Tag Archives: Asigra

Smartphones and the Cloud – A Marriage Made in Heaven

Smartphones and other hand held devices and the cloud were made for each other. In fact, one of the advantages of the cloud is its ability to make hand held devices even more useful and efficient. The mobility of such mobile devices and the capacity of cloud storage are a marriage made in heaven.

There are a variety of ways in which the cloud can maximise the effectiveness of hand held devices. Smartphone users are constantly on the move, but the cloud is static, and can be accessed anytime — whenever; and wherever the user is. The cloud provides the mobile user with a home base for their data while they are on the road as they can connect directly to a remote service to upload or download information. Data can be accessed immediately whenever and wherever it is needed. All the mobility user needs is a mobile device and Internet connectivity, which will make it possible for them to access a cloud based service, and retrieve and/or upload their data. It is simple, effective and efficient.

The beauty of this system is that no middleman is required for the user to access their data. Nor do they require expert technical expertise to manage and backup or access their data. They can make the connection on their own because agentless cloud backup systems — such as our software, powered by Asigra — allow their mobile devices to connect to the cloud based network.

The cloud’s limitless storage makes it possible for smartphone users to store an unlimited amount of data without ever having to worry. Important files can be stored and accessed when needed and wherever they happen to be. Thanks to the cloud, a smartphone can become an even more useful business tool. Important documents can be accessed instantaneously. Frequent business travellers can travel light, needing only to bring their smartphone with them and storing important documents in the cloud. Knowing that their important documents are safely stored in the cloud, ready to access whenever they need them will give them peace of mind while they are on the road.

These days mobile workers are everywhere, travelling all across the globe with their hand held and portable devices. They need to be able to report back to their parent companies and send or share data with them that is easily accessible. The cloud makes it easier for them to collect and share data with their company.

Smartphones have made each employee of an enterprise on a short leash, and in the process that has transformed relationships with bosses, clients, family members, and others who reach out to the mobile worker. Millions of apps have also been developed that can make the mobile worker’s life very productive.

The next time you hit the road for business, make sure that you take your smartphone or handheld device with you. These hand held phone are called smartphones for a reason!

Efficient, Stable De-duplicating Processes

Storage needs are ballooning. Data volumes will soon overwhelm organisations like a never receding Tsunami if nothing is done about it. There are very few choices. Organisations must:

1. Get more storage space;
2. Archive / take offline data that is no longer relevant; or
3. Compress the data stored.

While falling disk prices and innovative storage systems have made it possible to hire more disk space or archive data effectively, it is data compression that has received a lot of attention in recent years. Compression not only saves disk space, it also saves bandwidth required for transmission of data over the network. Data compression includes data de-duplication and is relevant both for data storage and data archival.

Disk based “de-duplication systems” compress data by removing duplicates of data across the data storage system. Some implementations compress data at a ratio of 20:1 (total data size / physical space used) or even higher. This may be done by reducing the footprint of the versioned data during incremental or differential backup.

Vendors use a variety of algorithms to de-duplicate data. Chunking algorithms break the data into chunks for de-duplication purposes. Chunking can be defined by physical layer constraints, as sliding blocks or single instance storage algorithms. Client backup de-duplication systems use hash calculations to evaluate similarity between files for removal and referencing of duplicates. Primary and secondary storage de-duplication designs also vary. While primary storage de-duplication is directed towards performance optimisation, secondary storage is more tolerant of performance degradation and hence de-duplication algorithms are constructed with more leeway.

Until recently, data de-duplication was only associated with secondary storage. The increasing importance of the cloud as a primary storage has created a lot of interest in de-duplication technologies for primary storage.

We, at Backup Technology, offer an agentless cloud backup service powered by Asigra. Our software de-duplicates data at source and transmits only the compressed, bandwidth efficient incremented or differentiated ‘bits and bytes’ or blocks of the backup set, over the network. Global level de-duplication technology at source is also available for the hybrid versions of the cloud for local backups. The comprehensive solution is non-invasive and ideally suited for small, medium businesses, as well as enterprises. Why don’t you try out our software before you decide to commit yourself?

Real Time Transaction Monitoring in the Cloud

Critical ‘business-events’ are actions performed by the business. The transactions between two independent entities entering into an agreement to exchange items of value — such as purchase or sale of goods — are recorded as business transactions. Accuracy, integrity and accessibility of this information in real time are of immense importance to the business. How does the cloud make this possible?

