A recurring theme in terms of what I hear from users is how VMware adds new complexities to their day-to-day management tasks. For instance, even before server virtualization came in vogue, companies were already complaining that their physical servers reproduced like rabbits. Server virtualization just makes server growth that much easier to occur since now companies don’t even need to purchase a new physical machine anymore – it now is little more than a copy-and-paste like exercise to create a new virtual machine (VM) once server virtualization is in place.
Category: Asigra Inc
Companies can experience an overwhelming sense of relief when they finally resolve their ongoing backup problems by switching from tape to disk as their primary backup target. But what companies may fail to fully contemplate is the new possibilities – and challenges – that storing data on disk opens up to them. On the upside disk makes data recoveries and off-site replication of the data much easier to accomplish. Conversely, it can present companies with new challenges to manage the data on disk as it ages lest the escalating costs of disk capacity and cooling and powering the storage system start to offset some of the benefits that disk-based backup provides.
Asigra makes no bones about it: it unabashedly advocates that companies keep all of their backup data on disk under the management of its Televaulting software. The reasons Asigra provides for keeping backup data on disk are plentiful as well: Faster backup and recovery times; elimination of tape management tasks; deduplication technologies that minimize data storage requirements for disk; and, data that is easy to copy and replicate locally and remotely. Yet if there is anything companies know about backup, it is that managing backup data and its recovery over the long term, whether it is on disk or tape, is where the complexity can start to surface.
In Asigra’s recent release of Televaulting 8.0 data security remains at the forefront with their use of the AES encryption algorithm to encrypt data while in transmission across the network; or at rest in its DS-System or BLM Archiver. Televaulting’s approach to encryption key management provides several options in how to best approach encryption key management. Televaulting 8.0 gives users and service providers several key ways to protect data from unauthorized exposure.
Knowing how long to keep copies of production data in backup repositories is a problem that companies only give scant attention to now. When companies back up production data to tape, they tend to only invest minimal time and effort managing the data after it is backed up. The backup data remains on the tape until the data is overwritten during the next backup job; or the tape, and data on it, is simply discarded when the tape wears out. Besides, taking a more proactive approach to managing backup data on tape is time consuming, difficult to implement and has, to date, shown minimal return on investment (ROI).
Backup to disk is fundamentally changing corporate perceptions about backup and recovery. Using disk as a primary backup target has solved long-standing corporate backup problems including successfully completing backups within designated backup windows and expediting recoveries while deduplication is resolving the cost and capacity issues associated with storing backup data on disk. But before companies breathe a collective sigh of relief and think that disk has officially solved their backup problems, they need to think again. The immediate crisis may be over but longer term problems still remain.
Backup has become a fairly innocuous method for companies to use to test the capabilities of a Managed Service Provider (MSP) and start companies down the path of outsourcing some of their storage services. However the task of selecting an MSP should go well beyond just determining how well it backs up data. Outsourcing backups is likely just the first step for most companies in a larger journey that companies are embarking are towards outsourcing more of their storage management requirements. So it behooves companies to regularly analyze their MSP to determine what steps it is taking to improve the management of its backup data stores and keep its data storage costs down long term.
The one I want to focus on in this entry is Televaulting’s new replication functionality. Replication is a key function in any facet of the storage landscape and, with Asigra adding this feature into its latest release of Televaulting, it becomes an even more robust player in the enterprise space.
Grid computing is starting to appear in some unlikely places. It is easy to assume that grid computing appears primarily in the world of academia or high tech corporate IT engineering labs. In these environments, computer scientists typically have the time and expertise to engineer complicated, high performance, low cost computing solutions that can perform tasks like mapping out the human DNA or identifying possible new sites to drill for oil. But applying grid computing to address a low-tech problem like backup and recovery? That almost seems like a misnomer.
David: The Data Collectors can do an automated discovery of new VMs by connecting to either individual VMware ESX servers, XenSource servers or a Virtual Management Center, which stores and organizes data about physical hosts and VMs. The Data Collector provides a GUI that displays the new VMs that require backup so all an administrator needs to do is select the VM from the Televaulting management interface to initiate backups on those VMs.