LTO Backup and Disaster Recovery

 

Backup and disaster recovery functions are concerned with storing copies of data assets that you can retrieve swiftly if the originals become unavailable. There are various ways to save and store copies of virtual machines, systems, desktops, applications, and files to protect your business against data loss and corruption.

Backups must always be current, so they need frequent updating. And copies should be quickly retrievable to keep downtime and lost productivity and revenue to a minimum.

Chances are, you’re using an on- or off-premises robotic Linear Tape-Open (LTO) library to achieve some of these data protection goals. If so, is there any reason to consider cloud storage? After all, you’ve already made the investment, and the software and processes are already well established.
 
Supplemental Cloud Storage Uses
If that’s the case, it might make sense to keep your existing LTO infrastructure and simply extend it to the cloud for use going forward. Or you might tap into the cloud for new use cases or for backing up select application servers, databases, or desktops.

And if your backups currently are in a local tape library (your second copy), you might create a third copy in the cloud as an additional safety net in case a natural or other disaster should wipe out resources at your local (primary) site.

 

Incentive: Simplicity and Economics
Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage offers simplicity and compelling economics that are hard to ignore. Use it to bridge your LTO infrastructure to the future or simply to supplement your tape installation.

With Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage, data backup and recovery become faster and more flexible than ever–at a time the majority of organizations reports that keeping their apps and data available is a struggle.

The Struggle (and Cost) of Keeping Apps and Data Available

According to research conducted in 2017 by Enterprise Strategy Group, most organizations are having trouble keeping data available and meeting their recovery goals. ESG reports that three out of four companies acknowledge having a protection gap–a situation where an organization’s tolerance for lost data is exceeded by IT’s inability to protect that data frequently enough. And one in four companies suffer at least one unplanned outage per year, in which access to their backup data becomes necessary.

This state of affairs costs enterprise nearly $22 million annually on average, according to ESG. The firm reports, for example, that 82% of organizations’ virtualization deployments and strategies have been affected by their data protection solutions. And two thirds (66%) of organizations report that their digital transformation initiatives are being hindered by unplanned downtime or insufficient application availability.

Backing up data to an offsite location using LTO is generally considered the least expensive storage method. However, hot cloud storage economics have now taken the lead—particularly when you factor in LTO real estate costs (both offsite storage and datacenter footprints), power expenses, and the cost of downtime while you physically retrieve the tapes, find the right data, and make it live to users.

Cloud storage economics have grown competitive with LTO, making some of tape’s inefficiencies harder to justify as you build your storage strategy going forward. Enterprise Strategy Group estimates the costs of LTO at $.02 per gigabyte per month over 10 years, while Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage is a flat $.0049 per gigabyte per month. With tape, your business loses money during the time it’s offline while you physically obtain your backups. And you incur significant labor costs loading and unloading tape and moving media in and out of libraries and in and out of storage facilities.

Cloud Storage 2.0 economics mean it’s time to start evaluating cloud storage—and because not all cloud storage solutions are the same, Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage is the one to consider.

What’s Cloud Storage 2.0?

After 50 years of on-premises investment in data storage, businesses outgrew their ability to economically store all of their data on their own. That situation gave rise to Cloud Storage 1.0 solutions.

Cloud Storage 1.0 represents the first wave of what are now legacy enterprise cloud vendors. Their solutions began the migration from on-premises to cloud implementations more than a decade ago, beginning with storage, compute, and network capabilities. While revolutionary at the time, Cloud 1.0 capabilities have not kept pace with the needs of the market.

The data volumes kept in Cloud Storage 1.0 solutions have grown tremendously (nearly doubling year over year) and have proven that cloud storage can expand more readily than on-premises solutions. However, the price and performance of Cloud Storage 1.0 solutions have not adapted in step with the changing environment and dynamic needs of innovative new technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and full-motion video.

Simply put, Cloud Storage 1.0 is both too expensive and too slow for the growth needs of most enterprises and their available budgets. And in many ways, it’s no less expensive than owning and operating your own datacenter, which may explain why many certain businesses have not embraced the Cloud First strategy: the risk and cost of migrating entirely to the cloud using Cloud 1.0 technologies vastly outweigh the benefits.

Cloud Storage 2.0 solutions radically reduce pricing while simultaneously taking advantage of technology innovations that did not exist a decade ago. The result: much higher performance and more sophisticated capabilities.

As you consider the potential value of storing more data affordably and storing it online where it’s immediately accessible, imagine what’s possible with an effectively unlimited, high-performance–yet much less expensive– Cloud Storage 2.0 solution like Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage.

