Cloud has been discussed as the holy grail for many years now in the IT world. However, in reality, taking the leap to migrate critical business systems still feels like too big a risk for a large proportion of companies.
More recently, with vast improvements in security, network availability and commercial offerings from the major providers, many companies are now giving cloud hosting some serious consideration but are still nervous of handing over the keys to their production environments. For most the answer is a hybrid model, split between on-premise, private cloud and public cloud, dependent upon sensitivity of data, performance requirements and even hardware lifecycles.
Xynomix have found that the best way to assist customers with ‘dipping their toe into the cloud’ initially is through cloud backup. This first step does not present the same perceived risks of relinquishing possession of live systems into the unknown. It can also provide a valuable proof of concept to help businesses move further along the path to hosting of some production environments in the cloud.
Hosting your backups in the cloud can help your business realise a wide range of benefits:
Migrating or establishing backups to the cloud negates the need for the purchase of any new hardware, dramatically reducing set-up costs. Each critical file is backed up and, once complete backups are encrypted with customer provided keys before moving to the cloud. This whole process takes advantage of the latest technology whilst seamlessly integrating with your existing infrastructure. Furthermore, there’s no need to worry about upgrades, migrations or technology obsolescence as the responsibility for the infrastructure lies with the cloud provider. Initial set-up is quick and management simple.
With on-premise methods of backup, for example to SAN infrastructure, customers will always require an initial capital outlay and then step changes in price when capacity thresholds are met, (i.e. purchase of a new SAN). Costs for cloud are linear and predictable – a clear business benefit.
Cloud backup is highly reliable compared with other data backup and recovery services. Lost data can be rapidly restored at any time or location and concerns around the accidental deletion of business critical files quickly become a thing of the past.
For a recovery from tape, an operator would need to recall the tape, load it, locate the data and recover the data. Conversely, file recovery from cloud storage is faster; it doesn’t require physical transport from an off-site location, tape handling or seek time. Tape backups have often not been verified as successful for many years and may be corrupted, rendering them useless in the event of an emergency. Cloud backups can be confirmed as successful on a daily/weekly basis with minimal impact and easily recovered. With cloud backup, files to be recovered are located and streamed over the WAN connection, saving time and eliminating the need for a local tape infrastructure.
Keeping your critical work files protected is an essential function of any organisation. In cloud backup, each file is encrypted before being transmitted to the offsite data centre. Moving backups to the cloud can also protect your organisation from dangers such as ransomware attacks since files are off-site and therefore inaccessible even if internal infrastructure is breached.
Cloud backup can be a good option for protecting endpoints such as laptops or tablets that aren’t traditionally part of on-premises enterprise backup. Cloud repositories can also replace the need for tape vaulting.
Cloud backups can be low-cost, especially for small businesses without a lot of data to protect. In addition, with the ever growing data pools that all businesses face, public clouds provide almost boundless scalability removing concerns presented by other methods of backup around storage capacity.
As an experienced database services provider of over 17 years, Xynomix understand that your data is king. In fact recent studies show that data is now more valuable globally than oil! For this reason we have developed a few key services to aid customers in the journey to the cloud:
Cloud readiness assessment – Our team of 20 consultants are on-hand to create a bespoke report where required for customers who wish to assess the suitability of their Microsoft SQL and Oracle databases and their key applications for migration to the cloud. Working with your application vendors we can present a clear picture of the current estate and make recommendations to progress.
Disaster recovery (DR) in the cloud – Once backups have been established in the cloud, it is only a short step to migrating or establishing DR environments in the same manner. Data replicated for backup can easily be utilised by our technical team to create a DR environment which can then be maintained using several methods dependant upon the database used and customers requirements for data retention and recovery timescales.
General estate review – Helping you to understand the overall stability of your database estate and recommend configuration changes to align with best practise. Where disaster recovery plans are in place, assessing the suitability of these and making recommendations for improvement. Where none exist, putting together a bespoke plan based upon business requirements including RTOs and RPOs.
Cloud backup – Xynomix consultants have a great pedigree in providing both migration of backups to the cloud or establishing a totally new backup process to the cloud. We have multiple cloud partners and are wholly agnostic.
Migration of Production environments to the cloud – As a final step to the cloud, Xynomix can plan and execute migration of production databases to private or public cloud. A customers journey may take them through several steps from cloud backup to production database migration or it may simply be the case that the business is definite that cloud hosting is the clear choice for the live environment for all of the reasons mentioned. If this is the case, Xynomix are still able to utilise a test environment in the first instance to migrate data and provide a proof of concept, minimising risk and providing peace of mind
If your organisation is ready to start the journey to the cloud but requires some advice and guidance, get in touch for a no obligation chat with our experts.