Cloud is the new Messiah for long term archive!

Written by: Darren Ashley & Peta Nicholson

Like a scene from the Monty Python film, “Only the true Messiah denies his divinity!”. There have been many promises of the holy grail for tape replacement. Cloud has been heralded as the Messiah for some time, but historically it has failed to deliver in this regard. Realistically, the legacy cloud archive solutions have relied upon some form or integration to take data from one application and seed it into the cloud. BEarena’s mantra is complex is competent, simple is genius. We are not in the habit of cobbling together products from various vendors but prefer a simplistic approach that manages data end to end and supports not just backup and restore, but reporting, analytics, capacity planning and more.

The cloud data management landscape has evolved considerably in the last year. Maybe cloud is the Messiah after all? Why do we backup? The answer has typically been simple and unequivocal – to restore. Most restores are from a recent time and are from disk. If we need to go to tape, the business can live with waiting for 24-48 hours for us to labour with this ancient media. However, businesses are facing new challenges. A customer I engaged recently had an issue whereby they had received a database from one of their customers, which has supposedly been cleansed of sensitive data before being transmitted for my customer to perform software development for. This occurred over a year ago. The data was present in their organisation for thirty days, and constituted multiple terabytes. It was backed up daily whilst work was performed on the database. Now, a year on their customer has called to say the database in fact needs to be cleansed. This leaves my customer with a challenge. They can’t analyse the data on tapes, only that they have the database files. They now need to restore every backup, open the DB, cleanse the data, and back it up again. This will take them over 6 weeks at a huge cost. Imagine if that could all be coordinated by one appliance, and even with a small degree of effort be automated? Cloud, with cloud smarts IS the new Messiah!

BEarena FlexDR’s Managed Backup and Disaster Recovery service leverages hyper-converged backup appliances that integrate with cloud to allow you to:

Front end capacity billing – Pay per GB in use in your on premises, or cloud infrastructure. 

Store data indefinitely.

Perform advanced analytics on the data and metadata held within the service.

One console for restore of files, VM’s, applications, archive.

In short, Cloud is the new Messiah for long term archive, and BEarena is embracing the best technology available to bring true data management benefits to our customers.

Architecture

BEarena FlexDR can be deployed as a complete cloud model:

Figure 1: Typical FlexDR deployment – Cloud Based
Figure 1: Typical FlexDR deployment – Cloud Based

Or for customers who appreciate speed of restore, and wish to maintain an on premises footprint, BEarena FlexDR can also be deployed in Hybrid Cloud mode:

Figure 2: Typical FlexDR deployment with on premises appliance
Figure 2: Typical FlexDR deployment with on premises appliance
Figure 3 BEarena FlexDR Dashboard
Figure 3: BEarena FlexDR Dashboard

Analytics

We take analytics a stage deeper enabling search inside of data files for specific content. Should you wish to know if a certain pattern or string (such as credit card numbers, a particular company name, passwords, in fact any formatted string) exists within your backup set across any repository, the BEarena FlexDR solution can provide the insights required.

Compliance

BEarena FlexDR simplifies both NDB and GDPR compliance through advanced reporting capabilities.

  • Secure data against unauthorized access
  • Protect against data loss and ransomware
  • Automate data retention periods
  • Identify personal data with search and analytics
  • Manage and secure data across multi-cloud environments

The data held in any repository including the cloud archive remains under customer control. BEarena secures the cloud repository with a shared secret which is always available online to our customers.

Figure 4 GDPR Reports Wizard
Figure 4: GDPR Reports Wizard

Dev/Test

Instant on restore

Because of BEarena FlexDR’s unique design the platform can be leveraged to also host Dev and Test workloads at zero cost to the Production storage infrastructure. Backups of Production workloads can be instantiated from the BEarena FlexDR, with zero load on the Production storage.

Using BEarena FlexDR with the optional on-premises appliance should an infrastructure failure occur the on-premises appliance can immediately restore service negating the need for a costly site failover to DR.  In the case of a site loss BEarena FlexDR will still support total failover to our facility.

Archive Data

Simplicity

BEarena FlexDR is natively tape free. We leverage cloud-based vaults which present secure, reliable and redundant near line storage pools to retain data indefinitely.

BEarena FlexDR is based upon simplicity. To perform any recovery scenario only a browser is required.

 Just as search engines such as Google have transformed how people access internet-based data, BEarena FlexDR presents a simple search box to specify the item to be recovered, a file, a VM, or an application object from apps such as MS Exchange or SQL.

Figure 5 BEarena FlexDR SQL Server Restore Wizard
Figure 5: BEarena FlexDR SQL Server Restore Wizard

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