Off-site backups: Easier than you think

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Virtualisation truly has changed today’s game of operating and provisioning of data centre resources. Although virtualisation has made it easy for us to deploy and administer applications and services delivered from the data centre, we still have an opportunity to improve one key area: getting backups offsite.

Specifically, there are a lot of technologies that have been built around data centres that we administer. However, these technologies don’t address getting backups offsite. And no matter what we do in these data centres; we are likely to continue to have a need to get backups offsite.

The reality has become that there is an ever-growing expectation that our IT services will be made available. We’ve invested in the modern data centre with robust virtualisation, but we may not have considered the bigger picture in regards to availability. Increasing availability beyond the primary site is possibly a new opportunity for many environments to deliver a more available data centre.

Talk to any data centre professional and they’ll assure that site availability will be easier when the entire profile is virtualised. Once the data centre footprint is virtualized; the options are so large to get backups off-site and provide that additional level of protection. Here’s a look at some of the most popular ways to get backups off-site:

Replicated Virtual Machines. The replicated virtual machine is a great way to achieve some of the quickest RTOs by having ready-to-go virtual machines at a remote site ready for a failover process.

Cloud storage. Storing backups in object-based cloud storage can be an excellent way to provide off-site protection when a secondary site isn’t an option for your organization.

Storage replication. If you have storage systems that provides file or volume replication; that may be a great way to get disk-based backups off-site.

Tape. I’d venture to say everyone has a tape story where things didn’t go as planned, but the reality is writing backups to tape today is an option. The portability and acquisition cost simply can’t be beat.

Off-Site Backups. With virtual machines, we can take a different approach and leverage a relatively uniform source data profile and apply techniques to write the backups to a remote storage resource as shown in the figure below.

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