A typical enterprise application provisions for the storage and access of transaction information in a database. However, in most enterprises, the database integrity is compromised in several ways. Multiple application programs may connect to a single database for commitment of information. Database locks generated by one application may prevent the updates initiated by other application resulting in data loss. Power shutdowns may result in a failure to commit information to the database. Consequently, the accuracy, currency and reliability of information may be questionable.

Cloud-based database applications are ‘uniform’ constructs. The client application and the web browser based applications are alternate versions of the same software constructed with the same business logic. In most instances, all functions that are available in the client-based version of the software are available in the web version of the software. They do not perform any operations or actions that will compromise the integrity of the database at any point in time. The transaction database will remain consistent, accurate, reliable and current at all times.

Real time transaction processing in the cloud will emulate the business transaction. The application will register the start of the transaction, and will identify the appropriate tables that need to be updated. It will also perform the update, record the update in the log, and then commit the transaction to the database. If even one of these steps fails, an alert will be generated and the failure will be registered in the log. If a rollback settings option has been selected, the database will be rolled back to the pre-transaction stage and an alert will be sent to the user.

IT personnel needs a coherent and reliable means of recording real time transactions in the cloud. Our software constructs for the client and the web make sure that your data remains consistent and integrated at all times. The software allows correct recovery from failures with rollback of database to original pre-transaction state. Users can choose to record all database activities on the log and to be alerted immediately if a transaction fails to complete.

Run your business without boundaries confident that Backup Technology, Powered by Asigra, can meet the ACID (Atomic, Consistent, Isolated and Durable) test of real time transaction processing head on!

Opening Doors for Innovation

Cloud is hailed as a disruptive technology, the next norm in computing. Those who have not switched to the cloud are being warned that they will be left behind in the race to tap the global market. Cloud experts sadly shake their head and say that small and medium enterprises that have not taken to the cloud are either ignorant of its benefits or are extremely risk averse. They insist that the future is in the cloud and cloudnomics will drive business innovation.

Cloudnomics banishes the 80/20 concept. Experts agree that 80/20 will no longer be the standard for innovation. Organisations can release captive IT infrastructure for redeployment in more meaningful and relevant ways. Cloud enabled services come packaged with all the hardware, software or platforms that enterprises need to optimise on their business operations.

Open standards rule the economics of the cloud. Cloudnomics is all about competition, driving down costs and improving efficiencies. The Unique selling proposition of each cloud vendor gains significance when customers are not starved for choice. The market demands “quality” of service and cloud vendors are forced to rise up to the expectations.

Cloud computing enables all kinds of businesses. It empowers small and medium enterprises compete against large, established enterprises by providing all the tools and services that were earlier available only to the latter. Branches of the enterprise, mobile workers situated in remote locations, partners, collaborators and others who interact with the enterprise can now remain connected at all times over the Internet. External and internal team collaboration, project or task management, communication and service availability can be orchestrated with amazing ease. Operational efficiency and competitiveness improve in unprecedented ways.

Scalability of the cloud is the added attraction. The pay per use model of pricing makes the latest and the most advanced technologies affordable and available to SMBs with no additional investment. The cloud vendor undertakes upgrades of hardware/software, while the user can just pay for the utility that is being enjoyed by the enterprise.

Asigra, our enabling company, is an award winning cloud service provider, who is committed to the success of its partners and customers. The unique selling proposition of the services, apart from other standard cloud features is the agentless backup technology that detects, encrypts and saves changes in the network. Bandwidth throttling ensures that the continuous backup system does not interfere with the day to day activities of the business and runs quietly and efficiently in the background.

Asigra does not hesitate to state that the success of its customers is the testimony of its own success as a service provider and is unswerving in its promise to deliver the best of the breed services. The company strongly believes in putting state-of-the-art infrastructure, software and computing tools in the hands of its customers. With more than 1,000,000 customer site deployments, Asigra leads the industry in cloud backup and recovery of mission-critical digital assets. Thousands of Asigra partners extend the market reach of the company and open the doors for innovation.

Mis-Saves—Is your Data Lost Forever?

Mis-saves happen. It is a fact of the computing world. The ‘Intelligent’ recognise the fact and provide for it. Cloud service vendors live with this reality and understand its implications. They consequently, take extraordinary efforts to ensure that mis-saves do not cause data loss for their customers.

