Category Archives: Remote backup service

Asigra Cloud Backup Appliance Offers Distributed Enterprise Data Recovery

Asigra Inc. has announced volume shipping of the company’s Cloud Backup Connector Appliance. The Asigra Cloud Backup Connector Appliance leverages the Cisco ISR G2 router and UCS E-Series server blade and includes the latest version of Asigra Cloud Backup software. The appliance provides onsite backup data storage and the ability to replicate to external cloud service providers at the user’s discretion for both local and remote recovery.

For globally distributed mid-market and enterprise organizations with multiple branch offices, the Asigra Cloud Connector provides more efficient use of storage and networking resources. The appliance provides a new and innovative way to bring flexible end-to-end enterprise-class data recovery to organizations. The Cloud Backup Connector appliance ensures that branch-office users receive LAN-like performance from their cloud backup application and that data is highly available and handled in a secure manner. The improved linkage of the network with Asigra cloud-enabled services contributes to increased performance and enhanced end-user experience.

Our network had become increasingly more complex, storage was growing and our previous backup solution was struggling to keep pace,” said Simon Johnson, Finance Director at Opus Trust. By implementing the Cloud Connector Backup Appliance powered by Asigra, we simplified the infrastructure and improved the levels of data protection and recovery across all of our network and applications. We now have local backup to disk, automated offsite backup and a complete IT DR plan through the OnDemand Recovery service, implemented by Project Vision.”

Our switch to the Cloud Backup Connector Appliance helped the company to achieve several business benefits,” said David Van Eck, Head of IT at L.K. Bennett. “Through a centralized online monitoring portal made available by our service provider, Backup Technology Ltd., we receive guaranteed backup and recovery for all of our data systems as a professional and fully managed service. The backup forms the basis for our enterprise-wide data recovery solution, which is essential to L.K. Bennett.”

The Cloud Backup Connector Appliance features:

  • Asigra Cloud Backup v12.2 pre-installed for plug-and-play mass deployment and agentless protection of all computing environments
  • The ability to perform standalone local backup and/or connect to the service provider of choice for offsite recovery
  • End-to-end data protection of storage, servers, desktops, laptops and mobile devices (tablets and smartphones)
  • High-performance data recovery across physical, virtual and cloud operating environments
  • Autonomic healing to ensure data integrity/recoverability
  • Enterprise-class security for regulated industries such as healthcare, financial services and government with FIPS 140-2 certification
  • 2TB internal storage standard which scales to 10TB per appliance to store compressed, de-duplicated data for local recovery
  • Capability to leverage external cloud service providers for offsite data recovery
  • Connectivity: Three integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with 1 port capable of RJ-45 or SFP connectivity, one service module slot, three onboard digital signal processor slots and one internal service module for application services

Protecting and Preserving Our Digital Lives is a Task We Want to Have Already Done

I once read that a favorite writer of mine, when told by people he met at cocktail parties how much they “wanted to write,” would reply, “No, you want to have written.”

Protecting and preserving our digital lives is much the same — we want to have already taken care of it. We don’t actually want to go through the hassle of doing it.

An article by Rick Broida in PC World sums it up thus:

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who have lost critical data, and those who will. In other words, if you use technology long enough and neglect to back up your data, you’re guaranteed to have at least one extremely bad day.

The article goes on to outline “How to build a bulletproof cloud backup system without spending a dime“. There’s a lot to do, it all takes effort, but he’s right. Whether you take all his recommendations or some, it’s a good place to start thinking about the steps you (we) all need to take.

Here’s an idea: Come up with a plan and implement it in pieces until you get to the point where you know you are ready for the digital disaster that is out there waiting for us all.


Want 100 GB of Free Cloud Storage For Life?

Zoolz is promoting their cloud backup service with an offer to give the first million users 100 GB for free. For life. The catch? It uses AWS Glacier, Amazon’s cheaper alternative to S3. Glacier of course enforces a delay of 3 to 5 hours to retrieve files, and there are limits to monthly retrieval. But for the right purposes (like, “Store & Ignore”) it might be a real deal if you act soon enough. Their intro video explains:

The Online Data Backup Revolution

There is no doubt that in conjunction with online management and collaboration, online data backup and storage into the cloud has revolutionised the way organisations do business and in turn, these are reshaping the marketplace of business itself. This is part of the revolutionary change that cloud computing represents and is building a truly global market place where even small companies can trade throughout the world. A major benefit of this is that companies are no longer required to be confined to one physical office or location meaning employees can now be found scattered all over the world. In turn, this new “cloud marketplace” is brings increased opportunities for sales, as the global network enables connections with more and more companies and by extension, they are able to reach significantly more end users.

