Why and How to Backup Your Company's Data
Author: Dennie Loi
Senior Sales Consultant @Quistor
Performing a backup of your data should be one of the key activities of your IT department in order to be prepared for any disaster or equipment failures that might occur.
The public cloud, in our case – being an Oracle Partner – the Oracle Cloud, can provide you with a secondary (offsite) location to host a copy of your databases, files, and more. Since the first introduction of the public cloud, the cloud has matured significantly and reached such a level that placing a backup in the cloud feels like having a backup on your own premises.
In this article, we will show you the requests we received from one of our customers for who we proposed a backup solution in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. However, before we will dive into this, we would first like to highlight some of the benefits of moving your backup to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
Why Backup to the Cloud?
Choosing a cloud-based solution for your backups has major advantages compared to the traditional way of creating off-site backups by writing, shipping, and storing tapes at an off-site location. Below you can see the most important benefits:
Customer´s previous Backup strategy
In the customer’s previous setup, they had two backup procedures in place: a regular one and a non-regular one. The regular backup procedure contained a daily on-premise backup in location 1 and a monthly full backup via tape stored in their satellite location 2.
The non-regular backup procedure was applicable for those files which were of the essence for the customer’s production environment. These processes were running via separate applications or scripts. This meant that maintaining the backup environment required a lot of management.
Another disadvantage was that the processes were not registered, and the various processes were only known to the responsible people.
In short, they had a backup infrastructure based on tapes and several separate scripts and their objective was to replace it for one uniform backup procedure.
The customer’s objectives regarding the implementation of a cloud-based backup solution were the following:
- Modernizing the current tape system to a future-proof solution;
- Periodic backups that are stored outside the main office (Location 1) and can be started from (any) other location for business continuity;
- Shorten the restoration time to guarantee business continuity in case of an emergency;
- To be able to independently restore files from the backup to the production environment;
- One central backup environment and procedure;
- Supporting or replacing the existing archive environment for files matching the retention periods;
- Setting up integrity checks on made backup files and being able to periodically perform disaster recovery tests.
The above objectives were mapped against a set of very strict rules and requirements. To give you an idea, we have highlighted the most relevant technical requirements. The requirements for the Managed Service Provider we disregarded, as we will solely focus on the technical requirements related to the solution implemented.
Backup solution requirements
The new backup solution must be able to go back up to thirty days to restore specific files, servers, or entire environments. Furthermore, it should be able to perform weekly full backups with (minimum) daily incremental backups. The estimated data growth is 3% per year, whereas the storage capacity for backup and archive purposes can grow with at least 15% over 5 years without the need for hardware expansion. However, the storage capacity of the backup must be scalable and should provide the flexibility to add additional capacity (licenses or hardware).
Data must be stored and sent securely and according to the most recent encryption protocols. It should also support the iSCSI network protocol for connecting to storage. Further, the solution provided must contain a bandwidth of at least 1GB/s. In terms of information security, they had to meet the ISO 27001 guidelines.
The solution should be able to independently repair damaged data, even if this happened after the backup has already been written to the storage location.
The archive environment should be able to provide the flexibility to store data for as long this as preferred by the customer. This means that if the (maximum) retention period has been reached the solution should provide the flexibility, in case requested by the customer, to extend the archive retention period.
Both business owners and internal IT staff would much rather focus on innovation and developing new revenue-generating activities, like product development or the creation of new applications or services, than on mundane, or should I say ”run & maintain”, IT tasks. But as IT responsibilities increase, it becomes more and more difficult for employees to focus on new tasks.
Outsourcing IT responsibilities can relieve internal staff of day-to-day IT operations and help desk duties and therefore free more time to focus on the core business, without the distraction of technical troubleshooting. This way the IT department can focus more and more on supporting the business to achieve its strategic goals, which will result in being ahead of your competition.
The solution offered must facilitate backup to an external location with at least a daily interval (RPO). Files must be retrievable up to thirty days due to the requirements of the business. The restoration times apply for a maximum of 4 hours for the production environments and the most critical processes for continuation (RTO). All in all, this is about 30Tb. Based on the past, 2 restore activities per year were considered with 200GB in total over 4 years.
So, what exactly is the solution that was implemented?
Quistor chose a modern managed cloud-based backup solution that uses the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). The Oracle Cloud is a quality platform that guarantees more than just availability. Oracle offers end-to-end SLAs related to the performance, availability, and manageability of the services.
Quistor was convinced that the combination of OCI with Quistor Managed Services fits in with the objectives and technical requirements of this customer. Running the backup servers in a scalable cloud environment makes the solution future-proof and allows it to easily scale to the expected (3% data) growth and unexpected (data) growth of this customer, without the need for physical hardware.
In addition, the solution should provide one uniform backup procedure where the data are stored outside the headquarters. In case of emergencies, it makes it easy to back up from any entity to ensure business continuity. The below architectural visual shows their newly Oracle Cloud-based Backup Solution.
If you want to know more about the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Services we used for this architecture, we would like to suggest to download the full whitepaper here:
In the past decade, cloud providers have overwhelmed you with all the benefits you can obtain when moving workloads to the cloud. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are endless possibilities to create a backup solution. However, we strongly believe that the public cloud can offer you the most sustainable and most affordable backup possibility.
Today’s public cloud offerings have reached such a high level when it comes to performance, security measures, availability, flexibility, competing costs, and more that in whatever upcoming choice you must make as an IT department you should consider the cloud as your next step.
In this case, the customer chose a modern managed cloud-based backup solution that uses the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. As a result, they have an extremely secure, high-performance backup solution that is scalable, future proof, and customized to their requirements and objectives.
Before you go
Feel free to ask us any question, ask for more information or simply say hello in this contact form.