The question is no longer if, but when you'll move your backup-and-recovery storage to the cloud.
As a genius IT pro, you know you can't afford to ignore cloud as a solution for your backup-and-recovery woes: exponential data growth, runaway costs, legacy systems that can't keep pace. Public or private clouds offer near-infinite scalability, deliver dramatic cost reductions and promise the unparalleled efficiency you need to compete in today's 24/7/365 marketplace.
Moreover, an ESG study found that backup and archive rank first among workloads enterprises are moving to the cloud.
Okay, fine. But as a prudent IT strategist, you demand airtight security and complete control over your data as well. Good thinking.
Hybrid Cloud Strategies Are the Future
Enterprises, large and small, are searching for the right blend of availability, security, and efficiency. The answer lies in achieving the perfect balance of on-premises, private cloud, and public services to match IT and business requirements.
To realize the full benefits of a hybrid cloud strategy for backup and recovery operations, you need to manage the dynamic nature of the environment— seamlessly connecting public and private clouds—so you can move your data where and when you want with complete freedom.
This begs the question of how to integrate these cloud resources into your existing environment. It's a daunting task. And, it's been a roadblock for companies seeking a simple, seamless, and secure entry point to cloud—until now.
Enter the Game Changer: NetApp AltaVault
NetApp® AltaVault® (formerly SteelStore) cloud-integrated storage is a genuine game changer. It's an enterprise-class appliance that lets you leverage public and private clouds with security and efficiency as part of your backup and recovery strategy.
AltaVault integrates seamlessly with your existing backup software. It compresses, deduplicates, encrypts, and streams data to the cloud provider you choose. AltaVault intelligently caches recent backups locally while vaulting older versions to the cloud, allowing for rapid restores with off-site protection. This results in a cloud-economics–driven backup-and-recovery strategy with faster recovery, reduced data loss, ironclad security, and minimal management overhead.
AltaVault delivers both enterprise-class data protection and up to 90% less cost than on-premises solutions. The solution is part of a rich NetApp data-protection portfolio that also includes SnapProtect®, SnapMIrror®, SnapVault®, NetApp Private Storage, Cloud ONTAP®, StorageGRID® Webscale, and MetroCluster®. Unmatched in the industry, this portfolio reinforces the data fabric and delivers value no one else can provide.
Figure 1) NetApp AltaVault Cloud-integrated Storage Appliance.
Source: NetApp, 2015
The NetApp AltaVault Cloud-Integrated Storage Appliance
Four Ways Your Peers Are Putting AltaVault to Work
How is AltaVault helping companies revolutionize their backup operations? Here are four ways your peers are improving their backups with AltaVault:
- Killing Complexity. In a world of increasingly complicated backup and recovery solutions, financial services firm Spot Trading was pleased to find its AltaVault implementation extremely straightforward—after pointing their backup software at the appliance, "it just worked."
- Boosting Efficiency. Australian homebuilder Metricon struggled with its tape backup infrastructure and rapid data growth before it deployed AltaVault. Now the company has reclaimed 80% of the time employees formerly spent on backups—and saved significant funds in the process.
- Staying Flexible. Insurance broker Riggs, Counselman, Michaels & Downes feels good about using AltaVault as its first foray into public cloud because it isn't locked in to any one approach to cloud—public or private. The company knows any time it wants to make a change, it can.
- Ensuring Security. Engineering firm Wright Pierce understands that if you do your homework right, it can mean better security in the cloud. After doing its homework, the firm selected AltaVault to securely store backup data in the cloud.
Three Flavors of AltaVault
AltaVault lets you tap into cloud economics while preserving your investments in existing backup infrastructure, and meeting your backup and recovery service-level agreements. It's available in three form factors: physical, virtual, and cloud-based.
1. AltaVault Physical Appliances
AltaVault physical appliances are the industry's most scalable cloud-integrated storage appliances, with capacities ranging from 32TB up to 384TB of usable local cache. Companies deploy AltaVault physical appliances in the data center to protect large volumes of data. These datasets typically require the highest available levels of performance and scalability.