Unlike tape’s linear storage method that makes finding the right data difficult and slow, disk-based cloud storage allows you to quickly call up your data as though you were accessing it from your local computer. With Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage, your data is kept geographically remote yet it’s available instantly because it’s already online and accessible over a network.

You get the best of both worlds: geographic redundancy but with instant data availability and the ability to cut back on staff, who no longer have to transport and maintain tapes.

But you don’t get all these benefits with every cloud storage provider.

Most cost analyses comparing LTO and cloud storage use Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the yardstick. Turning up Amazon S3 for the privilege of ensuring fast access to lost data could triple your storage costs, according to Enterprise Strategy Group. An option like Amazon Glacier, while more affordable than the fully loaded costs of tape, is “cold” storage, so it takes precious time to retrieve your data. And with Glacier, you incur migration costs that could outweigh the cloud’s financial benefits, according to ESG.

In addition, other cloud storage solutions like Amazon charge you egress fees when you access your data. Those fees are difficult to predict in advance, and they often increase your monthly bill by 20% to 50% or more.

At Wasabi, we don’t believe you should have to pay to access your own data, which you’re already paying to store. We never charge an egress fee—you pay just a simple, flat $.0049 per gigabyte per month. That’s substantially lower than the $.02 per GB per month that ESG estimates the average cost of LTO tape to be.

Backup
Refers to storing copies of data associated with a particular user, user group, server, file, or application to a secondary location for preservation in case of equipment failure or a disaster. Backing up data is an essential element of a successful DR plan. The backup process can vary in its degree of formality. For example, it might or might not offer specific recovery-time service-level agreements (SLAs) for X number of seconds or minutes. Some organizations even approach data backup with the assumption that bad things happen rarely enough that day-old copies are good enough.

 

Disaster recovery (DR)
Combines business processes and IT infrastructure to protect an organization’s data against the effects of negative events, such as downtime caused by a natural disaster or cyber-attack. DR is an important aspect of an organization’s business continuity plan. Recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) are two important DR measurements. RPO designates how often data backups must occur; the RTO designates the maximum amount of downtime (with data unavailable) that an organization can tolerate. DR entails more formal processes for replicating data to a secondary location and recovering an entire system or site. Now that Cloud Storage 2.0 is here, it no longer makes sense to save data to tape and move the tape to a salt mine, where it’s difficult and time-consuming to retrieve. Not when you can just push a button to back it up to the Wasabi cloud, where it’s available online 24×7.

As businesses continue to extend their on-premises IT to reach multiple clouds, mobile networks, and far-flung end devices, the distinction between backup and DR is shrinking. And with the advent of hot cloud storage, businesses have an inexpensive, easily accessible tool to aid in the backups that contribute to their overall DR and business continuity plans. It’s a simple matter to back up files frequently to a secondary location (improving RPO) where they are immediately accessible should disaster strike (improving RTO).

If you already have existing investments in LTO infrastructure, consider an incremental approach to expanding your backup infrastructure into the cloud.

You might decide to turn to the cloud for all new applications, for example. Or your organization might flag certain types of application data that you automatically store in the cloud. You’ll get an inexpensive third copy of data that’s instantly accessible in cases when local data is unavailable and retrieval from tape backup is just too slow.

As you consider your options for transitioning to cloud backup and away from tape, there are financial and risk issues to consider. To learn more about total cost of ownership (TCO) of your overall backup solution, read our LTO TCO whitepaper.

If you are concerned about risk and aren’t yet ready to do all of your backup in the cloud, choose the cloud as a second- or third-copy strategy. With this option, you might:

  • Test the cloud as a viable replacement for your LTO solution. You can use the cloud to store a third copy of data to provide additional off-site safety and to test for RTO/RPO performance characteristics.
  • Use cloud backup for a subset of applications, while maintaining your existing LTO strategy for certain types of backup—such as desktops only or servers only.

How does data reliability compare in the Wasabi cloud with my
on-premises solutions?

Wasabi guarantees availability (access to data) 24x7x365. We offer 11 9s (99.999999999%) durability, or the ability protect data against disk failures, bit rot, degradation, or other corruption. To put that into perspective, if you stored one million 1 GB objects on Wasabi, you could expect to lose one object every 659,000 years.

 

What are the retrieval times I can expect with Wasabi hot cloud storage?
Data can be retrieved in milliseconds.

 

How does hot cloud storage TCO compare with LTO TCO?
Hot cloud storage costs up to 74% less than LTO-based storage, according to Enterprise Strategy Group.

