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Eliminating Appliances in Online Backup and Recovery

Getting data offsite is a requirement to meet compliance directives or SLAs for many companies

By Nick Mueller, Zetta.net

The famously neutral storage experts at Storage Switzerland wrote an article recently that asks the question, "Does Cloud Backup Need An Appliance?"

The article explains that getting data offsite is a requirement to meet compliance directives or SLAs for many companies, and cloud backup is an increasingly viable option.

While the conventional appliance-based approach to cloud backup may be popular, Storage Switzerland outlines several important factors that make newer, appliance-free backup and recovery an attractive alternative:

• Choke point - A backup appliance funnels all backup data into a single box which can require scheduling and load balancing to complete backups within prescribed windows. It also creates a single point of failure. Backups that run directly to the cloud from client servers and computers is simple and gets data offsite, while eliminating a potential choke point.



• More CPU - Traditionally, appliances were an effective way to prevent burdening servers with an additional processing load. But today most client desktops, laptops and servers have significant CPU power to handle data transfers to the cloud while continuing with their normal workloads.

• Return of the agents - Backup agents at one time consumed processing power on the computers they were protecting, potentially impacting other applications. With more powerful CPUs today, client-side agents can support more functionality. They may also be a better choice for environments with limited bandwidth or frequently disconnected mobile devices, since they don't rely on "push" updates as agent-less technologies do which require regular network connectivity.

• Greater restore options - A client-side cloud backup solution enables individual users to access their backed up files in the cloud from a Web browser and restore only files or folders they need, and only the versions they need. Restores can be made to dissimilar (less expensive) hardware as well, helping to keep costs down.

• Mobile users - Most users now work on mobile devices, to take work home and on the road. An agent-based, online backup solution stays with each of these computers providing data protection from anywhere. It can act as the primary backup solution, or provide remote data protection when a user is traveling and can't get access to a company appliance or data center.

"By providing more restore options and a simpler implementation, client-side agents running backups directly to the cloud are often the right solution," wrote Eric Slack, senior analyst, Storage Switzerland. "Solutions like Zetta DataProtect, which installs as a lightweight agent on a client machine and maintains a synchronized copy of protected folders in the cloud, are perfect for many environments."

 

Nick is Zetta's Corporate Reporter, and has been writing and telling stories about technology with blogs, social media, and content marketing since the days when the BBS reigned.

More Stories By Derek Kol

Derek Kol is a technology specialist focused on SMB and enterprise IT innovations.

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