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Backup

Five Things You Need to Know About Hardware Maintenance and Mission-Critical IT Infrastructure Management

Five Things You Need to Know About Hardware Maintenance and Mission-Critical IT Infrastructure Management

Your data center infrastructure is mission critical and needs to be managed using best practices. Here are five critical areas you need to focus on:

What and where are your mission-critical IT infrastructure assets?

Simple as it sounds, keeping an up-to-date asset inventory of critical IT data center and remote location assets is anything but. In larger enterprises, asset management software is typically deployed to track valuable IT assets; however, many smaller organizations rely on manual inventory lists that are hard to maintain and quickly become outdated or forgotten as IT asset management responsibilities are reassigned within IT support departments. If you don’t know what you have deployed, it can be challenging to maintain operational budget compliance, pass internal and external audits, and identify hardware maintenance schedules or end-of-life infrastructure, which increases your risk profile.

Quest’s KACE asset management and end-point deployment software tool offers a good value for small to medium-sized businesses. More info at: https://www.quest.com/kace/

Are your mission-critical IT assets currently under some type of support agreement, either through the OEM’s warranty or extended warranty agreements?

There are three parts to this question. One is licensing compliance. The second is firmware and software revision control, and the third is when the support and licensing agreements are to be renewed. It's important to engage all stakeholders within the enterprise in an annual review to ensure that systems meet current and future growth and performance requirements. Decisions regarding system refresh, performance tuning and planning for future growth should be encouraged at these times.

Dell’s DPACK, a free, memory-resident performance gathering tool is an excellent solution for reporting all physical and virtual systems performance and resource utilization. More info at: http://www.dell.com/en-us/work/learn/dpack

Is there an opportunity to enhance mission-critical IT infrastructure?

Many IT organizations are asked to continue to support workload and user growth with little to no increase in operating and capital budgets (sound familiar?) This can force a “set and forget” practice of installing and configuring IT resources initially, then moving on to other priority projects, having no choice but to leave the old resource configurations in place until retirement. What many IT department leaders may not realize is that with some relatively inexpensive software tools, it is possible to put a “dollars and cents” figure to this practice.

Quest’s vFoglight is a tool that applies value to each resource, and can identify savings that are available, based on recommended reconfigurations. More info at: https://www.quest.com/foglight/

Are internal infrastructure support resources being utilized properly?

In today’s heterogeneous computing, storage and networking environments, it is challenging to maintain the necessary depth of certifications and knowledge within the organization’s support structure. For this reason, third-party maintenance options from trusted partners, such as user groups and online forums — or, if budgets permit, professional services available from independent support and service organizations like Abtech Technologies — are critical to maintaining your infrastructure. More info at: www.abtechtechnologies.com

Should you engage an independent (multi-vendor) IT infrastructure support partner?

The answer here is…why not try? Tap your professional network and ask your associates at other companies who they've used for hardware maintenance in the past, and how they rate the experience. Select one or two recommendations for potential support partners and engage them in discussions regarding your environment, goals and objective (such as performance vs. cost, high availability vs. hardware costs, etc.) Check their client references and speak with not only the account reps, but also the customer engineers, both local and remote.

Randy Henniger is a Senior Support Specialist at Abtech Technologies, based in Carlsbad, CA. Randy has more than 30 years of experience in enterprise solutions and services with IBM, Dell/EMC, HP, Western Digital and Data Switch. Abtech Technologies is an independent IT support and services company with thousands of clients and support centers around the U.S. More info at: www.abtechtechnologies.com.

Archive, Backup, and Disaster Recovery

Archiving, Backup and Disaster Recovery.png

Backing up, archiving, and preparing for disaster recovery are obviously related. They overlap, but each one names a different purpose. Doing a good job at one of them doesn't mean they're all covered. Let's consider what each one involves.

Backup

The purpose of a backup is to restore files that are lost or damaged. Recovery needs may range from a single file to an entire drive. A backup volume can be local or remote. It can be quick to access for getting back single files, or intended mostly for bulk recovery. Its focus isn't long-term storage, though durability is a good quality.

Versioned backups provide extra safety. A file can be corrupted, without being noticed, for a long time. If only the current version is backedup, and it's corrupted too, that's not useful. A backup that includes older versions gives a better chance of recovery.

Many approaches are possible:

  • An attached drive. Software does frequent incremental backups automatically. It's convenient, and it's always up to date. The disadvantage is that malware or physical damage to the computer might affect the backup drive as well.

