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Back to Basics: Cloud recovery

Mon, 03/04/2017 - 06:53
Disaster Recovery

When reviewing and implementing a backup solution it’s important to remember that the purpose of it is to provide the ability to recover. Recovery is an aspect that could easily be overlooked or not properly understood, many solutions providing multiple restore options which may in some cases have different costs.

What is cloud recovery?

As with any non-cloud backup medium, once a cloud backup has taken place, it will be stored for its retention period so that data can be recovered from it if required. Cloud recovery, is the process of restoring data that has been lost, accidentally deleted or corrupted, over the Internet or network, from a cloud based system.

This kind of restore typically involves the recovery of data to a desktop, single server or network attached storage system. Cloud recoveries could be a single file, directory, database or even a full system or systems.

  • Disaster Recovery refers to policy driven procedures to restore data, infrastructure and systems on a larger scale in the event that a natural disaster or a human-made disaster takes place. Disaster Recovery could also include failover to systems that data is replicated to.

Why would I need to recover?

The most common reason to need to recover or restore data is data loss, which can be caused by anything from an accidental deletion of data to hardware or software failure or disasters.

Other reasons for needing to restore data could include for testing or insurance purposes, to be able to reference historical versions of documents or to comply with an audit. Alternatively, a novel use for cloud backup and recovery and one we see often at Redstor from our customer base is the migration of data between systems or when hardware is upgraded.

Benefits of recovering using a cloud service:

Using a modern cloud backup and recovery solution gives an organisation the ability to be highly selective with what data is being backed up, how often it is backed up and how long it is kept for. Organisations can grow or shrink their backup selection with ease and extend retention periods or increase backup frequency with just a few clicks.

Cloud based recovery comes into its own in a similar fashion. Traditional tape based backups, while reasonably reliable, are no guarantee of being able to recover data. For example, tapes stored for long-term retention are susceptible to damage and corruption. Even if the tapes aren’t damaged, simply identifying a tape with the right version of a file can take some time. Once a tape has been identified and retrieved, it then must be restored in its entirety before specific files or folders can be used. Cloud based restore solutions on the other hand typically have intuitive search functionality enabling the right versions of files or directories to be restored very quickly.

P2V or not 2V

With new technologies changing the landscape of modern business, it is important to have different recovery options available. Being able to not only recover in different ways, but to different locations, will give more flexibility and allow for different platforms to be catered for.

Virtual servers and appliances give the option to scale resources on demand, but they need to be covered by backup and recovery procedures or risk being lost.

Testing

With the ever-increasing threat that malware such as Cryptolocker or other ransomware variants pose to data, being safe in the knowledge that you can roll back to a successful backup is invaluable.

Cloud based backup and recovery solutions give the ability to test restore data instantly with a few clicks. As restores can be tested quickly and easily, they can be done more often and on more systems, providing assurance that all data is available for a real-world restore should it be needed.

Disaster Recovery

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery processes will need to bring together many aspects of an organisation to allow the organisation to get back to operational capacity quickly. As different data sets have different values within an organisation, they can be prioritised for restore whether this be from one backup or multiple.

Recovery options

Redstor’s Backup Pro technology is designed with recovery in mind, data can be restored directly from a backup client, management console, through web access or using InstantData. In the event of a disaster, data can be physically transported to site via a removable storage device.

InstantData

InstantData – Temporary: Provides you with access to your Cloud Backup Pro data, as if it were located on a local drive. The temporary access mechanism makes your data browsable through Windows Explorer, files can be opened directly or “dragged and dropped” from your InstantData drive to a location of your choice, taking all the complexity out of operational restores. InstantData seamlessly restores accessed blocks of data on the fly, meaning only the data you’re accessing gets transmitted and you get rapid access to the data you need.

InstantData – Permanent: Using InstantData intelligence, files can also be recovered directly into your server, minimising downtime when disaster strikes. Permanent access will create sparse files on disk immediately when a recovery is initiated, allowing you to work without delay. InstantData will seamlessly serve read requests from the backup platform, allowing you to operate normally, even writing new data to files while they restore.

Full System Recovery (FSR): FSR takes the stress and complexity out of disaster recovery by automating the recovery of your systems. Whether your source machine is physical or virtual, FSR can automatically reassemble your system on virtual disks in VMware or HyperV format, removing the operational complexity of recovering a lost server.

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