2 Must Haves For Cloud Based Backup Solutions

Cloud Based Backup Solutions

Remember the dreadful feelings of high anxiety and inertia when you had to move to a new house? It’s no doubt painful and something you would only want to do a few times in your life. However, it also gives most people an opportunity to clean up the garage, donate or throw unwanted stuff away and start fresh in the new house.

Most organizations looking to reduce data center footprint and leverage cloud for backups and recoveries have a similar feel. It gives them an opportunity to evaluate new vendors who can deliver great SLAs such as low RTO, low RPO and multi-year retention at lowest possible costs in the cloud. However, better SLAs at lower costs doesn’t happen by accident. It takes careful planning and a rethinking of how you protect your data. Bolting a 20-year-old backup architecture to the cloud will not provide the benefits you are trying to achieve.

Many businesses are seeing solutions to backing their data up to the cloud. Here are two extremely important points to consider when investigating cloud based backup solutions:

  1. Does it deliver low RPO?

90% of enterprises have VMware on-premises. VMware offers Change Block Tracking (CBT) APIs that every backup vendor uses to deliver an efficient incremental forever backup. Efficient use of CBT means that recurring full backups are no longer needed. This architecture has led to up to a 20x reduction in the backup window, storage IO, and impact on production applications.

Unfortunately, none of the cloud platforms provide CBT APIs. Cloud platforms like AWS offer EBS snapshots, but there is no way for backup vendors to query & protect just the changed blocks.

As an example, consider a 10TB environment with 3%, (i.e, 300GB) change data per day. Even though just 300GB changed, since there is no CBT API, traditional backup vendors have to mount, ingest and deduplicate the entire 10TB from the snapshot every day. Deduplicating large amounts of data every day increase the CPU, Memory and SSD costs in the cloud. And most importantly, this architecture can’t deliver a low 1 hour RPO, which is essential for mission-critical applications.

So look for a backup solution that can provide application consistent, cloud CBT based incremental forever backup solution in the cloud. This will help you achieve low RPO and reduce the impact on your cloud VMs.

2. Does it deliver low RTO?

Most on-premises backup vendors can deliver instant recovery for VMware backups because VMware allows you to present backups to an ESX datastore. The backup vendor can then orchestrate with VMware vCenter and spin up the VM. However, a cloud vendor doesn’t allow access to the hypervisor to mount a backup.

Thus you need a solution that can:

  • Capture the entire cloud VM, including system state, during backup
  • Recover to a new cloud VM by using the system state
  • Recover the application, even with multi TB volumes, instantly by mounting from backups, instead of restoring the entire data which bloats the RTO

Cloud delivers fantastic speed and a flexible cost model. If you are already using cloud or are evaluating the cloud, it is an excellent opportunity to think differently and evaluate backup and DR vendors who have built their solutions from the ground up for the cloud.

If you are seeking more points to consider, download our full 9 point cloud based backup solution checklist that covers the landscape of what to look for in a solution.

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