Most cloud vendors use versioning and time stamps to distinguish between backups and protect customer data against mis-saves.

Each file that is saved into the system is tagged with a unique identifier and a time stamp. The original or the first copy of the file that is saved into the system, is called the primary file and any copies of the file saved from the same node or different nodes are identified as replicas of the original. These copies are then deleted and only one copy of the file is retained.

If changes are made to the file and it is saved into the repository, the new version of the file is compared with the existing version of the file and it is tagged as a new version with a version identifier. The backup algorithm identifies changes in the file and saves the changes to the file as a new version with references to unchanged content in the original file. Users, however, will be able to see all the content in the file version called, as data from the original file replaces the referenced sections of the file when the file is being displayed.

It follows that mis-saved files will not result in complete loss of data. Only the changes made to the new file will be lost and users can recall the original version of the file from the backup repository and redo the changes required once more. They can even use the latest version of the file that is available on the system to rebuild the lost version of the file since most cloud vendors permit users save and retain many versions of a file in the backup repository.

We, at Backup Technology, are powered by Asigra, a robust agentless cloud backup system. Our continuous backup system in place constantly monitors changes to files and saves the changed file as a new version of the file. Since new versions are created after extracting the changes and creating pointers to unchanged content—the new versions occupy less disk space and are smaller in size. Users can access versions of a single file from the storage. Additionally, the open file driver that comes with our software automatically backs up files that have been left open for long periods of time in applications such as Outlook, QuickBooks and Simply Accounting. It performs backup snapshots of data as scheduled back on to servers. So, we invite you to try our software and experience first-hand the power of always having your files saved for you automatically and constantly without conscious effort on your part!

Saving Space and Money with Data De-duplication

Like every disruptive technology, the cloud is hungrily absorbing and assimilating within itself, a number of minor innovations and utilities. Data de-duplication is one such innovation that has been successfully integrated with cloud technologies to deliver value.

Technology experts are quick to point out that data deduplication is not really a technology. It is a methodology. It is software driven process that identifies and removes data duplicates in a given data set. A single copy of the data is retained in the store, while all duplicates of the data are removed and replaced with references to the retained copy. All files that initially contained a copy of the data, now contains a reference to the data item retained in the store. Whenever the file containing the deduplicated data item is called for, an instance of the data will be inserted at the right place and a fully functional file will be generated for the user. This method of compressing data reduces the amount of disk space that is being used for data storage and reduces costs of storage.

The growing importance of de-duplication can be traced to the growing volumes of data being generated by businesses. As businesses continue to generate data, space becomes a major constraint and financial resources may have to be allocated for acquiring larger storage capacities. Consequently, any technology that allows them to “have the cake and eat it too” is welcome!

Data deduplication can be “in-line” or “post process”.

In line data deduplication is a process that de-duplicates data before it is sent to storage server. This saves on bandwidth and time-to-backup, as the amount of data being transmitted over the Internet is reduced and only the “clean” data reaches the storage server. However, the process of de-duplication at the client end of the system is itself a time consuming process and is extremely resource intensive.

Post-process de-duplication removes duplicates from the data that has been uploaded to the storage server. There is neither saving of time or bandwidth during transmission, but there is certainly a saving of processing time and client hardware resources at the point of transmission of data, since all de-duplication processes happen on the cloud vendor’s server. Modern day backup companies use a combination of the two methods for obvious advantages.

Backup Technology have integrated data-de-duplication with its cloud backup and recovery solutions. The all-in-one suites for cloud computing and online backup automatically provide data de-duplication services to the subscribing clients. The software automatically detects and deletes all duplicate data and creates appropriate references to the data during the backup process. This saves time and money and results in faster time to backup and recover. The extensive versioning that is used in tandem adds to the strength of the software as older versions of any backed up file can be recovered — even if it was deleted from the source computer. For these and other similar reasons, we invite you to try our award winning cloud backup and disaster recovery and business continuity services, powered by Asigra. We are confident that you will be completely satisfied with what we have to offer!

Our Customers

  • ATOS
  • Age UK
  • Alliance Pharma
  • Liverpool Football Club
  • CSC
  • Centrica
  • Citizens Advice
  • City of London
  • Fujitsu
  • Government Offices
  • HCL
  • LK Bennett
  • Lambretta Clothing
  • Leicester City
  • Lloyds Register
  • Logica
  • Meadowvale
  • National Farmers Union
  • Network Rail
  • PKR

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