Tag Archives: Disaster Recovery

How Can you Overcome Storage Management Challenges?

Enterprises have noticed an increase in data volumes of up to 60% on a yearly basis. Hardware limitations can also make it more difficult to deal with such volume of data effectively. Proper planning, effective technology and talented staff are required to tackle the issue. The situation becomes even worst due to regulatory compliance and virtualization technology laws.

Effective storage administrators introduce new policies, put into practise helpful tools for resource management, and use financial resources for capacity planning. Before initiating all these jobs, they need to recognise the types of data, relevant applications, storage requirements, and then they need to review all of their policies in order to have an effective storage system in place.

Data administrators work to recognise factors responsible for data growth. Consequently, they will understand all the factors and will be able to answers questions of when, what, why, where and how of data storage. Storage environments are not similar; they differ in their size, requirements and architecture. It is necessary to understand queries, such as “What is driving data growth?”, “What type of tools do you need?”, “What are storage policies and when these were evaluated?”

Visibility and ease of access are the two major driving forces that work behind data storage. When data is visible properly, it helps storage administrators to identify certain problems associated with data storage. Consequently, they select right technologies that are suitable. Moreover, they update technology to check data paths and avoid blockage at certain positions where data growth is maximised.

Storage administrators use capacity planning in order to determine data storage requirements for a limited period of time. They can determine on various kinds of storage, time limit for storage (retention period), data growth projections, and which data must be stored in offline and/or online data repositories. It depends on storage managers to select technology for allocating the right amount of data to given applications. Usually, thin provisioning approach is selected by most storage administrators, as it helps in assigning the exact amount of capacity at the right time.

Capacity planning works in collaboration with reclaiming assets. Administrators need to reclaim, from time to time, underused or unused storage space. Data experts estimate that up to 15 percent more physical storage space can be freed up if unclaimed storage is used properly.

Data disasters are always in mind of storage administrators, therefore, they introduce strategies to strike against unexpected situations. It is the reason why storage management makes it easy to manage disasters. Skilled administrators take automatic snapshots of critical information of business data and design standards for reliable recovery before disasters strike. It is their job to continually monitor backups and simulate recovery scenarios through backed up data. It gives surety that the storage administrators are competent enough to handle disaster conditions.

Due to the presence of cloud data storage, it becomes possible to think about new data storage and delivery techniques. Enterprises that are using cloud computing services have reduced their operational and capital costs. In addition to low cost, they have enhanced flexibility to store and access data. Cloud storage plays a very important role in overcoming storage management challenges. It enables security, control, business resiliency, visibility, and automation of cloud backup and recovery.

Why Does Backup Technology Choose to Partner with Asigra?

Asigra is a disk based cloud backup and recovery software known for its certainty, dependability, as well as its ability to guarantee absolute security. It has been placed in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Disk-based Backup and Recovery in the recent reports. Among the enormous parameters that were considered for this placement was its military grade security feature. Asigra is, therefore, known as the best and most reliable backup and recovery software ever.

Asigra is unique due to its more than a quarter of a century presence in the industry of cloud backup and recovery. It has provided users with quality software since 1986, without any form of breach. Due to the fact that this software does not support open firewall ports, data stored in it cannot be hacked. The data in the data centres is stored in encrypted format, and all the files and blocked data are signed digitally.

There is a built in system admin with logical check features, and with background automated healing, which made the data stored in it to be in self-describing format. In addition, in order to protect the data against any form of compromise, the digital signatures are checked and validated regularly. Asigra is acknowledged rightly so as one of the pioneers in cloud backup encryption. Asigra is only channel driven. As such, service provides have been championing Asigra software by offering it as part of their packaged services. Asigra partners are known to be on top of their game and beat the competition.

Asigra’s encryption algorithm is FIPS certified. Encryption of data takes place from DS Client to DS System, edge to cloud, disk to archive, and is retained encrypted at the end point of the storage. There are lots of encryption protocols associated with Asigra software and customers have a choice of encryption, including: DES 56 bit with an 8-character key to AES 256 bit with 32-character key.

Additionally, Asigra software has the capability for users to retrieve their data that was encrypted with older encryption formats. There is also an option for management of the encryption key. The administrator can either self-manage or optionally allow the service provider to manage the static encryption key, which was generated at the point of subscription for the service.

Asigra security has user authentication as its central focus. For easy user definition, there are elaborate user management features. The central administrator can easily assign user IDs, rights, permissions, and passwords. The password generation and rotation features associated with Asigra software can be useful to organizations that are security conscious. For specific back up user, password can be changed randomly in order to make access to the data very secure. The entire activity of users can be logged in and tracked at the central location.

This wonderful backup and recovery software is designed for existing legal provisions and greater compliance. The automated disk based solution is known to run quietly at the background without intervention of a human being. Asigra allows the generation of aggregated data for offsite storage, on premises appliance-based backup, and the opportunity for instant recovery.

