This is the second of four posts where we take a close look into the elements that have put DRaaS solutions at the top of most businesses’ lists for data protection.
Replication: Distributed Backups Maximize Data Protection
Keeping it simple, data replication is the process of updating copies of your data in multiple places at the same time. Replication serves a single purpose: it makes sure your data is available to your users when they need it.
Data replication synchronizes your data source—say your primary storage—with your backup target databases, so when changes are made to your source data, it is quickly updated in your backups. Your target database could include the same data as your source database—full-database replication—or a subset of your source database.
For backup and disaster recovery it makes sense to make full-database replications. At the same time, you can also reduce your source database workloads for analysis and reporting functions by also replicating subsets of your source data, say by business department or country, to your backup targets.
Replication in the Real World
When your data is replicated from your source database to your backup targets—remotely or in the cloud—you eliminate the potential consequences of a single point of failure. And you can be sure your data is always accessible should your primary data or any one or more of your backups be unavailable, because the cloud is the ultimate backstop for protecting your backed-up data.
Advantages of a Considered Replication System
When properly implemented, your chosen DRaaS solution, like StorageCraft Cloud Services, can help you immeasurably. Benefits include load reduction because replicated data can be spread over several servers, eliminating the likelihood that any one server will be overburdened with user queries for data. You’ll also realize increased efficiency for the same reasons, delivering better performance to fewer users. Finally, you’ll help ensure high-availability because—with multiple servers holding the same data—if one server goes down, the entire system can still deliver acceptable performance.
Most disadvantages related to database replication are the result of poor governance practices. These include data loss due to incorrect data or iterations, or updates of a database are copied with important data deleted or unaccounted for. Other issues include data inconsistencies, where incorrect or out-of-date replicas can cause different sources to be out of sync with each other. That can lead to wasted data warehousing costs that are spent needlessly analyzing and storing irrelevant data. Finally, running multiple servers brings inherent maintenance and energy costs.
Ultimately, what’s required is a DRaaS solution that delivers effective replication, ensuring your data is always available when you need it.
Image Management: Managing and Maintaining Your Backup Images
As you continue to add more backups over time, you’ll need to manage these accumulated images and the storage space they consume. StorageCraft ImageManager, a component of StorageCraft ShadowProtect and Cloud Services, is one example that provides this functionality. With a managed-folder structure, ImageManager lets you spend less time configuring settings on backups. But that’s just the start. It also provides image verification, so you can be confident that your backup image files are ready and available for fast, reliable recovery, and advanced image verification that delivers regular visual confirmation that your backups are working properly.
To reduce restoration time, risk of backup file corruption, and reduce storage space required, ImageManager automatically consolidates continuous incremental backup image files. And you can balance storage space and file recovery by setting policies that suit your needs, and easily watch over backup jobs in the user interface, with alerts sent when any issues arise.
To maintain strong system-wide performance, ImageManager lets you manage how it uses system resources to enable throttling and concurrent processing. And backups are replicated onto your backup targets—local, on-network, and cloud—so you’re always prepared for disaster. And ImageManager even lets you pre-stage the recovery of a server, before disaster strikes, to reduce downtime.
In our next post we’ll dive into failover and how it ensures business continuity. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about StorageCraft Cloud Services DRaaS solution, talk to a StorageCraft engineer.