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For businesses that are starting to use the cloud as an extension of their own IT environment, backup and disaster recovery are great applications for the cloud and cloud-based services. Outsourcing these tasks can free up IT resources to work on more strategic business initiatives, and the SLAs associated with backup and DR are typically less stringent than primary applications.
And by using new technologies like variable-length deduplication, companies are able to reduce cloud storage and bandwidth costs substantially, making the cloud cost-effective by dramatically reducing the amount of data going to the cloud.
Even with the economics of cloud storage, most companies continue to opt for a hybrid approach to backup and disaster recovery. In other words, not all data is being stored in the cloud, and not all backup data has the same retention requirements based on regulations and compliance laws. A best-practice approach is to have an on-premise copy of recent backup data, preferably in a deduplicated form that minimizes disk storage and cost, and then replicate that data to off-site cloud storage for DR protection. This approach means that the most recent backups can still be recovered quickly to not impact the business, and also means that only in rare cases, such as in the event of a localized disaster, does data need to be retrieved from the cloud.
Deduplication was invented to be a backup technology, and its importance for a cloud-based backup and DR approach is significant. The better the deduplication algorithm, the less storage is required (both on premise and in the cloud), and equally as important less network traffic is created, which means lower network transfer costs. The benefits of variable-length deduplication over less-sophisticated ‘fixed-block’ or compression techniques to data reduction are substantial. Continued studies from multiple industry sources continue to prove that variable-length deduplication is often 3x better at reducing data sizes, which correlates directly to a reduction in network traffic. Those same financial benefits apply for cloud storage as well as on-premise storage, and will result in substantially less cloud storage costs and transfer costs versus fixed-block data reduction techniques.
Quantum has taken a unique approach to enable our customers to take practical steps toward adopting cloud. Since Q-Cloud Protect is offered within the Amazon marketplace using a metered pricing model, customers pay for only the cloud storage they use as their system grows. This allows customers to get the benefits of cloud economics, while still getting the benefits of a full on-premise deduplication appliance, including full local copies of all of backups for fast restores.
And with Quantum’s full suite of cloud offerings, including FlexTier and Q-Cloud Vault, customers can also start to adopt the cloud for offsite archive of data, whether as part of an active workflow with FlexTier, or for cold storage as part of Q-Cloud Vault.
To learn more about how Quantum’s Q-Cloud Protect services can fit as part of your hybrid backup and disaster recovery strategy, contact Quantum today.
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