StarWind Resource Library

StarWind Backup Appliance White Paper

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Published: November 8, 2016

Introduction

Companies that rely on IT infrastructure for their operations typically work by the principle “data=business”. In case mission-critical data is lost, the company will surely lose money and customers at best, or even go out of business at worst. That is why companies implement backup solutions – perform additional activities in order to have extra copies of their data. Whatever the issue was caused by: a virus, human factor, hardware failure or disaster, a reliable backup system will allow the user to recover all the lost data from the copies on backup storage.

Problem

Just utilizing snapshots and extra copies of data located side by side with the primary data on the same storage is better than nothing, but still is not a reliable backup solution. Keeping all the data in a single storage does not work: in case the primary storage fails, all the data is lost, including the backups supposed to be used for recovery. The reasons for such a fail may be numerous, ranging from human factor and hardware failure to disasters and ransomware, which encrypts all the data on the storage, including the snapshots or copies. Proper separate management of the primary and backup data both off-site and on-site is complex and expensive.

Storing backup data on the primary storage is unsafe –
it will be lost along with the primary data in case of the storage failure

Solution

It is imperative to have an independent, physically separated backup storage to be able to recover lost data in case the primary storage fails. While the main data rests on the primary infrastructure, the backup data is managed separately on the backup storage. Additionally, in case there is a remote location available, Disaster Recovery data may be sent to a DR platform there.

StarWind Backup Appliance fits both the roles – backup and DR. It connects to any primary infrastructure via industry-standard protocols: iSCSI, SMB3 and NFS. The appliance is inexpensive, because the platform is purpose-built for backup – with high capacity and just enough CPU power and RAM to process it. StarWind Backup Appliance features all the money-saving storage features, like deduplication, compression, and encryption. It can utilize public cloud services to create additional copies of data for Disaster Recovery purposes, which is great news for Small and Medium Businesses in terms of costs, because there is no need to maintain a remote location and DR infrastructure. Enterprises, on the other hand, would benefit from never having to delete backup data again, storing it on low-cost cloud storage, and “pay as they grow”. Also, the appliance can serve as a DR storage on a remote location for companies that maintain multiple offices around the world. Thus, StarWind Backup Appliance naturally follows the so-called “3-2-1 backup rule”, which states that one must have three copies of data in two formats and one on a remote storage. The appliance seamlessly scales with either additional nodes for more bandwidth or just commodity JBOD for capacity, meeting the demand even in case of explosive data growth.

A physically separate storage will keep backup data intact in case of a minor failure, while public cloud will help in case of disaster

Сonclusion

StarWind Backup Appliance fits the scenario of inexpensive specialized backup compatible with any primary infrastructure. It can serve as a local backup storage or a Disaster Recovery storage on a remote site, and supports money-saving storage features, like deduplication, compression, and encryption. Additionally, StarWind Backup Appliance can utilize public cloud services, like AWS S3 or Glacier and Azure Cool Blob Storage, for DR purposes. Thus, it allows the user to adhere to the beneficial “3-2-1 backup” rule without breaking the bank.