Until now all businesses have husbanded their data and controlled it as far as they can by keeping it exclusively on their own premises. The main change with the cloud is one of mentality; it’s now OK to have your data held and managed by someone else and the supporting economic justifications for doing so are now compelling.

To properly analyse this revolution and the drivers behind it we need to set this in the context of the way data has been backed up until now. Essentially backups are not a glamorous, high-profile task in any business and particularly in a small or medium-sized business, there is always something more pressing to do than to work on them. Consequently many businesses operate backup with processes that that are incomplete or in some other respect inadequate:

  • Critical data is not backed up or is backed up infrequently, putting recovery at risk.
  • Backup is a manual process based on tapes which are frequently over-written and seldom checked so consequently they may be impossible to read rendering the process pointless as restore is hopeless.
  • Backup processes rely on the expertise of one individual who may not be available if a recovery is needed.
  • Backups may be stored only locally, close to primary servers, putting the business at serious risk if that local site is compromised.
  • Backups may be taken off site but again this is a manual process reliant on human intervention.
  • Backups do not meet regulatory requirements or industry standards for data protection and retention

Most small and medium-sized business use some form of backup solution, however these solutions are typically time-consuming to operate, used inconsistently, or offer inadequate protection from disasters such as fires and floods. Lack of time, staff and expertise means many businesses have used a backup solution for years that is costly and/or out of date.

Here is where we see the true value of the online data backup revolution in delivering a quick and easy method of doing state of the art backup. Online backup aka “remote backup” delivers enterprise-class data protection to small and mid-sized businesses without the associated complexity and cost of management. Online backup runs as a service by sending backup data securely over the Internet to a highly available data center where it is held on highly available storage arrays which in turn are managed by data protection experts. High availability is a key element here; it specifically refers to redundancy built into the hardware and the data center such that any single part of the system can fail without losing either data or access to the data. So, every system will always have at least 2 power supplies, hard drives are held in arrays configured to allow for failure of individual hard drives and yet still deliver the data held on the array, data centers have redundant air conditioning systems, power feeds etc. In this way should your business suffer a disaster your data should be accessible at any time from any point in the world with internet access.

Like any cloud backup service, it should be self-provisioning with an administration console accessed on-demand through a Web browser. In this way the organisation eliminates the need to purchase hardware, manage complex installation, or manage software upgrades. The system adds new features seamlessly which are delivered automatically to all customers simultaneously. These services use a pay-as-you-go model based on storage usage with some optional cost features and the monthly or annual subscription fee includes 24×7 support. Most providers deliver an elastic service meaning customers may adjust usage up or down without penalty and costs are predictable.

The automated nature of online backup services delivers “always-on” protection with backups either triggered by file changes or run to a schedule, which means they eliminate the requirement for staff to perform manual backups or manage storage media. Once the initial backup has been performed, only block-level changes are sent over the Internet, which means bandwidth is used efficiently.

Online Backups run on all computers in your company – not just the file servers and even laptops not connected to the office network full-time can be backed up. Online backup software backs up all the proper files without needing to run several types of backup software to back up various file types. Online backups are properly versioned for point-in-time restores with multiple copies kept and automatically verified.

Using online backup services means files are encrypted prior to transmission, and are stored in encrypted form on the backup servers. In this way they are compliant with privacy and data security regulations. Backed up data are encrypted with a password known only to you which means nobody except you – not even the Backup Service Provider has access to your information which means nobody can steal your data. Reports are emailed after every backup and these can be used to audit business practices and to keep track of your backups. Should your backups encounter any kind of problems, you will receive an email describing the problem.

Restores can be achieved in minutes by the end user by choosing files from a list, or running a wizard. Restores can done from anywhere on the Internet using a web browser and operate 24/7/365 without the need for outside expertise or end user intervention. Restores can be done any time – weekends, holidays, and nights and so are quick and easy to test. Worries about running out of drive space, or replacing old drives disappear as the provider handles all that.