Augmenting Backup and Recovery with RecoverPoint LocalPosted on June 20, 2014 by TheStorageChap in Data Protection, RecoverPoint
Today I want to talk about augmenting backup and recovery with RecoverPoint Local Continuous Data Protection. As a smart backup and/or storage administrator you have probably already implemented high performance, centralised backup and recovery software and integrated it with purpose built backup appliances that leverage data de-duplication to reduce the amount of disk capacity required to keep your backups online whilst removing the need for management intensive tape media. All of this probably had justifiable cost savings, in many cases simply from being able to remove tape from the environment, reduce the amount of media induced errors during the backup routine and improve the time it takes to backup.
But in many cases the fundamental result to the business in terms of the level of service now offered is no different: They can still only recover data to the time of the previous backup, which is still only being done every 24 hours. The business doesn’t care about how long it takes to backup, the only time they care about backup is when they need to recover data and at the point two things matter, how quickly can you recover and to what point-in-time. A backup or storage administrator who has done much of what was defined in the previous paragraph will no doubt have a lot more confidence in their ability to recover data should it become necessary and they can no doubt undertake the recovery faster than they had been able to do with tape. But the business always expected you to be able to recover their data.
So how do you really improve upon the level of service offered to the business for backup and recovery services. One approach is to implement a Continuous Data Protection technology like RecoverPoint Local to provide the ability to recover data to any point in time during the 24 hour window between the regular backup schedule. RecoverPoint Local can be implemented on a LUN by LUN basis and soon on a Virtual Machine by Virtual Machine basis (http://virtualgeek.typepad.com/virtual_geek/2014/06/summer-gift-part-1-project-mercury-beta-open.html), meaning that you can deploy this additional level of service for the complete infrastructure, or just those applications deemed mission critical by the business.
RecoverPoint Local protects data by firstly maintaining a full synchronous copy of the data and then secondly also Journaling all writes over a defined time period (for example 24 hours) to a separate storage area. Augmenting Backup and Recovery with RecoverPoint Local provides two capabilities.
- In the event of total data loss due to, for example, underlying storage failure, the application can be switched to the full copy within a couple of minutes.
- In the event of data loss/erasure or data corruption it is possible to rewind the data to a point in time before that event happened, much like rewinding a TV program with Sky+ or TIVO; again something that can literally be done in seconds.
The result to the business is a faster Recovery Time and a very granular Recovery Point, which means they lose less data and can get back to business quicker, reducing the impact to the business.
There is also an added benefit of augmenting Backup and Recovery with RecoverPoint Local for the Backup Administrator. Consider the scenario of a federated business application such as an SAP Landscape or Document Management Platform; these types of applications normally span multiple servers and applications. In a traditional backup environment, the first server is placed in hot backup mode and backed up; whilst this occurs the other servers continue to operate as normal. Once the first server is backed up it is released back to normal operation and the next server is put in hot-backup mode and backed up and so it continues. What is actually backed up is a completely inconsistent copy of the business application as each server is at a different point in time.
RecoverPoint includes a Consistency Group technology that enables multiple servers and the associated LUNs, which can span multiple storage arrays, to be recovered to a consistent point in time. The data within these Consistency Groups can also be mounted at a point in time, in a read/write mode, even whilst the application is still running normally.
What all of this means for the Backup Administrator is that they can mount all of the data associated with a federated business application to an application consistent point time and use this copy of the data as the source for the backup job. A consistent copy of the federated application is then backed up to the backup media, with no impact to the application’s performance as backup was offloaded to the copy of the data maintained by RecoverPoint. And by the way all of this can be automated using the pre and post backup scripts.