Cloud Easy as 1, 2 3 – Part 3
Storage: It’s the foundation upon which every IT department builds its strategy. It’s also the digital embodiment of everything your business has, is or will do. In the last 20 years, the need for larger and larger repositories to store those critical ones and zeroes has grown exponentially. The conversation started with Kilobytes, then graduated to Megabytes, then Giga, Tera and Peta, until we come to today, where Google, Facebook and the other information aggregation sources of the internet seem to be adopting a new term weekly for the scale of data consumption. We now have the Exabyte, the Zettabyte and coming soon to a storage array near you, the Yottabyte (that’s 1024 bytes for those playing at home).
As data storage continues to grow at an exponential rate, its availability, security and protection arguably become the single most important function of an IT staff. The lingo can be intimidating to those not in the IT world, especially because it can often change to meet growing needs. With that in mind, here’s a quick primer of storage terminology, along with several methods of storage protection.
Utility and Backup Solutions
With the ability of companies to buy data storage in the cloud, utility storage and backup solutions offer customers a cloud-based, managed data platform for just about any storage, archive, backup or recovery requirement. Today, there are cost-effective solutions that satisfy most regulatory requirements and provide a scalable, on-demand, utility-based alternative for growing storage needs.
Managed storage service is a complete solution built upon a reliable, scalable and secure enterprise architecture that includes features like multi-protocol support, thin provisioning and application-aware snapshotting. Whether you need highperformance or archive disks, you can have a custom storage solution to fit your need.
For those looking for a cloud-based managed backup solution, companies like BlueBridge Networks offer agent-based, customizable platforms that can handle both physical and virtualized environments. Features can include customized retention schedules, online daily reporting and message level restores for exchange, as well as replication to a tertiary location
for your offsite archiving needs.
Disaster Recovery Services
One area where cloud adoption has really taken root is disaster recovery services. For many years, a viable disaster recovery/business continuance (DR/BC) plan was reserved for the enterprise customer set, due to the immense costs associated with a DR/BC solution. DR/BC used to mean having similar, if not identical, hardware in geographically diverse locations with some very hefty replication software to ensure the sides remained consistent. But today, thanks largely to virtualization, better replication and failover software and flexible cloud services, DR/BC is now within reach for customers in the midmarket and even small businesses. Customers can reap the benefits of always available cloud resources in any corner of the country (or world) and develop a viable Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution at price points that rival what some customers were paying to vault tapes at an archive service just a few years ago.
With so much data to manage, you may be feeling like your data is managing you. Instead of throwing hard drives at the problem, take advantage of a data center facility based Cloud Computing operator to optimize technology utilization.
With optimization technology, companies like BlueBridge can help customers eliminate data redundancy and increase storage performance so they get more out of every drive. The result is improved efficiency and cost savings for our customers, along with the assurance of their data’s integrity throughout its feasible lifespan.
In your search for the best storage vendors, look for one who will have a host of solutions to help IT departments put the lid back on their data sprawl, including:
- Thin Provisioning
- Data De-duplication
- Performance Tuning
- Intelligent Disk Tiering
- Intelligent Archiving
- Storage Lifecycle Management
Find vendors with whom you can leverage their systems of sophisticated block-level incremental features to minimize the amount of data transferred across your network. Data validation routines ensure 100% data restorability. In addition, all data should be stored on a highly reliable enterprise-class infrastructure, making it available when you need it most.
A quick look at the benefits you should wish to achieve:
- Onsite/offsite backup service
- Faster, more reliable and safer than tape
- Backup seeding for larger data sets
- Data encrypted using up to 1024-bit encryption for maximum data security
- HIPAA/PCI compliance with encryption and segregation of data
- WAN-optimized replication minimizes bandwidth needs
- Optional offsite backup replication available
- Flexible restore options for recovering to physical or virtual environments
- Bare metal restore capability
- Compatible with broad range of operating systems, database platforms and business applications
- Runs on Linux, Windows, OSX, Solaris
- Application awareness for MSSQL, MySQL, Exchange, Sharepoint, VSS
- File-level support for network/NAS Drives
- Supported under VMware, Hyper-V, Xen, KVM
Companies like BlueBridge and their experienced storage solutions team can help you simplify the management of your rapidly increasing storage environments and their associated costs. Your storage team should be competently and readily able to design, implement, manage and monitor full systems, including remote attached SAN and backup systems. In addition, we offer monitoring services that scrutinize everything from network bandwidth to system swap issues, alerting the support team when the slightest issue arises – all through a separate hardware/software platform. Combining best-in-class networking technologies with world-class management solutions will enable you to enjoy a highly available, flexible and cost effective storage or backup solution. Look for a facility based data center managed service operator to meet this tall order.
BlueBridge Networks has its Data Center Flagships in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio and access to various Cloud Nodes in cities in Canada and across the United States.
Kevin Goodman is the managing director, partner with BlueBridge Networks, a downtown Cleveland-headquartered data-center business. Goodman is a strong believer in keeping an open mind to alternative approaches to life and work. Goodman often times implements a combination of traditional and unconventional efforts in response to an ever changing fast paced technology landscape. BlueBridge Networks delivers best-in-class datacenter services, including virtualization, cloud computing, disaster recovery, and managed storage and security. In the past 12 months, BlueBridge and Goodman have earned “Smart Business” magazine’s Smart 50 award, “Inside Business” magazine’s Cool Tech and NEO Success awards, Medical Mutual’s Kent Clapp CEO Leadership award, and a NEOSA Best of Tech finalist award. He can be reached at (216) 367-7580, [email protected] , www.kevinjgoodman.com or www.bluebridgenetworks.com