New technology for a problem as old as computing itself – data recovery and Datto
Many technology products offer attractive cost savings, increased efficiencies, or revolutionary new ways of working. Disruptive technologies are grabbing headlines, and keep the business technology sector galloping forward.
Some technology, however, is designed to function quietly in the background. Ironically, some of the least focussed-on areas of data management in the modern organization are the backup of data, disaster recovery (DR), and business continuity (BC) planning.
However, it only takes even a slight human error, never mind a natural disaster, to bring home to any business quite how precious its data and computer systems are. Suddenly the world of backup and BC solutions becomes of critical importance.
Backup is as old as computing itself.
Many have seen old film footage of mainframe operations rooms, where tape drives rotate slowly in refrigerator-sized machines, processing and storing at speeds glacial by today’s standards.
It is surprising to learn, therefore, that most DR and BC systems’ underpinnings are still based on tape technologies! Even though the media onto which data backed up may not be physical tape (although tape is still in widespread use), the underpinning code layer of most backup applications remains strictly chronological – ideal for tape archives.
Most backup systems still use a combination of full and incremental backups, designed for 30-year-old technologies; not so good in today’s business.
A full backup is a byte for byte capture of a production machine or storage device, typically taken of a hard drive or disk image. Snapshot-ing the whole device is both processor- and storage-intensive, and takes a relatively long time.
Incremental backups are then added, chronologically to backup media, with each incremental backup representing only what has changed. To restore back to a snapshot in time, there is a lengthy process by which the full backup is retrieved, and then any incremental backups are applied to that set image, in order to create the full restore point.
Recovering from a data disaster therefore usually involves hours (if not days) of recovery time, during which businesses are without key systems.
Traditionally the processes of backup and disaster recovery are separate. Disaster recovery requires alternative infrastructure, onto which restore points are copied. Alternative hardware and systems require maintenance, as well as procurement costs.
Backup is therefore an expensive business, which many organizations therefore try and avoid, until fate plays its hand. And as the old adage goes, it’s not if it goes wrong, it’s when it goes wrong…
ZFS is a storage hardware level data management system, designed from the ground up to take advantage of the most modern storage media, such as solid-state drives and cloud infrastructures.
Datto’s tech is able to create multiple full snapshots of any infrastructure, comprising restore points which can be restored in a matter of minutes not days. This means that systems, either in a cloud or in the data centre, can be returned from data vaults quickly and with minimal reconfiguration overheads.
By leaving the tape infrastructure-oriented systems behind, Datto can offer a truly 21st-century backup, recovery, and business continuity solution right across all business sizes.
Its on-premise or cloud solutions ensure that granular backups can be taken as often as every five minutes, and with the company’s ALTO 3 provision, even individual staff are able themselves to roll back to previously saved versions of files during their working day.
At the level of managed service providers (MSPs), the difficulties of coherent backup and restore processes multiply. MSPs need simple, powerful, and reliable disaster recovery solutions which can be easily employed by on-call staff oversseing dozens of clients.
Powernet IT Solutions recently adopted Datto’s Ransomware Protection and Recovery Solution, which has replaced a host of complex and labour-intensive amelioration processes.
“This gives us the upper hand in the growing ransomware epidemic and allows us to guarantee our clients’ data is secure,” said Daniel Williams, Head of Service Delivery & Director at Powernet.
“Knowing we have a Datto on site takes the panic out of disaster situations. Before Datto, any recovery scenario was a far different experience with more downtime and headaches. We now are confident that we can recover our customers’ data with minimal downtime.” Read the full report here.
By taking the pain and stress out of restoring their clients’ data, Powernet is able to concentrate on adding value and features to its offering, rather than having to commit resources and precious man-hours to maintaining old style DR & BC – ad hoc provisions which differ for every one of its clients.
Whether for your own or for your clients’ data, get in touch with a Datto representative to find out how the cutting-edge generation of business continuity solutions can ensure data keeps working 24/7.
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