by NetApp A-Team Member Shawn Lieu, Solutions Architect, Veeam Software
Offsite disaster recovery can involve a complex architecture and exorbitant costs. It’s an intimidating task to ensure that your business has a disaster recovery plan, so many businesses put it on the back burner because they foolishly believe disasters are something that happen to someone else.
This myopic thinking comes at a grave cost: according to The DataCenter Journal, an estimated 30 percent of organizations that experience a severe outage never actually recover. It gets worse: The DataCenter Journal also references a 2013 Ponemon Institute study that showed that 91 percent of the respondents experienced an unplanned outage in the last 2 years that required an average of 2 days to recover. According to The DataCenter Journal, these outages equate to over $366,000 in costs per year, but we think it’s safe to say that it could be far worse.
With these staggering statistics, having a disaster recovery plan suddenly seems more like a priority rather than something that can be deferred until next year’s budget discussions. A disaster recovery plan is necessary for all businesses, and there are many ways to accomplish this depending on your business needs.
Onsite recovery for common restore requests can also be difficult to guarantee. Downtime can rear its head in a number of different ways, and more often than not it impacts segments of the environment rather than the entire site. The daily tasks can become a monumental feat if the tools in place are too complex. A single virtual machine crash can cause a ripple effect that can take hours to resolve.
If your business had to recover a mission critical virtual machine, how long would that take? Even something less dramatic – an important file is erroneously deleted, for instance – how much time will be spent in the recovery process? Data recovery and disaster recovery can go hand in hand, with a single cohesive solution designed for modern data center needs. A simplified yet cost-effective hybrid approach can provide the level of protection needed for both onsite data recovery and offsite disaster recovery needs.
The NetApp AltaVault (formerly SteelStore) cloud-integrated appliance enables users to leverage public and private cloud as part of their data protection strategy. AltaVault is available as both a physical and virtual appliance (vSphere & Hyper-V available) starting as small as 8TB and can scale up to 57PB. The new AltaVault virtual appliances are ideal for those environments that are heavily virtualized. With built-in compression and deduplication, AltaVault reduces the amount of space required to meet retention requirements. Together, Veeam and AltaVault can enable a data protection strategy that satisfies requirements for offsite disaster recovery as well as the need for backups on premises.
Veeam technology can enable direct recovery from SAN backups within vSphere environments, and it leverages the VSS framework within Hyper-V environments to enable faster data processing and shortened backup windows. Veeam’s existing integration with NetApp’s clustered Data ONTAP can provide existing FAS series users with more advanced backup and recovery features. Veeam provides an optimal incremental backup mode with weekly active full backups allowing users to create independent backup chains on a weekly basis. Recommended Veeam backup job settings when leveraging AltaVault are:
- Backup mode – incremental with weekly active fulls
- Deduplication – disabled via checkbox
- Compression level – none
- Storage optimization – LAN target
The recommended settings will ensure that the AltaVault appliance is able to provide the best possible deduplication savings. The higher deduplication ratio will translate into lower bandwidth utilized when moving the backup files to the desired cloud location. Configuration of the AltaVault appliance is straightforward, and it provides a CIFS based backup repository for locally created Veeam backups. Backups are then automatically synced to the desired cloud-based repository.
Local backups can now be leveraged for onsite data recovery needs. With 47 different recovery options from an image-level backup, Veeam provides granularity for restores, down to individual application items. Patented vPower technologies and various Veeam Explorers help speed data recovery tasks, and recovery time objectives are reduced from hours down to minutes.
Note: Due to AltaVault architecture and optimizations, Veeam’s vPower features do not run as fast as they would run on primary storage. This is common with inline deduplication storage appliances.
Figure 1: Veeam to AltaVault
A data protection strategy leveraging Veeam and AltaVault is not only easy to deploy and configure, but it also provides comprehensive coverage with a cloud-integrated solution. The cloud-based backups provide that last level of security just in case the entire data center is lost. Having a cost-effective solution to offsite disaster recovery that is also easy to manage and maintain, well, that’s just icing on the cake.