Using Your Backups to Move Data to the Cloud
When it comes to backing up your data, knowing that it is accessible at the drop of a hat is critical. The more recent the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) the better, and the lower the Recovery Time objective, the quicker your data will be available. And with the right technology, there are ways of bringing these key metrics down to almost zero.
Essentially, it requires these two things:
- Some automation
- A cloud-aware backup solution
Automating your backups ensures that your data is protected at regular intervals and that the usefulness of said backed up data doesn’t expire. Think shortening the RPO through scheduling. Popular server operating systems (like Windows and AIX) have extensive command-line interfaces (CLI) that facilitate script-type bundling of commands that are ideally suited to automation. That’s why it’s extremely helpful when your backup software is able to accept input from such a command line.
By using a CLI, you’re also able to leverage the functionality available through the backup software’s API – provided an API is available. It becomes as easy as accessing the relevant endpoint URLs and dynamically passing parameters through the CLI script for each server/machine included in your backup routine. Your backup solution now becomes a massively scalable automated system, only limited by your IT infrastructure and “scripting” expertise.
When it comes to storing data backups, the Cloud is king. Granted, this might not necessarily be suitable to your business, especially when it comes to protecting personal information and adhering to legal requirements, but the pros usually outweigh the cons. In addition to providing cost savings on hardware and off-site redundancy in case of disaster, cloud-based backups provide anywhere-access to your data. This flexibility in accessing data can be combined with automation, as part of your greater DR Orchestration, to recover a complete system in a fraction of the time it would usually take.
For instance, imagine having a full “System State” backup of a critical server. With backup software that has the capabilities mentioned above, some nifty scripting can be used to access the appropriate backup (ideally the most recent one). You then specify which hypervisor the recovered server will be running in. Once the data recovery has taken place, your critical server is now a virtual disk or a fully-fledged virtual machine and can be booted within minutes. Some final tweaks might be necessary but you’ve just converted a physical server to a virtual one, and your business is up and running again.
This is one of the many recovery scenarios that become available to you when employing the right kind of automation with the flexible backup technology. And with cloud backup providers all trying to bring down recovery times with ever increasing data volumes, it certainly bodes well for those looking to recover more data faster.