How Arcserve fits into your IT strategy as an SMB

Where are you now? Where are you going? Where do you want to be? Same product, same license.

SMB

This is how Arcserve fits into your IT strategy as an SMB.

When building your company’s IT infrastructure for the first time you would take the most minimalistic approach. For example, virtualization would most likely be out of reach initially depending on your IT budget. You would also probably have a Physical Active Directory Server (AD), an Application Server (APP) or File Server (FS), all with internal Disk. Mail would be outsourced to a service provider (SP) or you would use Online Office 365.

You Data Loss risk at this point is high, if your FS/APP server were to fail a disk; you would have an un-recoverable data loss – assuming that the server volumes have no raid set and are isolated.

The initial approach, considering IT Budget for a small to medium company would be to have a Backup Server or Backup Role on an existing server. In this case a server with Windows Server 08/12 running Arcserve UDP Standard Edition backing up to a cheap storage device such as NAS or External Disk 1TB – 2TB of backup storage will allow you to protect an estimate of 4.5TB of Source Data with a rolling backup of 30 days, allowing you to restore back to any point for an entire month.

Your restore process would either be file level or a bare metal recovery with USB or ISO for a full system state recovery on one of the servers.

Your next step would be to consider what would happen if you lost your entire IT infrastructure, due to theft, flood, fire etc. Only your Mail at this point would be intact & available. This is where Offsite Backup is now considered, having copies of your backups offsite to ensure backup redundancy, this approach would be to either migrate Disk Backup Points to tape on a weekly bases and then store offsite or replicate to Cloud SP Storage.

Your restore process would entail repurchasing lost hardware and to rebuild your Backup Server if necessary, deliver tape to site for the Restore Process / Replicate Backup points Back to Site or Restore through WAN from Cloud SP storage (whichever would be more cost effective and the least time consuming). This would be considered poor RTO (Restore Time Objective).

A few months or years down the line the business has grown considerably and there are now double or triple the amount of employees; and new hardware & applications have been purchased to accommodate for the growth. A virtualization approach has now been taken and a few physical servers or a SAN storage device are in place. AD, FS, APP, SQL Servers have been virtualized and in addition, the Mail environment has been localised and a Virtual Exchange Environment has been built for more efficiency and to reduce data costs.

The Backup Server has now been upgraded to an internal Raid 6 Volume and has 5TB-10TB backup capacity, licensing has been upgraded to Arcserve UDP advanced to cater for Exchange & SQL; this will enable you to protect an estimate of 20TB of source data with a rolling backup of 30 days, allowing you to restore back to any point for an entire month.

Calculations would show that if your IT infrastructure were to fail or go down you would lose thousands of Rands every hour. You could restore a VM instantly with Arcserve UDP Instant Restore but in the event of power failure or theft, flood etc, you would have a 24 – 72 hour estimate restore time to restore services from offsite copies; this however depends on many factors.

Your approach now is to have a Disaster Recovery Strategy (DR) and to repurpose the replaced hardware or purchase new less expensive hardware; and build a DR Cold Site at a branch office or Co-locate in a SP Data Centre Rack. You would then virtualise the hardware and build a second Backup Server as a Virtual Machine (VM). Now you have an offsite target to replicate to. Once replicated, you would export backup points as virtual machines onto the cold site. This is known as ‘Virtual Standby’. Each replication will update the Cold Site Virtual standby machines.

In the event of a disaster at your HQ; you would manually power up Virtual Standby VMs & redirect users to a temporary office or grant them remote access to services from the DR site.

Your RTO (Recovery Time Objective) here could be anything from minutes to hours, depending on system boot time and requirements to connect users to services, EG –VPN, Remote RDP etc.

Your DR Cold Site could also be Cloud Compute & storage Resource with a Cloud SP, where you have a Hosted Arcserve UDP server. This is a simple and entry level approach to DR and mostly likely small to medium business.

A few more years go by and your business has grown into a large organisation and you’re heading for the enterprise space. Your IT infrastructure would have grown significantly with multiple branch offices all connecting to your companies services in your server room or even data centre.

At this point moving to a data centre or to a local SP cloud platform is the best route to ensure redundancy and system resilience across your physical IT infrastructure, e.g. redundant power, redundant cooling, redundant WAN links etc. This is all to reduce downtime as the impact now in loosing critical services would cost hundreds of thousands of Rands, every minute or hour.

However there are still factors to consider even though the physical infrastructure is redundant; you could still have system outages, such as bad OS Patching, data corruption, human error, virus infections etc.

As a DR strategy is still required, you would start looking at UDP premium / Premium Plus for the simple reason that you want Backup and you want DR and high availability for critical applications.

One can then create high availability scenarios with Arcserve that will allow for instantaneous failover to a second server so that no service downtime is experienced as well as maintaining the DR strategy with a cold site virtual standby or warm site live replication with seconds RPO (Restore Point Objective) between Business Critical Servers and DR Servers.

Based on Implementing the above Premium / Premium Plus data continuity solution your restore options will include File Level Restore when needed and Full System State Instant VM restore to your production site. During a disaster scenario users can be seamlessly redirected to slave servers in the HA scenario relationships within the DR warm Site, virtual standbys can be powered up as needed for less critical services/servers in the warm site.

Certain servers will have a higher priority than others, this is why one would approach multiple strategies and features to provide the full solution while staying within budget.

This all can be done with one License, one Software Vendor. So less complexity, simple and easy to use.

Regardless of the size SMB to Enterprise, we at Arcserve have a solution for you that is more than just a backup.