Converged Data Protection – The Components Matter

Converged or hyperconverged data protection typically delivers a solution to the customer as a single SKU, but that SKU is made up of several components. Each component within the converged architecture is critical to the overall success of the solution. In converged data protection, those components are the physical hardware, the data protection software and the cloud connectivity options. Each of these components must be best of breed in order for the solution to meet the demands of the organization.

StorageCraft’s OneXafe solution is a single SKU that includes each of the three elements, hardware, software and cloud connectivity. As a proof point to each components’ value, they are also available separately. The converged versions of these solutions pre-integrate the data protection software and cloud connectivity. Despite the solution’s obvious focus on data protection, OneXafe systems can be used as primary storage to replace file servers and to serve as storage for virtualized environments. An ideal use case is to leverage OneXafe as a backup target for a legacy data protection application, while the organization migrates to the integrated data protection software.

OneXafe Hardware – The OneXafe hardware is available in two form factors, as an all-flash system or a hard disk drive-based system. The systems leverage an object storage software layer to deliver much of their efficiencies, but IT administrators do not need to learn a new protocol in order to use them. The systems, from the administrator and user’s viewpoint, support the protocols that they are accustomed to like NFS and SMB.

Thanks to the object storage foundation, the systems support a scale-out architecture. The organization can start with one node and as the capacity requirements grow, administrators simply add more nodes to the cluster. Data is automatically redistributed across the cluster for maximum performance and capacity utilization.

The systems support both inline data compression and deduplication to further maximize capacity utilization. All data is also encrypted. Data replication to another OneXafe or to the StorageCraft cloud is also built in.

OneXafe Software Value Add

The data protection software services run natively on/in the cluster and enable both image-based and file-based protection services. It protects both physical (Windows and Linux) and virtual servers (VMware and Hyper-V). The block based image backups enable repeated and rapid backups of important applications throughout the day. Backups count on either OneXafe’s snapshot technology for unstructured data and VMware or Hyper-V snapshots to capture a data-consistent copy within VMs.

For virtual environments, the solution can be deployed agent-based or agentless, depending on the level of application protection required. Granular recovery of MS-Exchange is also available.

Recovery is the key to any data protection technology. OneXafe provides dependable recovery by using automated re-verification of backup images along with inflight verification, eliminating unwanted surprises during the recovery process.

OneXafe provides instant recovery, so IT can quickly boot backup images as VMs using their patented VirtualBoot technology. While instant recovery is becoming a common feature among backup applications, almost all can instantiate the boot image on backup storage and leave it to the administrator to move that image back to production. The secondary move is a time-consuming process that often causes additional downtime.

OneXafe performs more of a streaming recovery where, once the volume is instantiated, data is streamed back to the primary storage in the background. As the user or application adds or changes data from the instantiated volume, it is written to the primary storage volume and served from there going forward.

The solution also provides ideal ransomware protection. The snapshots it takes are continuous. Since ransomware can strike at anytime, having frequent backup copies is critical to recovery. In addition the snapshots are immutable, meaning that the ransomware attack can’t corrupt the backup itself. Finally, when combined with the aforementioned instant recovery, resuming operations after an attack can be almost instantaneous.

OneXafe – Cloud Connectivity

OneXafe also excels at cloud connectivity. The solution can integrate with public cloud services or with StorageCraft’s own cloud for a more seamless experience. The customer can leverage the StorageCraft cloud both as a secondary off-site storage area and leverage StorageCraft’s cloud compute capabilities to gain disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). With OneXafe, the customer gains the full capabilities of a secondary disaster recovery site without the expense of maintaining one, themselves.

Counting on a company to provide DRaaS also means counting on that company to remain in business for a long time. New DRaaS vendors come and go; StorageCraft has been in business for almost two decades and has a strong product portfolio to continue to remain viable in the data protection market.

The Right Move for Modernizing Data Protection

Modernizing data protection is not as simple as flipping a switch. Legacy backup solutions stay ingrained for a long time after conversion until data retention policies are met. OneXafe enables IT teams to re-direct backup jobs to it. It also lets the organization leverage its scale-out storage capabilities to meet the never-ending demand on unstructured data. Finally, it enables organizations to solve their virtualized storage problems. In short, it is an all-in-one data protection and storage solution that provides best-of-breed data protection while at the same time consolidating other aspects of the storage infrastructure.

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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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