  • A shared storage system. Network attached storage (NAS) provides a large amount of backup space and keeps everyone's backups together. It simplifies backup management if there are a large number of users.

  • Tape backup. Tape is good for high-volume storage and allows saving multiple backups. It's good for recovering crashed drives, but not very convenient for restoring single files.

  • Offsite backup. Cloud storage is safer than any local backup from events that affect a whole office. It needs a fast enough Internet connection.

It's best to combine onsite and offsite backup. If one method fails, the other will usually keep working.

Archive

Long-term archival storage involves a different set of goals. It has several important criteria:

  • Selection. Not every file needs to go into an archive. Figuring out which ones are needed can be a complicated task. It's necessary to take business goals and regulatory requirements into account.

  • Durability. Unlike a backup, an archive needs to be kept intact for a long time, usually years. It needs to have its own backup. Storage media will eventually go bad, and old file formats may become difficult to process, so it can require periodic migration to new media and storage formats.

  • Identification. The information in an archive needs to make sense years after it's created. It needs to be well-organized, and it has to include enough metadata to reconstruct its context and purpose.

Maintaining an archive is a more complex task than keeping data backed up.

Disaster Recovery

Backup is a part of disaster recovery preparation, but it's not the whole story. If a catastrophic event takes out your business systems, you need a way of getting up and running again as quickly as possible. Being confident of that requires a recovery plan.

When disaster strikes, it's necessary to bring up an alternate system. Speed is essential; every minute that a company's systems are down means lost productivity and income. If systems are down too long, it affects the confidence of customers and partners. Bringing new machines onto the premises might not be feasible if the damage is severe, and getting them running is time-consuming.

The systems not only need to come back quickly, but with little or no data loss. If the recovery system has to roll back to the previous day's records, it will take a lot of work to bring them up to date. The backup needs to be ongoing to avoid losing business data.

Cloud-based disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) lets your business operate with confidence that if serious damage happens, downtime will be short and data won't be lost. StorTrust gives you the highest confidence that your data is always backed up and that you're prepared for any disaster that may come.

Whatever your backup, archiving, and DR needs are, Abtech is ready to meet them.

Dell Strengthens Data Protection Portfolio with New Backup and Recovery Capabilities Spanning Client to Cloud

Dell Strengthens Data Protection Portfolio with New Backup and Recovery Capabilities Spanning Client to Cloud

  • Dell Data Protection | Rapid Recovery now generally available, leverages technology built for the cloud era for instant recovery of business critical systems, applications and data

  • New data deduplication appliance models deliver higher capacity, speed and performance

  • New free endpoint recovery solution offers simple, effective protection for Windows clients

February 25, 2016 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

ROUND ROCK, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dell today announced a series of new data protection solutions to help organizations better protect business-critical systems, applications, and data – either on premises or in the cloud. Offerings include: the general availability of Dell Data Protection | Rapid Recovery; three new data deduplication appliances models; new Dell Data Protection | Endpoint Recovery – Free Edition; and the new Dell Data Protection | NetVault Backup 11. These updates to the data protection product portfolio reinforce Dell’s commitment to driving innovation and giving customers the choice and flexibility they need to quickly address evolving backup and recovery needs as they move data and applications to the cloud.

Instant recovery for the cloud era with Dell Data Protection | Rapid Recovery, now available

Generally available today, Dell Data Protection | Rapid Recovery integrates proven and familiar features of AppAssure and other leading Dell IP to help eliminate downtime for customer environments. Customers can attain ZeroImpact recovery of systems, applications and data across physical, virtual and cloud environments. Rapid Snap for Applications technology takes snapshots of entire physical or virtual environments up to every five minutes. This gives users immediate access to data in the event of an incident and the power to restore in real time as if nothing ever happened. In addition, Rapid Snap for Virtual technology offers agentless protection of VMware VMs.

Backup more and store less with new DR series deduplication appliances

New releases to the award-winning Dell DR series of deduplication appliances include the new Dell DR4300e, DR4300 and DR6300. The new Dell DR appliances deliver increased capacity, speed and performance, enabling customers to backup more data and store less. Dell DR appliances leverage the industry’s first, free source-side deduplication capabilities to relieve network bandwidth congestion and boost ingest performance, ensuring that backups get completed on time, every time.

