Tag Archives: WAN

The Role of WAN Accelerators in Cloud Backups

As some cloud backup companies fold and close, many more new ones are opening doors. The cloud backup market has become very much crowded; and many are trying their best to differentiate themselves from the crowd.  Some of the new entrants are offering sophisticated hybrid cloud backup services, which makes it very difficult to compare the different options. However, many buyers consider the speed of data transfer to the cloud as one of the most important features to consider.

Data transfer speed can be greatly improved by WAN acceleration.

WAN Acceleration is a technology that is used to improve the effectiveness of data flow across a Wide Area Network (WAN). On the other hand, WAN Accelerator is a software or appliance that improves bandwidth in order to make the user’s experience more effective on WAN. Many believe that the speed of data transfer is limited to the speed the Internet connection of a company. Although this is true, technologies and software of the backup vendors play a role in increasing cloud replication speed with the help of WAN acceleration. Therefore, how do WAN accelerators work?  How does the vendor improve throughput? What are the things to explore in order to select the best service provider?

Here are some of the questions that companies should ask to find the best solution:

1 – How Does the Vendor Recuperate from Disruptions of Network?

Due to packet drops and network hiccups, the transfer of information is not an easy task. Thus, it is necessary that selected vendor offers an updated technology that can replicate all data to the cloud. Matured cloud backup services, that are using traffic optimisation, deploy resilient-resumption technology allowing them to quickly recover and maintain operations even when the system experiences some kind of network disturbance or packet loss.

2 – Does the Vendor Throttle Bandwidth?

Administrators use traffic technology to specify the bandwidth that can be consumed by backup traffic at different hours of the day (such as, high bandwidth during non-business hours and low bandwidth in business hours). Best vendors will use dynamic maximum transfer unit (MTU) to optimise throughput by sizing the amount of sent on each request, depending on the network connection of the company.

3 – How Does the Vendor Deduplicate the Data?

Sending data across WAN is not an effective way to accelerate data transfer. In order to improve the transfer of data across the WAN, data scientists came up with dedulication process.  Duplication helps in reducing the bandwidth of WAN by more than 90%. Despite the fact, most of the vendors make use of source-side type of deduplication to make certain that the used appliance maintains single file version. However, not all cloud vendors dedupe the information over the WAN (to ensure that replicated information does not already exist in the cloud backup repository).

The best of the breed cloud backup vendors use block-level deduplication over the WAN. Such technology checks the cloud repository to enquire whether a specific block is present in cloud backup or not. In case it is available, then it is not copied to the cloud. Conversely, if the block does not exist, it will be copied and transferred to the cloud.

You will be a well informed cloud backup consumer if you ask the above questions on network optimisation and WAN acceleration.

Awards at the Double for Backup Technology

We’re delighted to have picked up two major awards at the Asigra Partner Summit in Toronto last night. We came away with the awards for Unsung Cloud Backup Hero and Brand Advocate.

The Asigra Partner Summit recognises the ability to drive innovation and deliver business value to a range of organisations including Fortune 500 Companies through successful public, private and hybrid cloud backup and recovery deployments.

David Farajun, CEO of Asigra, said: “2014 has been an excellent year for cloud-based data protection as businesses of every calibre are challenged with protecting more data than ever spread across an increasing number of computing endpoints. As our service providers prove on a daily basis, these challenges are easily overcome with the right technology and team in place.

The Asigra 2014 Partner Awards Program is a showcase of those partners who have demonstrated exceptional prowess in the market and we applaud their efforts as we ensure business uptime for our mutual customers.”

Rob Mackle, Sales Manager EMEA for BTL, said: “This is fantastic recognition for the work we do with Asigra to provide secure and reliable protection for the huge amounts of data being created by enterprise business.”

Asigra is the world’s leading Cloud Backup software developer and BTL is its largest global partner.

BTL’s Cloud Backup offering based on Asigra software fits the Private Cloud, Public Cloud and Hybrid Cloud requirements for any size of environment, on and offsite. It provides an Enterprise and WAN optimised solution, allowing large amounts of data to be protected over small bandwidth connections.  BTL’s proprietary portal enables centralised web-based monitoring and consolidated daily emails giving customers full transparency of backups on a real time basis.

For more information email sales@backup-technology.co.ukor Tweet us @backuptech





Home Office Data Loss could have easily been prevented

The Home Office has had to dramatically revise its estimates as to the amount of data lost by a contractor within the last year. In January 2009 we initially reported the data breach however the department’s latest report states that the unencrypted USB device containing Police National Computer and Prisoner data actually held 377,000 records; this is 250,000 more than originally reported.

