I was inspired to write this by something one of my good buddies Tom Hollingsworth (@networkingnerd) said on Twitter. “Backup is easy, kids. Restore, on the other hand…” Tom’s quote immediately got me thinking about one of Cohesity’s data protection and recovery capabilities that for some reason it isn’t frequently discussed. Data recovery capabilities should be closely evaluated and considered as a critical function of an organization’s business continuity plans and procedures. After all, many data protection solutions can very efficiently perform backup tasks, but when it comes to recovery, that is not that case. As the industry is currently plagued with data protection and recovery solutions that are based on outdated architectures and capabilities, most the available legacy data protection solutions available in the industry today, are incapable of performing recovery functions suitable to the business demands of enterprise organizations. While failures are, a given in modern network infrastructures, lengthy outages are conditions that most modern businesses cannot tolerate in today’s economies.
Data recovery capabilities should be closely evaluated and considered as critical functions of an organization’s business continuity plans and procedures. After all, many of the legacy data protection solutions can very efficiently perform backup tasks, but when it comes to recovery, that is not that case. As the industry is currently plagued with data protection and recovery solutions that are based on outdated architectures and capabilities, most the available legacy data protection solutions available in the industry today, are incapable of performing recovery functions suitable to the business demands of enterprise organizations. While failures are, a given in modern network infrastructures, lengthy outages are conditions that most modern businesses cannot tolerate in today’s economies.
Legacy solutions aren’t able to recover large amounts of data quickly enough in the event of an outage or failure. The inability to perform data recovery functions fast enough to satisfy recovery time objectives (RTO) can result in an adverse financial or development impact to an organization. Today, when qualifying a data protection solutions, enterprise organizations should pay close attention and evaluate the recovery capabilities and characteristics of the solution before acquiring it.
Here are some example characteristics that should be considered and evaluated:
- Management – integrated converged, or individually managed (siloed)
- Procedures – recovery workflows, recovery complexities, interoperability
- Speed – recovery speeds based on performance
- Targets or Endpoints – recovery flexibility – same or different systems
- Recovery Tasks – recovery tasks are performed in serial or simultaneous actions
The characteristics above should be included as part of the evaluation when considering a modern enterprise data protection solution. Some of the listed characteristics, as well as others, have a direct impact on an organization’s business continuity plans with regards to recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) requirements.
In today’s highly virtualized infrastructures, enterprise organizations must deal with extremely high volumes of information and data being generated that requires efficient and fast protection as well as fast recovery.
Recovering individual files of unstructured data can be considered trivial depending on the size or the capacity of data that needs to be restored and recovered. Restoring virtual machines can be potentially much more involved process than it is recovering single files or database. Business critical applications are often composed of a multitude of distributed components, those being a multitude of virtual machines with a variety of operating systems, access gateways, load balancers, web servers, databases, files, and more. Each of these components is individually generating and storing large quantities of data, but they all work together to provide a service. In the event of a complete service failure, recovering a single component of that application at a time may not meet the recovery time objectives required by the business. This is where enterprise organizations need to pay close attention to one of the valuable capability provided by Cohesity.
Cohesity’s DataPlatform delivers unprecedented data protection operational value and efficiency to enterprise data centers. With its integrated data protection solution DataProtect, Cohesity collapses the data protection management silos and procedures into an integrated data protection solution for applications, physical, virtualized, and cloud infrastructures that are second to none.
With Cohesity, enterprise organizations can perform recovery functions that can adhere to their recovery point objectives (RPO) requirements ranging from:
- Near-instantaneous recovery of multi-tiered applications
- Near-instantaneous recovery of infrastructure management stacks
- Near-instantaneous recovery of virtual machine or files
- Near-instantaneous recovery of unlimited virtual machines simultaneously
Cohesity’s near-instantaneous recovery capabilities are achieved by the DataPlatform’s ability to run clones of virtual machines and their files and applications directly on the Cohesity Data Platform. The modern hyperconverged architecture (compute, storage, network, software) of the Cohesity DataPlatform ensures fast recovery points and near-instantaneous recovery times with the supports of highly scalable snapshots and clones.
Enterprise organizations can take many clones at any time interval with uncapped retention policies, without ever affecting performance or consuming additional space. Leveraging the Cohesity snapshots and fast, parallel data ingest, businesses can protect applications as often as desired and reduce RPOs to as low as 5 minutes.
Here is a recovery demonstration of a business critical multi-tiered application that is composed of 16 different virtual machines which are all running on an all-flash VMware vSAN hyperconverged cluster for optimal application performance. Watch how fast the application is quickly restored with all its virtual machines components and its ~2TB in capacity. In this demonstration, I showcase the ability to quickly restore the services provided by the application and then finally migrating all the components back to the primary storage platform which in this case is vSAN.
With Cohesity, virtual machines can be recovered instantly by creating a clone of the backup VM and running that clone directly on the Cohesity platform. If needed, the clone can be moved back to primary storage using Storage vMotion. Data protection is further enhanced through an indexing engine that rapidly indexes all the VMs being backed up, the files within the VMs, and all associated metadata. This has the benefit of easily mining backup data with a simple text-based search and restore to find VMs and files quickly. This restore can also place the file(s) in the source location further reducing the burden associated with managing restore processes.
For future updates about Cohesity, Data Management, Primary and Secondary Storage, Cloud Computing, Networking, Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol), vSphere Integrated OpenStack (VIO), and Cloud-Native Applications (CNA), and anything in our wonderful world of technology be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds.