Why Protect Data in the Cloud? – Cloud Daddy Briefing Note

The motivation to protect cloud-based applications is different from on-premises applications. Cloud providers like Amazon do a good job of providing a basic level of data protection, including resilience from media failure, snapshots, and multi-cloud replication. The most common cause for recovery requests, for both on-premises and cloud-based applications, is human error, not hardware failure. Where they differ is in what is the worst case recovery scenario. For on-premises data, a site disaster is the acid test of data protection, for the cloud application, it is some form of cyber-attack.

There is a need to improve the protection basics that services like Amazon AWS provide. Data protection solutions need to create an easier to use front-end, which allows cloud administrators to schedule snapshot and replication activity as well as set retention times on those copies. They also need to make it easier to find the right data for a recovery. Intelligent search is a must, and they should provide the ability to add AWS tags to backup jobs.

There is also a need to advance data protection beyond the basics of creating a friendly GUI and managing protected data. The seamless creation of cloud applications causes a more complicated problem that needs an effective solution. In the cloud, applications are deployed and serve production data without the IT infrastructure team’s knowledge. The new application can execute for months servicing users and creating data without adequate protection and security. A cloud-native solution should provide data protection, cloud security, and infrastructure management holistically. It can’t be siloed. In a holistic data protection deployment, infrastructure management needs to identify new application instances created in the cloud account, which then triggers backup and security policies.

Introducing Cloud Daddy

Cloud Daddy is an infrastructure-less, cloud-native application that runs as an Amazon EC2 instance. It builds on Amazon’s basic level of protection to provide organizations with an easier way to protect an organization’s cloud applications from both human error and cyber-threats. It unifies data protection, infrastructure management, and security into a single console protecting the organization’s applications from all threat vectors. The solution uses the AWS APIs and protects EC2 Instances, EBS and S3 Volumes, RDS Databases as well as Aurora and Redshift clusters.

For data protection, Cloud Daddy provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that leverages Amazon’s snapshot and replication capabilities. From within this console, a cloud administrator can protect all of an organization’s applications without being an expert in each. IT can schedule jobs to execute from minutes to months. The software also automatically manages retention of the recovery points, either by timeframe or by the number of active recovery points.

Cloud Daddy also manages the disaster recovery process for cloud-native applications by replicating specific backup jobs. The cloud administrator can control how frequently replication occurs.

The “big disaster” in the cloud is not the loss of a data center. One can assume that Amazon has that covered. The fear is over cyber-attacks, a bad actor gaining access to the organization’s account and deleting data or changing encryption keys. Cloud Daddy addresses these concerns by enabling cross-region and even cross-account backup and restore. In the worst case scenario, account breach, the organization can still recover from a private account that Cloud Daddy has kept fed with the latest copy of data.

Cloud Daddy also provides essential infrastructure management. It can detect the creation of new instances in the cloud and protect them. It also provides security features and integrates Amazon AWS’ Web Application Firewall. Cloud Daddy can make sure that applications are secure from common exploits and enable administrators to customize rules to meet the needs of the organization as well as respond to changing traffic patterns.

The solution is available in the Amazon Marketplace in five levels depending on the number of instances that the organization is running.

StorageSwiss Take

Data protection is still a requirement in the cloud, what changes is the motivation. Site wide disasters are less of a concern and cyber-attack more so. Additionally, data loss caused by human error is ever-present.

Cloud Daddy is unique in that it not only delivers data protection and disaster recovery, but it also includes infrastructure management and security. Unlike traditional backup solutions that still cater to the legacy motivation of protection from a natural disaster, it focuses on protection from the new disaster, cyber-threats.

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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Posted in Briefing Note

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