Tag Archives: Cloud

TechTrade Yorkshire - Backup Technology

ClouDRaaS at TechTrade Yorkshire

We are delighted to announce that we are exhibiting at the inaugural Techtrade Yorkshire event at Elland Road in Leeds on September 8th.

The whole day promises to be a great opportunity for everyone working in the IT industry in the region to learn from and network with each other as well as the region’s business leaders.

There are some great speakers lined up and our Disaster Recovery specialists will be on hand on Stand 43 to demonstrate our world-leading ClouDRaaS solution and to discuss the challenges you face around data and your IT infrastructure.

If you would like to book an appointment please click here to give us your details.

You can find out more about event here. Tickets for IT decision-makers are FREE.

Look forward to seeing you there!

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Mitigating and Avoiding Downtime – Part II

In Part I, we discussed the importance of having a service level agreement to keep cloud services available anytime, from anywhere in order to reduce downtime. If the service provider’s networks are available at all times, users need to worry only for their own infrastructure.

Having said that, however, downtime must always be monitored at all times using advanced network monitoring tools. Record of system outages or downtime should automatically be logged for analysis in real time. Admin should have the ability to enter identified names and email addresses in the system for notifications in case of failures.

Failover servers are programmed to seamlessly take over the service while repairs are carried out to correct the problems in the main server. In addition, help desks and trouble-shooting services offered by online backup services enable the customer to alert his service provider about any and every possible system difficulties that they may encounter in the use of the service. Backing up your data in the cloud has not only the benefit of safeguarding your data, but also minimising or eliminating the detrimental effects of down time for your company.

By putting your data in the cloud, you have the convenience that come with accessibility, scalability and mobility. In addition, you have protected your data from physical destruction, theft, natural disasters, operating systems and hard drive crashes. Cost savings, easy sharing and “set-it-and-forget-it” operations that comes with automated systems are additional benefits. At the same time, extreme care should be exercised in selecting a cloud based backup service provider so as to avoid any fly-by-night operators.

Small, medium and large enterprises use the cloud because not only it is effective and saves money, but also it mitigates downtime. Occasionally, cloud services might get interrupted for various reasons. Even Amazon’s AWS suffered downtime in the past.

To avoid downtime, it is suggested that you get a signed copy of the SLAs, have both on-premise and cloud services, perform a thorough risk analysis, and determine your true downtime cost per hour, which might not be an easy task as it requires complex assumptions and calculations. As cloud services are charged on “pay as you go” basis, calculating actual downtime costs becomes a moving target. However, other costs such as operational, salaries, connectivity, and so on can be figured out easily.

Downtime could possibly be avoided by developing a well thought business continuity and disaster recovery plans. It must be remembered that the cloud does not guarantee that you will have a 100% uptime services, rather, it mitigates the risks of downtime.

Mitigating and Avoiding Downtime – Part I

In this day and age, backing up your data is crucial to a smooth functioning of your company, be it a small, medium or large sized business. A loss of data can result in a significant loss of revenue for your company. In addition, data loss can cause downtime or an interruption of computing services. The solution to both of these problems is a simple one — back up your data online in the cloud.

Medical informatics, nuclear power stations, banks and other financial institutions, aeronautics/airlines, news and journalism; e-commerce and transaction processing or even online games industries would immediately feel the pressure of downtime or loss of data. A minor downtime and a loss of data in these industries could prove to be disastrous, as existing customers experience frustrations and may consider cancelling their services altogether; and would-be-customers could end up avoiding this particular service, resulting in loss of revenues.

Many contract defaults could be attributed to system downtime or loss of data, resulting in litigation and financial losses. These industries need to ensure high availability, reliability and alternate data access routes to safeguard against business losses, resulting from unplanned downtime, which is the time when computing services are unavailable for business operations.

Cloud backup service providers ensure that your data is safeguarded in the Cloud. Your data is in no danger of being lost. In addition, online backup service providers are a safeguard against downtime and ensure that your company will continue to operate regardless of hardware or software glitches, a natural calamity or just a power outage. System outages can have a serious impact on industries that access their computers 24 x 7 x 365. Others may be sensitive to the time of the outage. Peak hour outages can cripple business and have long-term repercussions on the business.

