Untangling Three Backup Architectures: What Works, What Doesn’t

//Untangling Three Backup Architectures: What Works, What Doesn’t

Untangling Three Backup Architectures: What Works, What Doesn’t

The cloud is the hot backup technology, adding new wrinkles into the storage world. However, some pure cloud backup providers are making strong, but dangerous assertions. They argue that you can go directly from primary storage, say the disk on your server, to cloud backup. Don’t worry; you can just skip the middle tier of in-house disk backup, they say. That’s how good their cloud backup is purported to be.

The reality is they do not have an answer that includes on-premises backup mated with the cloud. What they don’t tell you is on-site backup is crucial to achieving the safety of true two-tier backup, to restore quickly over the LAN, or in the case of disaster, from the cloud.

The Problem with Disk Only Backup

Before the cloud, enterprises backed up to disk, and sometimes having two tiers of in-house disk. This is often called disk-to-disk, or even disk-to-disk-to-disk backup if you add an extra tier.  Meanwhile, larger shops would also archive to offsite providers such as Iron Mountain who would store physical copies on disks, tapes or optical media in the case of disaster.

The good part of this approach is there is a backup of the primary storage on-premises. But the reliance on hardware is problematic, at least when you go beyond one tier.

To truly have the best backup solution, cloud should be a critical part of the equation. With the cloud, you do not have to manage and pay for the entire physical backup infrastructure. Your second physical backup tier can be replaced with the cloud.

Complexity and cost are one thing. Trusting your data another. A disk-to-disk architecture moves data from primary storage, usually a file server, to a backup disk system. Nevertheless, while disk is FAR more reliable than old-style but still in use tape, disks can still fail. In addition, with this architecture, you still have just one backup system.

With the cloud, these restores are based on a remote copy of your data, and the recovery is only as fast as the slowest part of your wide area network (WAN).

The Problem with Disk-to-Cloud

Basic disk-to-cloud attracts many MMEs as it removes the burden of buying and supporting an in-house backup system. This is especially true for MMEs that don’t use managed services.

In addition, disk-to-cloud is safer disk-to-disk, not just because of disk corruption and failure, but there is also less chance of human error.

Meanwhile, if you backup only to the cloud, restores can be slow, as the data must traverse from the cloud all the way to the on-premises network.

The Right Way: Disk-to-Disk (or Appliance)-to-Cloud

The best ways for MMEs to do backup, and the optimum solution MSPs can offer, is disk-to-disk-to-cloud (D2D2C). Here the primary storage is backed up to a disk (or appliance), and then also backed up in the cloud.

With disk-to-disk-to-Cloud, the on-premises disk or appliance offers far faster access right over the LAN. This is great when just a little data is lost perhaps through end user or operator error and needs to be restored quickly.

The Unitrends MSP Solution

Unitrends is a “visionary” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) and the gold standard for Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BCDR).

Unitrends MSP offers the best backup architecture that you as an MSP can pass along to your clients. Unitrends MSP is not just backup and recovery, but true BCDR.  It does this with a combination of on-premises Linux-based appliances and the cloud – thus offering the best of both worlds.

Don’t take our word for it. “Using these appliances, enterprises can easily:

  • Back up and recover on-premises applications and data
  • Copy applications and data off-site to store with cloud services providers,
  • Use features available on some of these appliances to instantly recover applications and/or data either in the cloud and/or on-site,” said the DCIG 2017-18 Cloud Data Protection Appliance Buyers Guide.

Simply put, any so-called BCDR alternative is not competitive or true BCDR if it does not include both the on-premises appliance and the additional layer of protection in the cloud.

Unitrends MSP’s all-on-one BCDR solution does not require the stitching together of disparate vendor tools. This technology has been proven over years of MSP, MME, and enterprise use.

The Unitrends MSP all-in-one solution comes with all-in-one monthly pricing that you can charge your clients that covers everything – including the ability to scale. This means capacity can rise as needs increase, or shrink (along with costs) if the client becomes more efficient in what they store.

Make sense? Get a Unitrends MSP demo here.

2018-11-06T07:46:53+00:00

About the Author:

Mike Sanders is CEO of Unitrends MSP.