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DBA Cloud Backup and Cloud DR Checklist

DBA Cloud Checklist

Every CIO is looking to leverage the cloud to increase agility and reduce costs. DBAs have an excellent opportunity to contribute to their CIO’s vision. AWS, Azure, GCP, and IBM clouds deliver excellent infrastructure services. While considering any data management solution for cloud backup, cloud disaster recovery, and database cloning in any of these public clouds, consider the following DBA Cloud Backup and Cloud DR checklist of questions.

  1. CLOUD BACKUP: Can you replace recurring full backups with app consistent incremental forever backups?

In this day and age, when the database sizes keep growing at a staggering 30% per year, it doesn’t make any sense to perform recurring full backups. Look for a solution that can perform database consistent block-level incremental forever backups, for example, at 1 hr interval. Along with 15-minute log backup, this also helps lower your RPO.

  1. INSTANT RECOVERY: Can you replace long recoveries with instant recoveries?

Larger the database size, larger is the recovery time (RTO). Look for a solution that can instantly mount the backup image and perform instant recovery of even a 50+ or a 100+ TB sized database in just minutes. (place a URL to a case study)

  1. WIDE DB PLATFORM SUPPORT: Can you expand support from SQL Server database support to a wide variety of enterprise databases?

The chances are high that some business unit in your organization has Oracle, SQL Server, SAP HANA, Sybase, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Db2, Sybase, Epic CacheDb, MongoDB, etc.

Make sure you look for a solution that can support all the features mentioned here for all these enterprise databases.

  1. CLOUD DISASTER RECOVERY: Can you replace manual DR with 1-click DR orchestration to recover a multi-tier application?

Look for a solution that allows you to create a DR plan that includes a database, the app and web servers. You can thus automate DR with 1-click DR orchestration in any public cloud such as AWS, Azure, GCP, and IBM

  1. DATABASE CLONING: Can you replace physical database clones with instant cloning in minutes?

Physical copies lead to high storage costs and lots of time wasted between storage admins and DBAs. Look for a solution that can reuse the backups as a Gold Copy to provision dozens of database clones in just minutes, without consuming any extra storage.

Check out how Sentry DataSystems creates 5 clones of a 100+TB sized database in just minutes here.

  1. DB CONSISTENCY: Can you replace crash-consistent database snapshots in the cloud with application consistent incremental forever backups?

Databases running in AWS EC2, Azure VMNs, GCP VMs need database consistent backups. Cloud Storage snapshots are efficient but not database consistent. Look for a solution that can deliver efficient backups with incremental forever approach AND database consistency in all the clouds.

  1. LOW COSTS: Can you eliminate expensive storage consumption in the cloud with inexpensive cloud object storage?

Most DBAs resort to performing database dumps to disk and then take storage snapshots to cloud object storage. Such an approach increases costs, as explained in the blog, The real costs of AWS backups using EBS snapshots

Look for a solution that can store backups in the cloud object storage and deliver instant mount and recovery, DR, cloning straight out of the object storage. This reduces costs.

  1. DATA WAREHOUSE: Can you Protect, Recover, and Clone multi-TB OLAP data warehouse databases in minutes?

Multi-TB OLAP data warehouse databases are quite common. It’s a challenge to backup, recover, and clone on time for databases that are 50+TB or 100+TB. Look for a solution that can backup, recover, and clone in just minutes.

  1. CLOUD MIGRATION: Can you Mount & Migrate Multi-TB databases post recoveries?

Instant mount and recovery reduces RTO. But the ability to migrate the data from a mounted backup image to a different storage tier is essential in a real disaster scenario. Look for a solution that can deliver such (VMware storage v-motion) like capability in any public cloud.

  1. LICENSING FLEXIBILITY: Can you consume it as a product or a SaaS offering?

Look for a solution that can deliver all these capabilities in a product as well as a SaaS offering so you can have the flexibility to pick the right form factor.

  1. MULTI-CLOUD: Can you consume it in any public cloud?

Look for a solution that can deliver all these capabilities in multiple public clouds such as AWS, Azure, GCP, IBM, etc. It ensures you can use different clouds for different applications and have the peace of mind of no cloud vendor lock-in.

DBA Cloud Backup and Cloud DR Checklist

I hope this checklist guides you to pick the right data management solution for your mission-critical databases. Here is some additional reading.

  1. Critical capabilities for SAP HANA / ASE / MaxDB data management
  2. A checklist for every Oracle DBA
  3. A checklist for every SQL Server DBA
  4. SAP on Google cloud: Getting Both Price and Performance

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