Tag Archives: Data Centre

Transisioning Legacy Systems to the Cloud

Transitioning legacy systems to the cloud and creating integrated backup scenarios has become simple. Backup Technology Limited (BTL) Cloud Backup and Recovery, powered by Asigra Software, offers a fast alternative, and highly reliable replacement for legacy tape based, remote site backup and recovery system.

BTL’s agentless software with built-in superior security and WAN optimisation protocols realises every data administrator’s dream. Agentless software reduces administrative costs; offers pay-as-you-go scalability; minimises business risks focusing on Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs), and ensures a reliable local and off-site, cloud backup.

BTL supports a wide range of operating systems and databases, such as Windows, UNIX, Netware, Linux, and Oracle. Users acquiring a one-time license have the freedom to backup application specific files from Exchange Servers, Oracle databases, Groupwise or SQL Servers.

Experts

BTL is staffed with experts and professionals, who have many years of experience in backup and recovery industry. The experts deal with all the issues surrounding backup and recovery, including de-duplication, compression, differential or incremental backups, and RPO and RTO.

Seeding

Seeding the initial backup from legacy systems is a long and complicated process. To make the seeding process faster, BTL offers disk drive shipping to the customer or if preferred, seeding can be initiated using the Internet. BTL engineers work with the data owner to ensure that their initial seed process is completed successfully; the data is backed up into the vault with minimal issues. Going forward, future backups are incremental.

Data Centre and Security

All customer data is stored in state of art data centres, with UPS systems, redundant storage networks, and fire suppression systems. BTL’s latest technology sends alerts when any unauthorized person attempts to access the data centre. As an additional layer of security, data is encrypted during flight and rest. Further, data transmission is disk-to-disk, and it is never archived to tape in order to avoid the risk of any data recovery failures or degradation.

Technical Support

Technical personnel are available 24x7x365. BTL’s support team can be contacted via phone for emergency support during holidays and off-office hours. BTL promises to deliver support services as per the pre-defined SLA.

Cost

BTL calculates storage costs based on compressed file sizes, but not on the amount of raw data. Compression can reduce file size by more than 50%, giving you a huge advantage, especially if you have large volumes of data. In addition, BTL offers further discounts for volume and multi-year commitments.

BTL’s cloud backup software is user-friendly, and can be set up easily. To learn more about BTL, please visit www.backup-technology.com

 

Is it Safer to Backup Data in the Cloud?

Data backup and protection is an important matter; and it becomes more sensitive when you try to backup data to an offsite server with the help of cloud based services. Although the concern is understood, cloud based data is automated, very safe, efficient, and the data is backed up to geographically dispersed locations, typically far away from the origin.  As a result, natural disasters, such as tornadoes, wild fire, floods, etc. won’t affect it.  The system is also efficient because it doesn’t require hardware changes and more storage space is always available for the users. But, is it safe for everyone? Is there any chance of hacking? I will give answer of these questions below.

Keep in mind that not all cloud backup services are the same. They differ in technology, years of experience, and management. But, one thing is clear that you must know your wants and needs when it comes to protecting your data.

Where is the Data Stored?

The cloud has become more popular, but most don’t seem to know what it actually means. Most of the people have concept that using the data storage service is risky because they think that all the data in the cloud usually go to a cyberspace where hackers can easily go and access it without any problem.

Well, this could be true if you are not using reliable data storage services. Cloud is a very simple service with data servers in data centres, connected with the main storage and user’s personal account. Internet is a network of servers that carries the data to and from data centres, just like a highway is for vehicles.

Data centres are very protective areas where highly skilled and reliable workers are appointed for the management of servers. In most of the cases, only a few reliable persons are given access to these data centres. The workers are allowed to access the data centres with several physical security options and with the permission of users, who provide the secret PIN to open the storage vaults. Video surveillance system is used for 24x7x365 in order to ensure security of data. Many do not label their data centre as “Data Centre”, for security reasons; they are just typical buildings that blend with the neighbourhood buildings.

Data centres can not be physically robbed. We have never heard such stories. However, it has a cyber-based system linked to the computers of users. No doubt that there is a minimal risk of cyber-crime or data hacking, but it is very rare, because cloud backup companies have come up with sophisticated systems that can keep hackers off their servers.

Hackerproof?

Is backing up in the cloud really hackerproof? The simple answer is yes and no. If the technology used is a sub-standard, hackers can get access to the data centres with the help of specialised hacking protocols. However, the latest security systems have made it very difficult. For instance, multiple security levels (using emails, phone numbers, and physical statements) have made it almost impossible for hackers to access and compromise data.