Backup Technology is proud to be Asigra’s partner since 2005 and a 3D Hybrid partner since 2010. For more information, please visit Asigra’s website: www.asigra.com

Asigra, the Best Cloud Backup Software, Powers BTL

In case you have not heard about Asigra, a disk to disk (D2D) data backup and vaulting solution, this article will introduce you. Asigra solution has been designed to address lots of serious compliance needs and provide data protection that is cost-effective. Its effortless software manages data life cycles, as well as allows a speedy recovery of data. Organizations may need to change their remote site backup or recovery procedures that based on legacy tape with high-tech and innovative backup systems that focus mainly on security of data in flight and at rest. Among the things that make Asigra software exceptional cloud backup solution include: hard coded security, agentless solution, and WAN optimization techniques.

The unique selling proposition (USP) for Asigra is its FIPS 140 certified cryptographic model. For refined security, Asigra encrypts data on the fly and stores it in the vaults in an encrypted format. Since Asigra’s launch in 1986, data stored under its software have never had any breach. In addition, there are no open firewall ports in Asigra and that is why is has never been hacked. Among the strengths of Asigra include: user authentication, encryption, role based access, secure offsite storage, as well as the granular level reports.

Asigra handles security and data privacy with second to none technology and provides protection for the major concerns of laws like: Data Protection Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and HIPAA. Asigra makes sure that data is captured properly and accurately. It ensures that data is processed lawfully and access is limited to only authorized personnel in the organization. There is also definition of data process that does not go against the rights of the data owner. In order to ensure that all stipulations and provisions are adhered to, this disk to disk data vaulting solution enables data protection officers to speedily and simply answer to queries of data owners and establish periodic checks.

It important for you to know that Asigra Televaulting solution flawlessly protects and combines local, remote or branch office data to meet the terms on all the aforementioned legal mandates. In order to make it easy for organizations to comply with the regulatory acts that have long-term retention periods, such as the OSHA*, Asigra offers secure long-term data retention. For legal discovery and compliance, Asigra allows a much faster data access and recovery. Really, Asigra’s data lifecycle management technology makes sure that data that need to be destroyed is dealt with swiftly using proper controls of primary data preservation policies.

Asigra architecture has been recognized by industry experts as a leading cloud backup and storage solution with many industry-firsts in the areas of computerization, efficiency and security. This helps to reduce boring backup jobs and puts onsite and offsite data capture in place easily, migrate data from local servers to cloud based servers, and formation of backup strategies that are compliant. Asigra also provides the user with absolute control over backed up data, and also accommodates changes in strategies.

We, at Backup Technology Limited (BTL), are proud to be a 3D Hybrid Partner of Asigra since 2010. Please visit Asigra’s website for more information – www.asigra.com.


Training the Trainers in Preparing for Disaster Situations

Honestly, it is not easy to plan for recovery of system against disaster. Those planning for disaster recovery need to imagine every unforeseen event that may possibly happen. Also, planners need to train the trainers to teach others on the resourceful and successful way of handling catastrophic circumstances, including in drills, as in simulated disasters. This is to equip them with required knowledge that will make them qualified to handle the situation when an actual disaster occurs in the enterprise.

Indeed, for easy control and effective preparation against disaster, trainers must be selected carefully. In addition, the criteria for selection of trainers should include their knowledge of disaster management system. So, selecting team that are open to learning and love to try new things is very important. Selection of proactive individuals that are able to adjust their plans to suit the prevalent unexpected situation is also very important. Flexibility in action is also needed for the trainers, as that will be important to make new plans that will flexibly fit conditions and situations that are not expected during live implementations that may not originate from the main plan.

Certainly, selection of trainers should be strictly from with in the leaders of the organization. This is to make sure they have the ability to control and enforce discipline in their team members. Trainers also need to assign authority to other team members and make sure that the delegated people have the freedom to respond within the framework during an emergency. All these are to ensure adequate preparation against any form of disaster that may occur in the organization.

Therefore, involvement is important in training of trainers. You must only select the people that have been involved in the planning process, and have perhaps actively contributed to identifying the possible potential risks and disastrous conditions. The trainers must have good knowledge of the effect, as well as the consequences of disasters, and must be prepared to put into practice all required and possible preventive actions to avert further effects that may be triggered as a result of fear or lack of knowledge. Further, trainers are to be those that handle more difficult and larger part of the problem and at the same time assign activities and tasks to others, who are integral part of the management team for disaster.

Disaster training on its own should be conducted repetitively in a simulated situations so as to harmonize the plans and teach the trainers on how to identify gaps in their pans, resolving problems as well as harmonizing issues that may come up following implementation. The trainers should be allowed to bring out problems which were not originally taken into consideration at the planning-phase. Apparently, the trainers should accept the plan and be ready to truly and to the best of their capacity apply the plan when disaster strikes.

