Stuart Scott is a Cloud Expert at CloudBerry Lab.
If you’re looking to build a backup solution that is scalable, cost-efficient and allows multiple disaster recovery scenarios, then switching to a hybrid cloud backup strategy is for you.
Hybrid solutions work in conjunction with your existing backup applications and policies. Local on-premise data can remain local if required and still have the flexibility of expanding onto cloud storage should you require additional capacity. Utilizing this cost-effective storage means you can store a full copy of all your backups on the cloud in the event of a site disaster.
Almost any size of business can take advantage of a hybrid backup solution, from the smallest of start-ups to huge conglomerates. How it’s implemented may differ between them, but both ends of the scale can achieve an efficient, secure, highly available and scalable solution. Consider an appropriate-sized solution for your business; this could be as simple as storing one data set on a local NAS drive with a resilient copy stored in the cloud, or as complex as implementing a VM appliance installed within your data center acting as a gateway between your private network and the cloud.
Where Should You Store Your Data?
Do you want all data stored on the cloud with frequently accessed data cached locally on-premise for fast access? If so, this significantly reduces the amount of additional storage required at your data center. If latency is of significant importance you might configure your hybrid solution to store all data locally and implement an asynchronous backup of that data to the cloud for DR. This offers low latency of your data but safeguards you from a site failure. Whichever solution is available, it’s a best practice to store a copy of all data to the cloud for DR.
The key point of hybrid solutions is that they allow you to store data both locally and in the cloud. You must understand your business demands and have awareness of the type of data you need to backup to ascertain where its primary storage location will be.
Determine how long your backups will take, and define the backup window during low network traffic for increased performance. By implementing bandwidth throttling on your network it would allow you to maximize the network throughput for backups (70 to 80 percent) during evening and weekend off peak hours, while only consuming minimal network throughput (10 to 20 percent) during peak office hours. By doing so, it allows you to perform backups multiple times a day ultimately reducing your RPO (Recovery Point Objective).
Storing your data on the cloud has many advantages, but when you need to retrieve large amounts consider how long it will take to get it back. Retrieval rates for the data via your ISP and from a cloud service itself needs to be factored in to ensure it aligns with any existing SLAs you have with customers regarding the restoration of data.
Lifecycle policies can be configured to move your data to storage services with the best data retrieval rate (maintaining your SLAs) while utilizing the most cost-effective storage solution. A policy may store the newest on AWS S3, then after a defined period, the lifecycle policy could automatically move that data to the AWS S3 Infrequent Access service. Now the data would still benefit from S3’s instant data retrieval but at a reduced cost. Finally, after another defied period the policy could move the data to the Glacier service for the highest level of cost savings at the sacrifice of the instant retrieval function, which would now be degraded to 3 to 5 hours. Understand the levels of storage services available and how they may affect your SLAs, and use tools such as lifecycle policies to maintain management.
Adopting hybrid connectivity is a fast, simple, reliable, secure and cost-effective way to store your data for backup and disaster recovery purposes. However, consideration into its implementation needs careful review and understanding for it to be successful.
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