AltaVault physical appliances are built on a scalable, efficient hardware platform that's optimized to reduce data footprints and rapidly stream data to the cloud.
2. AltaVault Virtual Appliances for Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere
AltaVault virtual appliances are an ideal solution for medium-sized businesses that want to get started with cloud backup. They're also perfect for enterprises that want to safeguard branch offices and remote offices with the same level of protection they employ in the data center.
AltaVault virtual appliances deliver the flexibility of deploying on heterogeneous hardware while providing all of the features and functionality of hardware-based appliances. AltaVault virtual appliances can be deployed onto VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors—so you can choose the hardware that works best for you.
3. AltaVault Cloud-based Appliances for AWS and Microsoft Azure
For organizations without a secondary disaster recovery location, or for companies looking for extra protection with a low-cost tertiary site, cloud-based AltaVault appliances on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are key to enabling cloud-based recovery.
On-premises AltaVault physical or virtual appliances seamlessly and securely back up your data to the cloud. If the primary site is unavailable, you can quickly spin up a cloud-based AltaVault appliance in AWS or Azure and recover data in the cloud. Usage-based, pay-as-you-go pricing means you pay only for what you use, when you use it.
AltaVault solutions are a key element of the NetApp vision for a Data Fabric; they provide the confidence that—no matter where your data lives—you can control, integrate, move, secure, and consistently manage it.
Figure 2) AltaVault integrates with existing storage and software to securely send data to any cloud.
Source: NetApp, 2015
Putting AltaVault to Work for You
Four common use cases illustrate the different ways that AltaVault physical and virtual appliances are helping companies augment and improve their backup and archive strategies:
- Backup modernization and refresh. Many organizations still rely on tape, which increases their risk exposure because of the potential for lost media in transport, increased downtime and data loss, and limited testing ability. AltaVault serves as a tape replacement or as an update of old disk-based backup appliances and virtual tape libraries (VTLs).
- Adding cloud-integrated backup. AltaVault makes a lot of sense if you already have a robust disk-to-disk backup strategy, but want to incorporate a cloud option for long-term storage of backups or to send certain backup workloads to the cloud. AltaVault can augment your existing purpose-built backup appliance (PBBA) for a long-term cloud tier.
- Cold storage target. Companies want an inexpensive place to store large volumes of infrequently accessed file data for long periods of time. AltaVault works with CIFS and NFS protocols, and can send data to low-cost public or private storage for durable long-term retention.
- Archive storage target. AltaVault can provide an archive solution for database logs or a target for Symantec Enterprise Vault. The simple-to-use AltaVault management platform can allow database administrators to manage the protection of their own systems.
We see two primary use cases for AltaVault cloud-based appliances, available in AWS and Azure clouds:
- Recover on-premises workloads in the cloud. For organizations without a secondary disaster recovery location, or for companies looking for extra protection with a low-cost tertiary site, AltaVault cloud-based appliances are key to enabling cloud-based disaster recovery. Via on-premises AltaVault physical or virtual appliances, data is seamlessly and securely protected in the cloud.
- Protect cloud-based workloads. AltaVault cloud-based appliances offer an efficient and secure approach to backing up production workloads already running in the public cloud. Using your existing backup software, AltaVault deduplicates, encrypts, and rapidly migrates data to low-cost cloud storage for long-term retention.
The benefits of cloud—infinite, flexible, and inexpensive storage and compute—are becoming too great to ignore. AltaVault delivers an efficient, secure alternative or addition to your current storage backup solution. Learn more about the benefits of AltaVault and how it can give your company the competitive edge you need in today's hyper-paced marketplace.
Rachel Dines is a product marketing manager for NetApp where she leads the marketing efforts for AltaVault, the company's cloud-integrated storage solution. Previously, Rachel was an industry analyst for Forrester Research, covering resiliency, backup, and cloud. Her research has paved the way for cloud-based resiliency and next-generation backup strategies.