contemporary DR / DP Landscape

"The players and the landscape of the DR / DP field are changing rapidly. Keep your options open so you don’t get left behind". 

In the past, DR / DP processes relied almost exclusively on tape media. However, managing tapes was complicated and as the volumes of data grew, restore times became longer. Applications could end up being down for days if not weeks. To accelerate restores, shrink backup sizes and improve service levels, IT teams turned to disk based solutions for protecting their critical data and applications. Over time, superior backup appliances that use compression and deduplication technologies to lower storage capacity requirement and costs and enhance efficiency became extremely popular in backup and disaster recovery strategies.

These days, it’s a common practice to have multiple copies of data on different types of media: DR copies in remote locations for disaster, tape or/and cloud copies for longer term retention, disk based copies for fast recovery, and so on. There are also other several important trends affecting the DR / DP landscape as well, such as:

  • IT teams are being asked to shrink RTOs and RPOs (Recovery Time Objectives and Recovery Point Objectives) even further at a reasonable price.
  • Deduplication and Compression – the enabling technologies that led to the backup appliance, are now widely available in modern storage systems.
  • The use of snapshots as a first line of defense has become increasingly accepted.

In order to navigate this challenging landscape, you need to choose a storage solution for your datacenter that will keep your options open.

The following questions should be considered as you evaluate new storage options:

  • How easily will this storage solution fit into my current DR / DP strategy?
  • Will it allow replication to a variety of secondary storage targets?
  • Does the storage support snapshots as a first line of defense?
  • Does it integrate with the public cloud; Azure Cloud Storage, Google Cloud or AWS?
  • Does the storage integrate with the leading DR / DP vendors?

 

What matters most?

The primary storage you deploy in your corporate datacenters and other locations can make a huge difference to the success of your DR / DP efforts. Here are the Storage attributes to look out for:

1.     Core Building Blocks – Be sure that the storage solution replication, cloning and snapshot features operate at the same level of granularity as your operations.

2.     Scalability and Flexibility – Your storage solution should provide you as much flexibility and scalability to grow your DR / DP plan in the future. Look for storage that offers diverse secondary storage solutions including cloud storage, backup appliances and storage from the same vendor.

3.     Data Efficiency – Deduplication, compression and thin provisioning can significantly reduce the primary and secondary storage capacity needs and reduce WAN bandwidth requirements. That sums up to significant cost savings.

4.     Ecosystem Integration – Your storage must integrate with other aspects of your DR / DP environment including your existing secondary storage, backup and DR software, orchestration platforms, hypervisors and so on.

5.     Automation – DR testing processes and DR / DP functions – you will want your storage solution to automate that for you. Also the incorporation of automated DR / DP functions in your DevOps practices and private cloud offering.

6.     Control – Predictive analytics simplify capacity planning. Storage solution should provide tools that simplify management and monitoring of all DR / DP processes. This will make sure you are getting the data protection right and allow you to quickly fix any problems that may arise as you map from the storage to the VM to the application.

All of the StoneFly Voyager SAN Cluster Storage appliances offer support for Veeam Backup and replication software integration with all the features to ensure high availability and business continuity. A powerful, easy to use and affordable Storage with all the modern features the enterprise needs for DR / DP for all their data and applications. Some of StoneFly Voyager SAN Cluster Storage appliances DR / DP features include:  

  • RPO and RTO of less than 15 minutes for all data and applications
  • Fully integrated with any private or public cloud platform for replication, DP & DR
  • Simple cloud backup and replication
  • 100% automated backup and testing
  • Proactive visibility
  • Designed for the modern datacenter
  • And much more! 

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StoneFly is a pioneer in the creation, development and deployment of High Performance Cluster IP-SAN – Scale out NAS, Virtualization, Hyper-converged, Backup and Disaster Recovery applicances and Cloud Storage as Service solutions.