The truth of the matter is that training the trainers can not be done without adequate preparation. It is not only a long drawn process, but also an iterated process. When there is change in business environment, there is always emergence of new disasters, requiring the trainers to be trained with full energy and dynamism. One of the main parts of your disaster recovery needs to be training your trainers, as it is your protection against any form of disasters that your organization may be faced with.

Points to Note about Bare Metal Restore

In general, majority of data restore systems often specify their ability to restore data to only the computing systems with similar or the same software running on them (i.e., environment like operating system, applications, and others). But the case of Base Metal restore is totally different and more unique as it is a repair and restoration technique designed to restore data to a computing system with entirely different hardware and software environment. So, the restoration process is coined “Bare Metal”, which means that the process does not need any requirement from the computing system where the data backup was done for it to restore the data.

Some Difference between Bare Metals and Disk Image Restore
Though, Bare Metal and Disk image restores work with similar process with each other, there are differences that exist between them. While Bare Metal involved installation of operating system, applications and component of data in the image file, Disk Image Restore only requires the installation of the restoration software and a copy of the disk image installed in the backed up computing system. With the help of Bare Metal imaging applications, the process of bare metal restore will be made easier. There is always replication of images of software components as well as the data to the new disk that were present at the time of backup through snapshots. This normally makes it easy for the data and the images to be restored using Bare Metal. The entire file systems in the disk images as well as disk partitions are copied using Linux Booth CD. There is also creation of new partition with either the same or larger size disk image, which resulted from the backup. Some servers support Bare Metal restores, and users can make use of such Bare Metal enabled servers to restore or recover their system in to a HyperV virtual machine.

Indeed, just with one single restore process, the entire computing system can be restored to the last known good state with the help of Bare Metal systems. This wonderful system is great and useful for recovering of data from the system during a disaster. This is made possible owing to the fact that the disk image can be useful for recreating the whole system at completely new geo-location with new hardware, using online application access. The restoration process involved in Bare Metal has been referred to as an art instead of a science, as it differs in the implementation from other system restore software. Not all online backup providers have Bare Metal services. Asigra is a powerful cloud backup software that has the capability to provide Bare Metal restore services.

Before starting your restoration using Bare Metal, you must ensure that the configuration of your system is supported by bare metal as the storage configurations of the servers may not be the same. So, confirm whether the basic partition table type of your system is supported by Bare Metal before going ahead to make use of it for your system data restore.

Standardization: All-inclusive Backup Solution for Disaster Recovery

It is the basic need of all businesses to have verified and reliable backup plan. When each and every minute of downtime affects on business continuity and brings closer to disruption, it makes clear that company needs more than a simple backup plan for data protection.

Some companies purchase a variety of software from various sellers to design backup system. One product is used for virtual machines, others for servers and databases. When an organization has various backup applications, it requires multiple systems with specific features to handle backup plans. With the passage of time, lack of consistency makes it complicated to find out how processes, applications and mission-critical data are reported across the organization. Unnoticed incompatibilities in such vendor systems make backup attempts unsuccessful when disaster strikes. Standardization is the only solution to nip these problems in the bud.

Role of Standardization
Standardization is considered as all in one reliable solution for disaster recovery. Instead of keeping a number of individual applications, use software integrated tool that has the capability to consolidate your requirements for data protection in one platform. IT system providers offer fully compact solution by combining infrastructure, software and hardware to optimize disaster recovery operations and backups in an integrated way. There are many persuasive benefits of standardization approach:

Quick Recovery Process: For business continuity, standardized backup as well as recovery processes are selected. Consistent structure of backup and recovery extends across the data centre and assist in eliminating upcoming roadblocks throughout recovery procedures. Disastrous components (in the form of servers or software) are swapped out through their replacements.

Incorporated Power: Though standardization is perfect for simplification and centralization, it gives reliable outcome for data protection as well. Administrators are always in search of tools that can help them handle significant disaster recovery components. As they are fully equipped with standardized solutions, administrators are able to systematize virtual backups, make schedule of incremental backups, and design policies for data protection. Backups are designed to eliminate data loss and to make recovery of data certain.

Central Control: An IT admin may handle up to three backup systems having various options, controls, interfaces and settings. In centralized system, everything is present at one platform. Therefore, IT administrators can save time and work effectively to manage recovery options and backup to operate databases, virtual environment, and operating systems through a single tool.

Within Budget Approach: Disaster recovery approach seems more engaging when it is offered at reasonable rates. MSPs offer considerable upfront investments by leveraging the “pay-as-you-go” cloud cost model. Additional savings can be obtained through discount pricing to provide companies suitable deals so that they can support more devices.

When IT providers are able to regulate disaster recovery effectively, they will be prepared to get additional market shares in newer trends, such as virtualization, cloud computing, and data breaches.

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