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Are your application owners satisfied with data protection? Think again!


Srik copy.jpgBy Srikanth Venkataseshu, Senior Marketing Manager, Backup, Recovery and Archive Solutions, HP Storage


The world has changed! The exponential growth of data and the transformation of the data center toward a fluid, virtualized infrastructure has dramatically impacted the function of IT. At the same time, we all expect instant, uninterrupted access to data and applications. Can you imagine how lost we would be if our mail server our Twitter went down for a few hours?


The high cost of downtime

A recent 30-minute outage at resulted in a loss of $2m in potential revenue or $66240/minute*. Google reported an impact of $500K** when it had 1-to-5 min outage. And ESG reports that over 80% of all applications in an enterprise have a downtime profile of 15 minute or less***, which translates to aggressive SLAs and RPO/RTO requirements. That’s why data protection strategies must reflect the assumption that your organization’s tolerance for downtime is non-existent. The focus should be not just recovering data but restoring business critical applications rapidly. When traditional backup architecture and the processes gets in the way of delivering optimal data protection for applications, it causes friction between application owners and backup administrators.


Challenges with application data protection

Organizations typically have resilient high availability architecture for business and mission-critical applications. But that doesn’t mean data backup is unnecessary.


Traditionally, backup admin setups a schedule and manages backup and recovery of application data on behalf of application owner. As an application owner, you just trust that backup admin has safely backed up all the relevant application data that is recoverable. However, when the data is unrecoverable due to unreliable backup or if the recovery takes longer than expected, it may force application teams to create their own BYOB (bring your own backup and recovery) strategy for applications to provide direct control and visibility into backups. This creates a tug-of-war between application owners and backup admins over control of application backup. Not a good situation!


Tug3J.jpgIt's a constant tug of war. How do you (re)establish the trust between application owners and backup teams using a solution that delivers both visibility and control over backup and recovery and is also aligned with business data protection strategy?



Application-integrated data protection

A fundamental shift in IT drives an increased need for data protection to be delivered as a service for application owners. What this means is that an application owner must have direct control over his/her application data protection while providing the necessary visibility to backup admin. Today’s database administrators generally use local disk or NAS share (CIFS or NFS) as a target device for storing database dumps as backups. The database dumps created using native application commands are then optionally copied over to a secondary location as a DR copy. Backup admin has no visibility into the process here. Now the integration of HP StoreOnce Backup with MS SQL Server and Oracle RMAN comes into play.


HP StoreOnce plug-in for Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle RMAN

HP StoreOnce Backup is a disk-based deduplication and backup target. HP StoreOnce Catalyst is a backup and recovery optimized device type unique to the StoreOnce Backup appliances which uses a more efficient protocol than CIFS or NFS and offers significant advantage of controlling where the backup data deduplication processing takes place to optimize the use of available server resources and network bandwidth.


HP StoreOnce is integrated with applications such as Oracle and MS SQL to provide direct control over backup and recovery operations from those applications. HP StoreOnce plug-in for Oracle RMAN integrates with RMAN Media Management Layer (MML) APIs and StoreOnce plug-in for MS SQL Server integrates with VDI (Virtual Device Interface) for DBA controlled backup and recovery operations. This enables DBAs to use native tools to backup application data to StoreOnce and puts them in the comfort zone and the environment they are used to. The big difference is that DBA controls backup and stores them on a backup target managed by backup admin. Now everyone has visibility!

Image1J.jpg                                            Optimizing Oracle backup with HP StoreOnce


The command the DBA specifies to start a backup to a Catalyst store is very similar to the T-SQL command the DBA would use to run a backup from SQL Management Studio (or SQLCMD) to a CIFS share. Here’s an example to illustrate the point:


StoreOnce benefits go beyond simplicity

Count on:

  • Reduced storage costs with intelligent deduplicationHP StoreOnce plug-in for Oracle RMAN and MS SQL Server has intelligent data stream analysis that results in higher deduplication ratios and storage savings.
  • DBA controlled backups with source side deduplication—Database backup to a Catalyst store is controlled by the DBA. No data protection software is required, and when configured for source side data deduplication, up to 98% less network bandwidth is required
  • Increased backup speed and restore—The plug-in is intelligent is automatically selects optimal number of output streams or backup channels to boost throughput performance with little to no impact on data deduplication ratios
  • Backup replication and mirroring—For added protection, you can write up to four geographically separated copies of database backups. StoreOnce Catalyst deduplication enables the use of cost effective low-bandwidth links to write backup copies to multiple StoreOnce devices simultaneously.

The plug-in is available free of charge and downloadable here.


Hey VM admins--we haven’t forgotten about you!

Snapshots are critical to data protection strategy and should be your first line of defense. In December, we introduced HP StoreOnce Recovery Manager Central (RMC) v1.0 to allow VMware administrators to monitor, create and manage virtual machine (VM) snapshots on HP 3PAR StoreServ from within VMware vCenter. Simply select the VM, right click and create a snapshot and/or backup to StoreOnce. It’s that Simple! Once snapshots are created on 3PAR, the snapshots are deduplicated and stored very efficiently on StoreOnce backup device. The recovery of VM is a breeze. You can restore individual VMs or data stores from StoreOnce to either original 3PAR volume or a snapshot of 3PAR volume or to another 3PAR array. Read this blog on StoreOnce RMC for more details. You can also deploy HP StoreOnce VSA from HP One View from vCenter directly.


There you have it: complete visibility and control of data protection for VMs and applications at the fingertips of application owners.


Learn more

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*** ESG Research Report, Trends for Protecting Highly Virtualized and Private Cloud Environments,, July 2013

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