Comparison of cloud backup solutions
There are dozens of software solutions on the market for cloud backup and data replication. Everyone has their own characteristics and the choice of the service must be based primarily on the specific needs of the company. The following are four solutions for the WaveCom´ VMware Cloud platform.
IT professionals have a special role to play in ensuring business continuity. Data replication, rapid disaster recovery, and other backup solutions are a lifeline that allows you to quickly return to normal business after any incident without causing major business losses.
What is the difference between backup and replication?
Backup is a good way to store data for longer. Backups are usually made after a certain period of time. For example, it can be done at a certain time each day. This is usually done at night to keep servers less busy.
Replication helps in crisis situations where the entire server center should be destroyed. Restoring from a backup can take a very long time or fail if the backup was in the same house. However, replicating servers should start in minutes.
However, both backup solutions ensure the best fault tolerance at the same time.
How to choose the most suitable and reliable backup and disaster recovery software?
To ensure the smooth running of the business, it is not wise to back up and replicate data in the same data center where the original data is stored, as such a strategy would prevent access to the data in the event of a server failure.
Why prefer cloud backup?
Therefore, preference should be given to a cloud environment where replication and backup of original data is scattered between different data centers, providing immediate access to your data in the event of a failure.
For many businesses, the cloud also offers the opportunity to get rid of resource-intensive hardware solutions and investments and automate other processes, saving both time and money.
There are dozens of software solutions on the market for cloud backup and data replication. When choosing a service, you must first consider the specific needs of the company.
Backup technology requirements
Backing up to the cloud isn't just like copying data every once in a while. There are other aspects to the service.
The advantages and disadvantages of any cloud backup service depend on the data environment as well as the main requirements of the backup technology.
When choosing a backup solution, you should consider the number of machines, the amount of data, and how quickly and for how long the data will be restored if an accident occurs. Different companies have different tolerance limits and the conditions for cloud backup must be designed accordingly.
- Where and how is the platform supported, is the vendor's support team local and quickly available?
- Where is the data stored?
- What are the SLA and contract terms?
- Are there any hidden costs, such as downloading or recovering data?
- Does the solution meet the legal and regulatory requirements for data storing?
Among the most demanded and preferred solutions on the market are Veeam Backup and VMware solutions. Here are four of the most common solutions running on the VMware platform.
VMware vSphere Replication
VMware vSphere Replication is a hypervisor-based asynchronous replication solution for vSphere virtual machines. Enables data protection for virtual machines located in a virtual data center.
This solution is cost-effective and is primarily designed for non-critical applications with a data loss (RPO-recovery point objective) of more than two hours and a service recovery rate (RTO-recovery time objective) of more than one hour.
The strength of vSphere Replication is the technological side. Virtual machines are replicated at the hypervisor level, not snapshoted. This means that the backup does not affect the latency of the virtual machines.
VMware Cloud Availability
VMware Cloud Director Availability is a Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DraaS) solution that allows a customer to manage and automate replication (backup) of virtual machines and vApps in different data centers from a single Web interface (Cloud Director). It can also be used to perform disaster recovery between data centers and to configure automatic disaster recovery from your on-premises data center to the cloud and vice versa. For example, if the main site is not available, it is possible to restore the virtual machines and vApp´s through the backup site, and if the fault is eliminated, then restart the main site later.
This solution is primarily designed for critical business applications where the loss of data (RPO) based on the business continuity plan is less than 15 minutes and the urgency of service recovery (RTO) is vital (1 minute).
Although the backup capacity is up to one year, the optimal limit is one week due to a maximum of 24 storage points spaced evenly over the backup period.
VEEAM Backup is an affordable and easy-to-use backup solution that supports VMware vSphere virtual environments. As a rule, users of this solution perform a full backup once a week and partial backups the rest of the time. This saves money. The solution is primarily intended for backing up data for more than one year. Based on replication, it is intended for critical applications of the company, the allowability of data loss (RPO) based on the company's business continuity plan is 5 min - 24 h and the urgency of service recovery (RTO) is 15 - 30 min.
The strength of this solution is the ability to recover virtual machines, vApp´e, virtual machine disks, and files in the familiar Cloud Director environment.
The main disadvantage is making snapshots, which use a lot of virtual machine resources.
The snapshot functionality of the VMware Cloud Director environment is especially appreciated before making various changes. In particular, we recommend that you use this option for software updates. If something goes wrong during the virtual machine changes, you can use snapshot to instantly restore the status quo.
Snapshot means recording the state of the virtual machine. To do this, you must have enough free space ordered from the virtual data center. Snapshot reserves as much space per virtual machine as the size of the virtual machine itself. To optimize costs, you can increase disk space in the short term and reduce it after an upgrade.
We emphasize that snapshot is not a sustainable backup. It's also worth remembering that keeping a snapshot for more than a few days will slow down the disk system. For example, with a one-week-old snapshot, a disk system becomes twice as slow, and with a one-month-old snapshot, it becomes four times slower. On the Cloud Director platform, only one snapshot can be made of the virtual machine, and if the virtual machine is made into a template, no snapshot is included.
Summary of the advantages and disadvantages of these services
|VMware vSphere Replication
|VMware Cloud Availability
|Virtual machine price
|One-time as needed
|From 5min to 24 recording points
|From 1min to 24 recording points
|15-30min (depends on the size of the virtual machine disk)
|Cloud Director administration
|Yes, there may be a problem with higher resource usage (100GB + RAM, 1TB + storage) in virtual machines
|Retention time of backups
|Optimal for up to 7 days
|Optimal for up to 7 days.
|Optimal for up to 72h.
|The latency of virtual machine operation does not change during replication
|Fast DRaaS service
|Secure long-term data backup
|Ability to recover a virtual machine quickly if a software update fails
|The customer has complete control over the backup and management of their virtual machines and vApp´s
|The customer does not have the opportunity to manage the backup and restore the virtual machines
|It is not wise to back up data for more than 7 days
|Recovering very large virtual machines is time consuming
|It is not a sustainable backup solution because the size of the modified snapshot file accumulates over time and slows down the disk system
|Snapshot can cause problems with large resource usage (100GB + RAM, 1TB + storage) in virtual machines