An ideal fit for mid-market organizations, the DR4300 delivers up to 108TB of usable capacity while ingesting up to 23TB of data per hour. The entry-level DR4300e is a smaller scale, low-cost appliance that can scale up to 27TB while offering all the features of the DR Series. With these offerings, small and mid-market organizations can now easily adopt enterprise-grade data deduplication capabilities that have traditionally been out of reach.
The DR63000 is a larger midmarket and small enterprise solution that delivers up to 360TB of usable capacity while ingesting up to 29TB of data per hour, delivering the scalability needed to support growing environments.

Built on the latest 13th generation Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell DR appliances support 16 of the industry’s leading backup applications and can easily be added to an existing data protection environment. Combining deduplication ratios from 15:1 up to 30:1 with a flexible, all-inclusive licensing model, Dell DR appliances deliver better performance at a lower cost than competing offerings.

Freemium protection and recovery for Windows clients

To help companies protect the growing volumes of data created by endpoint devices, Dell Data Protection | Endpoint Recovery – Free Edition will be available in a light-weight, easy-to-use software offering that gives customers a robust endpoint protection and recovery solution for Windows clients. A no-cost, set-and-forget client protection solution designed for a single user, the freemium offering provides file deduplication and compression to reduce storage costs and enables fast recovery of lost data.

Increase scalability and performance with Dell Data Protection | NetVault Backup v11

Dell NetVault Backup is a cross-platform, enterprise backup and recovery solution that offers one of the broadest spectrums of OS, application, and backup target support in the industry. Version 11 delivers the increased scalability and improved performance needed to simplify backup in even the most diverse and rapidly growing IT environments.

New features of Dell Data Protection | NetVault Backup 11 include:

Enterprise Windows client deployment manager that allows customers to target up to 1,000 clients for automated installation, increasing both efficiency and scalability.
High-performance file system multi-streaming capability that allows customers to break up backups into smaller, simultaneously executed chunks to increase performance.
Restartable VMware backups so users pick up where a job left off.

Strengthening a powerhouse portfolio

Dell Data Protection solutions deliver an unmatched depth and breadth of capabilities to help customers instantly restore the critical systems, data, and applications that power their businesses, even before the business knows they are down. More than 70,000 customers worldwide use Dell Data Protection solutions to protect everything from laptops, desktops, and tablets, to physical and virtual servers, to public and private cloud environments. All Dell Data Protection solutions are developed with a mid-market design point and are scalable, easy to use, and cost-effective. This allows organizations to spend less time worrying about whether their apps and data will be available, and more time focused on using them to innovate and transform the business.

Availability:

Dell Data Protection | Rapid Recovery is available now worldwide starting at $1,199 for new users. A free upgrade for current AppAssure license holders is also available.
The Dell DR 4300e, DR 4300 and DR6300 are available now worldwide. Pricing starts at $13,000 for the DR4300e, $43,000 for the DR4300, and $87,000 for the DR6300.
Dell Data Protection | Endpoint Recovery – Free Edition will be available worldwide beginning in early March.
Dell NetVault Backup 11 is available now worldwide starting as low as $1,265.

Supporting Quote:

Brett Roscoe, vice president, product management, Dell Systems and Information Management

“With the next generation of Data Protection solutions, Dell is committed to helping companies gain control of their IT environments, and protecting the applications and data that flows across the organization both on premises and in the cloud. These significant enhancements to the Dell Data Protection portfolio help organizations utilize the opportunities of cloud and build a future-ready infrastructure by ensuring they have instant access to systems, applications and data that run their businesses. From clients all the way to the cloud, Dell Data Protection solutions deliver a combination of performance, price and flexibility that no other vendor can match.”

Nigel Wright, vice president sales, enterprise solutions, Abtech Technologies

“As a channel partner in the cloud era, Abtech is committed to helping our customers deploy a data protection strategy that’s not only custom-built to the specific and constantly changing needs of their businesses, but also delivers protection that is scalable for future growth. The Dell data protection portfolio solutions enable us to do just that. Whether our customers are looking for instant recovery of critical systems and applications, protection for the growing wave of endpoint devices, or deduplication to control data growth and reduce storage needs, Dell has the solutions and the flexibility we need to find the best fit for our customers each and every time.”

Jason Buffington, principle analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

"Organizations of all sizes continue to look for better ways to protect their data and ensure the recoverability of their IT systems. This is especially true of midmarket companies, whose businesses are growing and infrastructures are evolving in real time as they move data and apps to the cloud. The Dell Data Protection portfolio of deduplication appliances and backup software solutions, including its newest release of new Dell Data Protection | Rapid Recovery, is designed to give their customers flexible options in order to meet the agility and efficiency needs that all businesses have.”

Supporting Resources:

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