Online backup service provides offer service level agreements for their customers that spell out the guaranteed service uptime percentage value that they expect over the period of a month, typically five-nines, i.e. — 99.999%. Zero percent downtime indicates that the backup service provider has made arrangements to ensure that the customer has no system outages and the access to the server is made available at all times. Customers will, therefore, have to guard only against outages that may occur at their end of the network, giving them peace of mind.

In Part II, we will discuss further points on avoiding downtime.

Why Do Businesses Move to the Cloud? – Part II

In Part I, we discussed the key reason — cost savings — why companies move to Cloud services. However, it appears that saving money is not the sole reason why small and medium sized businesses are switching the Cloud. There are a number of other factors as well that must be taken into account:

• Agility: Allows you to adapt and respond to customers’ needs quickly;
• Efficiency: Workers are provided with the right tools to perform their jobs;
• High Availability: The services are always available supported by redundant data centres;
• Mobility: Allows employees to be mobile and still access data from anywhere and anytime;
• Scalability: Pay-as-you-Go model allows you to scale up or down based on your demand.

Ultimately though, small businesses have to determine for themselves whether it makes sense for them to switch the Cloud or not. It is true that by using the Cloud, there will be less of a need for IT professionals, but that may not necessarily bring the costs down.

If cost alone is the main criteria for businesses deciding to make the switch to the Cloud, then they must decide for themselves if it is economical for them to make the switch. The best way for them to do so is to take a trial run to gain a better understanding of the costs of running applications in the Cloud. This hands on experience will allow them to make a more informed decision.

As Cloud computing brings tremendous advantages, it is likely that you have made up your mind and have moved to the Cloud. However, in case your have not, it is important that decision makers in your organisation are presented with a strong and cohesive plan for their approval. Pointing to the financial savings alone will not be sufficient to make the case; rather you will need to emphasise the whole benefits, such as agility, productivity, scalability, accessibility, profitability, high availability, and more.

We, at Backup Technology, are always available to help you make the right decision by providing you free consultation. Once you are ready to test our Cloud backup and disaster recovery services, we will be happy to set you up with a trial account. Keep in mind that there is more to the Cloud than the eye can see. Entering the Cloud is not an easy proposal, but, do not fret; and we have you covered.

Why Do Businesses Move to the Cloud? – Part I

Small and medium businesses are transitioning to the Cloud in ever increasing numbers. In fact, according to Gartner Research, there has been an annual increase of over 18% in the number of subscribers to the Cloud. A variety of factors have led to this increase.

First of all, it appears that it is the soft savings that small and medium businesses receive that is the primary reason for this increase. When using the Cloud, companies do not have to invest in expensive infrastructure or software and this saves them money initially. They can access existing resources that are delivered ready-to-use by Cloud service providers.

For example, ease of use and functionality have a large role to play in the decision making process. All the pains of developing and maintaining the application is left to third parties while customers can enjoy the outcome of the efforts. The Cloud also brings other benefits, such as agility, high availability, efficiency, and mobility all of which you can not put a monetary value to. While you might incur additional expenses at the initial stages, CIOs are beginning to see that there is more to the Cloud than the eye can see in terms of infrastructure savings.

Thus far, many companies have decided to switch to the Cloud because of the savings in cost to them. It should be noted that Cloud related expensive could be claimed as operational costs, rather than capital expenses. Shifting from CAPEX to OPEX not only brings additional benefits to the balance sheet of the organisation, but also removes all of the complex accounting calculations, and gets you the approval of your CFO for making their job much easier.

If your sole reason to switch is to save money, then a thorough financial analysis should be performed. The analysis should clearly show the current and projected costs and savings. Estimating future expenses and savings might be difficult, but if it is done properly, it could get closer to actual figures. It is suggested that companies forecast for only a period of three years as technologies evolve much faster in the IT industry.

Backup Technology recommends that you test the waters by taking our trial before making a decision for yourself. Keep in mind that there is more to the Cloud than dollar savings alone. Count the intangibles and set a value to them, before you decide for or against the Cloud.

In Part II, we will further discuss the additional reasons why businesses move to the Cloud.

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?

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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