 

What are some of the costs I avoid when using hot cloud storage instead of LTO?
There are a number of costs you avoid when using the cloud:

  • No up-front capital investments.
  • No costs associated with media and system obsolescence and data migration.
  • No administrative costs associated with scaling, repairing, and configuring tape systems.
  • No administrative costs associated with retrieving offline media for restores or populating new media into libraries.
  • No additional support contract costs.
  • No additional durability and availability cost (it’s all just a part of the service).
  • Benefit from general pricing reductions over time as the cloud provider passes along efficiency savings (the “commodity curve”).

1. Create local backups.
It pays to have a local copy of your data that’s quick to restore so you can minimize downtime and revenue losses. Your LAN connection to local data will usually be faster than your WAN connection to a remote data center or your cloud data—provided, of course, that the LAN and the backups connected to it are still functional.

 

2. Maintain offsite (remote) backups
To protect data against a disaster that damages your local site or data center resources, keep second and/or third copies of backups in a geographically diverse location, where they can be accessed manually or through the cloud. Using multiple regions for cloud storage is a common use case, particularly for DR purposes.

 

3. Create and stick to a regular backup schedule.
Backing up is a continuous and ongoing process. Along with corporate business continuity and disaster recovery teams, choose how many days’ worth of data to store before you replace it or how many “generations” of data at various points in time to keep. The frequency of backups represents the RPO of your disaster recovery plan. Whatever the schedule and how many generations worth of data you decide to keep, make sure to create a plan with a clear and organized schedule and stick to it. With a cloud backup strategy, it is much easier to completely automate the schedule, as running out of available storage space is impossible unless you have imposed quotas.

 

4. Regularly test your backups and train staff.
Test backups at predetermined intervals to make sure they are working properly and train your IT staff on how to access and restore data backups as quickly as possible.

 

5. Labeling and organizing of cloud backups happen automatically.
A significant benefit of using cloud storage for backups is the elimination of the need to manually barcode or otherwise identify tape, manage physical storage onsite or offsite, or conduct other operational and maintenance tasks on physical media.

Hybrid Cloud Backup.
Begin backing up certain LTO data to Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage for 24×7 availability, 11 9s durability, and data immutability.

 

Tape Replacement.
Create virtual tape libraries and forget about having to manually organize and restore physical tapes, maintain mechanical tape drives, deal with tape-generation incompatibilities, and shoulder error-prone processes.

 

Database Backup.
Use built-in, automated backup capabilities to protect your data and applications.

 

Backup for Compliance.
With Wasabi, there’s no need to transfer backups to lower-cost tiers for less frequent access. Wasabi Hot Cloud storage uses one simple, flat-rate pricing tier that keeps all your data immediately accessible while costing less than some cold storage options.

Benefits of Backing up to the Wasabi Cloud

Extremely Low Cost

Extremely Low Cost

No Complex Pricing Tiers

No Complex Pricing Tiers

No Egress Costs

No Egress Costs

Data Durability

Data Durability

Data Immutability

Data Immutability

Flexibility and Scalability

Flexibility and Scalability

Fast Access to your Data

Fast Access to your Data

Security and Compliance

Security and Compliance

U.S. Municipality Case Study

A major U.S. municipality uses Wasabi hot cloud storage and Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery to protect its critical applications and data. The tightly integrated solution helps the city control expenses, simplify operations and reduce risks. The municipality replaced Amazon Glacier storage with Wasabi hot cloud storage to accelerate restoration efforts, avoid added fees and contain overall storage costs.

Read More

LTO Tape to Wasabi Cloud Connectivity:
How Do You Get There from Here?

Use your existing Internet connection.

Use your existing Internet connection.

Wasabi has multiple redundant and secure 10 Gbps Internet connections into all of our data centers. All data uploads and downloads over the Internet are secured via https to provide data transport security protection.

Use the Wasabi Ball Transfer Appliance.

Use the Wasabi Ball Transfer Appliance.

You’ll be able to move large datasets in bulk to Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage quickly, conveniently, and cost-effectively, even if you lack the network connection speeds to transfer large amounts of data over the Internet. Learn More Wasabi Feature

Connect privately to Wasabi data centers.

Connect privately to Wasabi data centers.

You can use our Wasabi Direct Connect or AWS Direct Connect termination for high-speed, private secure connectivity from your on-premises data center or colocation site directly to Wasabi. Learn More Wasabi Feature

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What if you could store ALL of your data in the cloud affordably?

NOW YOU CAN. Wasabi is here to guide you through your migration to the enterprise cloud and to work with you to determine which cloud storage strategy is right for your organization.

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