Your data is much more secure being backed up in the cloud, where it is handled by qualified security experts than it is in the basement of your home.  Modern security applications and tools are implemented in order to ensure that there will be no risk. On the other hand, users are also encouraged to monitor the activities.

 

Seven Things to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Backup Service Provider

The best approach to fully protect your data (and restoring it after a big disaster) is by simply replicating all data to a secured data centre to an off-site location.

Cloud backup is done automatically with the help of the Internet. As a matter of fact, it is very important for every company to protect their personal or official data by using a good cloud backup service by choosing an appropriate service provider.

Seven Important Features in a good cloud backup service

With thousands of cloud backup companies offering what seems to be the same services, companies looking for these services become overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.  From a glance, they all all look the same.  But, the fact is, they are all different.  Clients need to have a service that is more efficient, reliable and cost effective. They also prefer to choose the backup service provider having efficient mechanism for the data protection and recovery from the main data centre. Clients also do not want to pay exuberant amount of money; they want a fair price.

Never choose the cloud backup service provider if he doesn’t meet the given requirements:

  1. Data Seeding Options:Data seeding reduces initial backup time and enables the user to transfer data easily. If you have a large amount of data to backup, start the backup by sending the data in an encrypted external media.
  1. Overnight Data Shuttle:You should ask if the company will be able to provide you with overnight shipment of critical data in case of network outage. This service is preferred by big organisations.
  1. Security for Storage and Transfer: You need to ensure that your data is safe with the service provider. After all, it is your data. Don’t choose a company if it is unable to offer security.
  • There are several government agencies dictating how data storage companies handle, protect and transfer data. Is the company HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, Gram-Leach-Bliley and etc. compliant? Compliance to these regulations confirms the standing of the cloud backup company you are considering.
  • Ensure that all types of data transfers are fully encrypted with SSL protocols. This helps to minimise the chances of data hacking.
  • Check where the service provider stores the data. Ask what kind of procedure is in place to access the data centre. Does it have some kind of ID systems and video surveillance facilities?
  1. Geographically Dispersed Data Centres: Allows redundant copies of your data in more than one location in case of a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. Ensure that the data centres are at least 3,000 Km away from each other.
  1. Data Recovery with Different Devices:The service needs to be device agnostic. Today, everyone has laptops and other gadgets such as tablets. It is necessary to choose a backup service that allows recovering the data from different devices other than the one used to backup the data.
  1. Technical Assistance:A backup service provider must offer technical support in order to solve any issues. You should demand this feature in order to get the support you need to protect your data and perform recovery when needed.Daily Reports: This is for the information and record purposes. It is necessary to see the activities related to your data. You can easily see when and where data was transferred.

Factors Affecting Data Centre Transformation

Although the operational essentials in companies focus management attention on investment in CAPEX or OPEX, the service levels that are expected to be achieved usually take resultant assessment of transformation of data centre and storage. The data centre in this contest is simply a facility used to enclose computer systems and other associated components like storage systems, telecommunications and others. But, the exact driving force for the actual process in transformation is simply economics. Latest technologies — improved performance, accessibility or scalability, with enhanced use of the resources at cheaper costs prove to be very attractive.

It has been estimated that data centre requirements for growing business will double yearly. The budgets of the growth phase must be directed in the direction of growing outlays directly to information technology expenditure yearly. Conversely, there can be hurdles associated with investment in storage efficiency and optimization technologies in order to manage their increasing innovations, as well as requirements for data storage and also escalating the prevailing data centre resources use.

How do organisations achieve needed efficiency? This can only start with knowledge of the fact that there is increasing requirement for automation, but the prevailing tools for management are incompetent and inefficient operationally. More so, organisations will find out that the ongoing physical server investments as well as their maintenance will serve one purpose which is to increase the entire expenses for operation and investment in server visualization. This will restrain substantial server costs and promotes material gains by decreasing overall cost of operation. Integrated virtual servers will help contribute a lot in achieving a self-motivated, collective resource environment that makes well-organised Information Technology (IT) service management and transformation of data centre.

