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Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Authors: Lana Tannir, AppDynamics Blog, Toddy Mladenov, NeonDrum News, Nicos Vekiarides

Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Cloud Backup and Recovery Journal, Disaster Recovery

Cloud Computing: Blog Post

Implement a Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery Solution with EVault CDR 4.0

Cloud disaster recovery doesn't have to be that complex

Perhaps you've heard of this new technology floating around the internet called “Cloud Computing” and maybe, just maybe you’ve even thought about using this to satisfy some of your IT needs. Sarcasm aside, leveraging cloud computing services for disaster recovery is an example for how cloud computing can be applied to the business. EVault, a Seagate Company, has a product that helps you create an automated cloud based disaster recovery solution that includes the backup and recovery of your critical applications and data.

The EVault Cloud Disaster Recovery Solution (CDR) has three components:

EVault Agents are installed on each of the systems you want to protect or backup. The agents scan the target systems, transmit any changes, compress the data, and encrypt the data before transmitting.

EVault Director authenticates the backup data from the agents and then stores the data in the "Vault." A Vault can be shared storage, an EVault appliance, an off-site customer location, or EVault's secure cloud.

EVault CentralControl is the centralized administration console. From CentralControl you can manage role-based security, scheduling, retention policies, agents, and perform fast point-and-click restores.

For your mission critical and Tier one application there are application plugins that give you enhances protection and control. Plugins exist for Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint, IBM i and AS/400, and Oracle. For more detailed information on application specific plugins visit their site here.

What I really like about EVault is the simplicity and flexibility of their solution and how these three components can enable a simple backup solution or a robust Cloud Disaster Recovery Solutions. For now we’ll use EVault CentralControl, EVault Director, and EVault agents to create our cloud disaster recovery solution. Now let’s get into the process of implementing the EVault CDR solution for your environment.

The First Step, The Big Backup
The first step in any disaster recovery plan is to identify the critical data that you need to backup, followed by the initial backup. Most organizations find their critical data represents about 30% of their total storage. If you come across some new or unfamiliar terms during your backup and disaster recovery journey, don’t Google them, instead EVault has a great online glossary here (http://www.evault.com/backup-terms-glossary/). You may want to back up everything, but is almost always cost prohibitive, so we're only going to backup the critical data that we plan on recovering in the cloud. In order to do our first backup you will need to do the following:

  1. Install EVault Director
  2. Configure EVault CentralControl
  3. Deploy the EVault Agents on the machines you want to protect

You'll have two options for getting your data to the EVault Cloud, you can transfer your data via you company’s network, or EVault can send you a send you a storage device you can connect to your LAN. In either case, you should schedule you backups at the times of day that your network has the least amount of traffic. Your backup method of choice will depend on the size of the data you're backing up, and your data connection.

Some cool noteworthy features EVault brings Data Protection to the table includes:

  • EVault compression reduces the data footprint by as much as 50%
  • Back-end deduplication reduces the cloud storage footprint by as much as 20%
  • Subsequent backups typically add only 2% of new data

Day-to-Day Operation, Ongoing Backups
To make sure you have the most up to date data in the cloud you will want to perform regularly scheduled backups using EVault CentralControl. This will reduce the risk of losing any changes that happen between long backup windows. To alleviate any concerns about running regular backups, the backup data efficacy, and performance issues, EVault has developed patented technology to improve your backup performance.

Quick File Scan – Rapidly scans all files to identify any changed blocks

Adaptive Compression – Shrinks blocks by as much as 90% depending on available resource utilization

Dynamic Bandwidth Throttling – controls bandwidth for frequent backups of critical data or limited bandwidth environments

Enhance CPU Utilization – automatically splits up backup jobs across multiple CPUs for improved performance

Self Healing - prevents a corrupt or missing delta index file from identifying new or changed blocks

Once your initial backup is complete you will have a backup of your data onsite and a copy in the cloud.

Worried about Security, Worry Not: Double Encryption
Before the data even hits the wire, it is encrypted by the EVault agent using the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 128-bit or 256-bit advanced Encryption standard. Then, both the backup and restore wire transfers are transmitted using an encrypted connection. The data remains encrypted even when at rest in the cloud and only the key holder, the customer, can supply the correct code. This double encryption protects the data before it is transmitted, while in transit, and at rest so you can sleep east at night. This is huge for healthcare organizations, financial institutions, and other industries that are regulated for security compliance.

In the Event of a Disaster: How do I Recover?
Finally, we've got to the fun part. I mean…the unfortunate problem facing your business, such as a flooded server room. Once the disaster strikes and you receive that panicked phone call from your CEO at 3:21 am, you can assure him that everything will be ok. Why? Because you’ve put a cloud disaster recovery solution in place that allows the business to recovery quickly. You get off the phone with him and call EVault’s 24/7/365 disaster hotline to tell them what happened. You go back to sleep, only to wake up to a 7:22am call from the EVault team saying that all your applications and data are running in their cloud and your users can now access email and business applications from home.

While the EVault solution doesn’t offer real time business continuity that companies like Amazon, Facebook, or Bank of America might need, it does offer a straight forward, cost effective, and automated way to recovery from a disaster without breaking the bank. You can find more about other cloud disaster recovery solutions such as VMware's Site Recovery Manger on our website.

More Stories By Quinn Devery

Quinn Devery has spent his entire career working for Small, Mid Market and Fortune 2000 Information Technology services companies in client facing roles. He earned his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and received his Master of Business Administration from the McCombs School of Business. Active in the Dallas Fort Worth community, Quinn is a Director on the Dallas Texas Exes Board, President of the DFW IT Professionals, and an regular speaker at local user groups. In his free time, Quinn enjoys P90X, running in his Vibrams, and spending time with family & friends. Quinn Regularly blogs on his company site http://www.paranet.com/blog/

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