This revelation will raise further question marks about the ability of government to safeguard data, especially when that data is being handled by third-party consultancies. This security flaw should emphasise the importance of data security for not only public but private organisations, especially when handling live, stored and backed up data of a confidential nature. As always organisations are directed to follow the industry recommend standards for data protection such as encryption and online backup.

Information released by the Home Office showed that PA Consulting were paid an enormous 24.5m last year, up from just 8.4m the previous year, owing to its work on the National Identity Scheme and the Interception Modernisation Programme. Having such prestigious and secure programmes in place one would expect data to be securely stored and transported in an encrypted format at the very least. With market leading technologies offering WAN optimisation, de-duplication, encryption and compression as standard the transportation of data efficiently and securely offsite should be the bare minimum expected.

After the data breach last year it has come as no surprise that the Home Office terminated its contract with PA Consulting, and carried out “a full review of the system and procedures” that led to the breach. Following the data loss, an investigation was completed and a member of PA Consulting’s staff was consequently fired. To this day, the memory stick has never been found.

This final response is designed to retain confidence in the Home Offices practices. A spokesperson stated “The department will continue to monitor and assess its information risk in the light of these events, in order to identify and address any weaknesses and ensure continuous improvement of its systems.” The Home Office will therefore without doubt be exploring encryption, online backup and disaster recovery solutions to ensure that data is not only securely protected but always recoverable to avoid any future embarrassment.

2009 Gartner Business Continuity Summit (Part 2)

I have landed back in the UK after a hugely successful trip to Chicago where I presented at the 2009 Gartner Business Continuity Summit. The Summit was held in the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Downtown Chicago.

In recent research, Gartner listed the main drivers for the growth in, and maturity of, BCM programs that we see in 2008 and beyond as: 24/7 business delivery model, and globalization of business operations.

My interpretation of “24/7 business model” is the increased stress on Recovery Time Objectives (RTO’s). We have seen RTO’s shrink considerably in the past few years as technology and business demands clash. A large customer of ours has reclassified 40% of their server as “critical” in a recent disaster recovery internal review. For “globalisation of business operations” I interpret this not just in terms of larger organisations growing globally – but companies finding data distributed across their network which requires protection.

Some further observations:

1. All of the attendees I spoke to were great technologists. They all appeared to be receptive to any new approaches and ideas that could make their life a lot easier. For instance, many I spoke to were early adopters of VM technology, and were now actively considering moving their backups into the “cloud”. My presentation concentrated on deploying online backup within a private “cloud” (or WAN for us old boys) – and this struck a chord with many attendees who had previously objected to sending their data offsite to a third party provider

2. Everyone hates tapes. Everyone. Most people I spoke to still use tape either as a primary backup and recovery system (which they admit is a potential weakness), or more likely as a secondary medium to store long term archives on.

Having spent the past 9 years promoting the benefits of cloud backup (even before the term even existed!!) it gave me great heart to know that more and more people agree that tape is not suitable as a main backup system.

For those who have asked for photographic evidence, I am pleased to link you to a picture of myself flanked by Dave Russell of Gartner Inc (left) and Jas Mann of Asigra Inc (right).

Click Here

Disaster recovery services – important for all businesses

These days everyone understands the importance of data backup. The loss of important data can be completely devastating for a company, or even individuals. Using an online data backup service and disaster recovery solution is important for ensuring the safety of your data.

Using an online data backup service ensures that you will not lose any data in case of a technical failure in your companys servers or computers as the data is stored online without using CDs/DVDs. This is an easy way to create a data backup, which can be used 24hours.

Disaster recovery solutions are a must, as accidents happen suddenly. When a fire breaks out you can do nothing to save the data bank. But if you have a disaster recovery plan in place, your business can be up and running in a few minutes even in case of a disaster.

Disaster recovery solution facilitates the use of remote standby servers to take over an application in case of server or application failure. The stored data is replicated in real-time to the remote site using data replication software or storage devices. When the system detects a failure, the recovery procedures are immediately started.

Presently there are two methods available for disaster recovery:

  • 2 node disaster recovery: one server is on the local site and the other one at the recovery site.
  • 3 node disaster recovery: Two servers at the local site and another at the recovery site.

The 3 node disaster recovery mechanism is preferable as it permits easier recovery for non-disaster related failures and high reliability against WAN failure.

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