The benefits associated with right sizing are not to be rejected. Organisations will estimate the most advantageous service levels needed from applications for their business components. The service level objectives identified will be the determinant factors for data centre transformation. There will also be the need for integration of different kinds of tools with fundamental storage infrastructure and those tools will be performance, availability, and recovery of applications. In order to make sure there is a high level of coordination in the framework and in due course allow automation of the IT service for the organisation, management consoles or virtual machine specific storage tasks will need to be built-in. Consequently, this is going to form architecture for either private or public cloud that scale out data centre transformation and provides end-to-end workload provisioning, as well as storage against the service level delivery objectives.

As discussed above, data centre transformation is not going to be revolutionary; rather, it will be a slow and evolutionary process. There are lots of things that can result from data centre transformation, and some of them include: Management reorganization, considerations of cost model, highly developed scaling for both servers and storage and convergence and / or amalgamation of diverse technology area to benefit the organisation. The more there is advances in new technologies, the more emergence of other factors that can possibly influence data centre transformation.

 

Business Continuity Planning and the Cloud

IT operations are a crucial aspect of most organisations. One of the main concerns therefore, is business continuity, since companies rely on their information systems to run their operations. If a system becomes unavailable, company operations may be impaired or stopped completely. Consequently, it is necessary to provide a reliable infrastructure for IT operations, in order to minimize any chance of disruption. Information security is equally a concern.

As a consequence of these concerns and the increase of the uptake of cloud computing, businesses and government organisations are now scrutinizing data centres to a higher degree, as it is imperative that they assure the integrity and functionality of their hosted computer environment as much as they do their local environment.

It is notable then, that data centre problems have been prevalent in the news recently. In July, for example, there was a major power cut at Level 3s data centre in East London, which knocked dozens of companys offline, as well as many websites and hosted solutions. The outage was allegedly due to an electrical fault which occurred at 3.35am, yet theADSL customers were still offline at 8.21am.

IT infrastructure companyPulsantexperienced a similar power outage at its data centre in Maidenhead at the end of May. Consequently, many websites were cut off from the internet and were left to sort themselves out the following day, once the electricity supply had been restored. In both cases, the Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) device that is supposed to protect computers and network equipment from unexpected power failures, failed.

Even giants like Twitter have hit the headlines for data centre failures. And while it is tempting to just accept that these things happen, this is little comfort for companies in the event of a data centre failure, network breakdown or power outage.

This not only emphasizes the need for an effective business continuity plan which covers your businesss live environment, but also its hosted infrastructure, i.e. the data centre.As we have learnt from the examples previously cited, data centres are not always completely disaster proof, so the need to implement an effective business continuity plan which covers all areas of your business is imperative.

A further step to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster is to ensure that business continuity planning and testing is a priority of your chosen data centre. For example, problems such as those noted above can easily be prevented by routine testing of UPS devices and power generators as part of a stringent business continuity plan. Ultimately, a company’s data is its biggest asset, and it is therefore in a company’s best interests to use the most secure, efficient and resilient hosting facilities.

Are your cloud provider’s business continuity plans sufficient?

Data Centre Market Attracting Huge Investment

Experts in data centre finance claim that investment is flooding into the data centre market.

Weve never seen a better time in this space for financing, claimed Paul Vasilopoulos, at Bank Street Group. Typically investment has gone into companies with strong management systems and good track records. This is a hard space to gain investment for start-ups. You dont see a lot of new entrants into the market, stated Brian Thomas at Equinix.

The DatacenterDynamics industry consensus 2011 was based on responses from 5,400 data centre owners from around the world. It found that the data centre market is set to grow by 16% during 2012.

The Western United States will receive the most investment in the form of $3.5 billion, closely followed by the UK at $3.35 billion then China at $3.1 billion. However in terms of percentage growth South East Asia will far outweigh any other part of the world with expected growth of 118%.

In Europe alone the market is set to grow 53% by 2016. Despite the high costs in London new data centre builds, constructed by the likes of TelecityGroup, Interxion and Telehouse Europe have remained prolific.

The findings stipulated that the majority of growth will come from huge surges in the number of internet users and increased consumption of smart phones.

The world is becoming more IT dependent. Even in developed markets the expansion of IT and internet use in business, government and socially has created a perfect storm for more servers and storage, and more data centres to power, cool and house them, said DatacenterDynamics Research director Nick Parfitt.

The report found that the majority of investment will be directed at the extension of existing data centres, the construction of new ones and increased outsourcing.

Investment is not necessarily direct. Theres a lot of money flowing into the data centre space, but sometimes its disguised, said Brian Thomas at Equinix. Money not directly intended for data centre investment is ending up their. Even money being sunk into IPOs such as Zynga, Groupon and LinkedIn is heading toward building new infrastructure.

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