CHALLENGES

When it comes to implementing data protection and disaster recovery strategies, it should never be a “one size fits all” approach.  While all data is important, the level of protection applied should be directly relative to the value back to the business. Some applications justify aggressive recovery point and recovery time objectives (RPO and RTO) because downtime can have a massive impact on operations and revenue. Other application data is  less critical and can utilize protection policies that are much more forgiving.

With legacy storage technology, data is typically categorized by application and data type, and then segmented into different protection domains, often using different technologies adding significant cost and complexity to the equation.  Unfortunately, this complexity may not surface until a recovery plan is executed in response to an outage. This is the absolute worst time to learn that your data protection technology is insufficient or too complex to effectively recover data.  Off-site disaster recovery and backup is another important aspect of any data protection strategy that often leads to difficult tradeoffs between recovery objectives and budgets because while the costs are high, the stakes are often much higher. Many users turn to cloud based backups and DR, but that offers yet another management interface to deal with when recovering data.   

What is needed is a storage solution that offers the complete spectrum of protection mechanisms from near-line copies to remote or cloud based backups under a common management framework.    

 

SOLUTION

Data protection in modern storage systems should cover the complete spectrum of data protection requirements whether recovery is required at the local site, remote DR site or in public cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).  This protection should be a policy that is applied to a specific volume or set of volumes that determines the recovery objective, whether the copy should be local, remote or cloud based.  

FormationOne is a software-defined storage platform that incorporates data protection as a policy of an application volume.  This is accomplished within a feature called TimeLine, which utilizes a transaction journal that provides continuous data protection (CDP), snapshots and clones with configurable retention policies at the local site. For remote site disaster recovery, TimeLine also integrates with Formation SafeGuard to provide remote async replication and snapshots into a remote DR site or Object repositories.  

SafeGuard delivers secure cloud replication that can be applied to multiple use cases including disaster recovery, backup, and archive. By providing a secure, hybrid cloud storage solution, SafeGuard supports AWS S3 for disaster recovery and AWS Glacier for data archiving.

This capability provides Formation customers with the ability to run a FormationOne domain within AWS by running EC2 instances and EBS storage infrastructure resources.  This provides a cloud DR solution that allows customers to spin up AWS resources on demand in a disaster recovery scenario.     

THE FORMATION ADVANTAGE

FormationOne works with SafeGuard to provides copy data management and async replication to a remote FormationOne domain or a remote object repository. 

Since SafeGuard copies a protected volume’s data and catalogs (metadata) from the primary domain to any target repository or domain the replica volume is always consistent.  SafeGuard policies can be set for each volume, and datasets are stored in the Formation open XDI format.

Formation SafeGuard operates in 2 distinct modes:

SafeGuard Cloud Data Management—copies the complete contents of a volume in a FormationOne domain and sends a snapshot to a AWS S3 or remote Object repository, then captures the changes in differentials

SafeGuard Cloud Domain Replication—asynchronously replicates volume changes between two FormationOne Cloud Domains in near real-time, maintaining volume consistency within the remote FormationOne domain.

 
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Download the PDF: Improving Data Protection

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Watch the white board video!

Ameer Abbas from Formation Data Systems Product Management team contrasts back up with a traditional VMware environment with Formation's software-defined hyper-scale storage platform.