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Combining snapshots and backups for best practice data protection

StorageExpert

SW.jpgBy Simon Watkins, WW Product Marketing Manager, Backup, Recovery & Archive (BURA), HP Storage

 

When it comes to best practice data protection for your business-critical applications, no single snapshot or backup technology can provide the complete solution. Snapshots and backups have different yet complementary roles to play for availability, backup and disaster recovery.

 

When you’re looking for a comprehensive, tiered and converged data protection architecture that balances availability and protection, it should not be a question of either-or but more a case of where and how to best use snapshots and backup.  

 

A tiered approach

So what is the value of combining snapshots and backups for availability and backup in your organization?

 

A key benefit lies in the evolving data protection architectures for business‑critical applications. A recent research paper from TheInfoPro (a service of 451 Research) reported the following:

 

The use of traditional backup software alone as a primary method of data protection has been fading (from 62% in early 2013 to 44% in 2014). At the same time, the use of array-based snapshots and replication – in conjunction with backup software – has increased from 34% to 51% among midsize and large enterprises.

 

This trend is easy to understand when one considers the relative benefits and limitations of traditional backup and snapshots:

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The pros and cons of traditional backup

Traditional backup server processes provide reliable “off box” recovery and retention. But they can also impact application performance with data typically flowing through the application and backup server. Backup server infrastructures can also introduce escalating cost and complexity with the need to disruptively acquire and manage additional servers, software licenses, and networking equipment as application data grows.

 

The pros and cons of array-based snapshots and replication

Snapshots offer fast, non-disruptive point-in-time copies of data, enabling you to meet tight recovery point objectives (RPOs) and minimal recovery time objectives (RTOs). But snapshots alone cannot deliver comprehensive backup. They have retention limitations, corruption vulnerabilities and an “on-box” dependence on the underlying storage system. Simply put, your snapshots are at risk if the storage system fails.

 

Snapshots + backups – the best of both worlds

A more effective approach is to combine the near-instant, non-intrusive availability of snapshots with the reliable recovery and cost-effective retention of backups delivered in an application-aware, storage-integrated data protection solution.

 

The HP StoreOnce Recovery Manager Central (RMC) difference: application-managed data protection for HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage

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HP StoreOnce RMC software integrates HP 3PAR StoreServ primary storage with HP StoreOnce Backup systems to provide a converged availability and flat backup service for VMware environments that augments traditional backup approaches. Combining the performance of snapshots with the protection of backups, StoreOnce RMC for VMware enables fast, efficient, reliable and simple “one-click” protection for VMware virtual machine disks (VMDKs) and data stores.

StoreOnce RMC v 1.0 delivers key benefits

  • Rapid online recovery: Allows VMware administrators to create hundreds of non-disruptive, application consistent virtual machine (VM) snapshots and initiate rapid online recovery.
  • 17 x faster backup and 5 x faster restore of snapshot data with flat backup:* RMC’s Express Protect feature enables the flat backup of VM snapshot data from HP 3PAR to StoreOnce, independent of backup server software. Every multi-stream VM backup completes at the speed of an incremental, but is stored as a synthetic full backup, which makes VM recovery faster and more efficient.
  • Less cost and complexity with flat backup: The Express Protect flat backup feature streamlines and simplifies the backup architecture required for protecting and recovering VMs in VMware environments. All backups are deduplicated using award-winning StoreOnce technology, thus reducing backup storage requirements by up to 20x on average.
  • Application managed data protection: VMware administrators can monitor and manage snapshots, backup, and recovery directly and seamlessly from within HP OneView for VMware vCenter.
  • Reduce risk exposure: VM backups stored on HP StoreOnce are self-contained, fully independent volumes. These can be restored back to the original or a different HP 3PAR array in the event of a disaster or physical problems with the production storage environment. This level of data protection cannot be achieved with snapshots alone.

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The smarter path to data protection

So it’s clear that a comprehensive, holistic approach to data protection that leverages snapshots and backup can save you time, money and reduce risk.

 

And if you are looking for fast and affordable end-to-end protection for virtual machines on your HP 3PAR StoreServ array – directly from within VMware® vCenter – the combination of snapshots and backup with StoreOnce RMC could be the smartest decision your business makes.

 

Learn more

www.hp.com/go/rmc

HP StoreOnce Recovery Manager Central – Product Video

HP StoreOnce RMC Chalk Talk

HP StoreOnce RMC Technical White Paper

HP StoreOnce RMC Business White Paper

 

 

* HP internal testing, Nov. 2014

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