If you’re looking for off-site backups for your long-term data retention, archival storage is the way to go. Unfortunately, with many cloud providers, there are many “gotchas” associated with archival backup storage. Some of these “gotchas” include hidden fees, self-management, or slow recovery times.
On September 18th, 2019, Webair’s Sagi Brody (CTO) and Gerard Hiner (CBO) came together for our monthly webinar. This month’s discussion was about how you can leverage more affordable archival storage capabilities with Webair.
Speed vs. Retention-based Backup Storage
First, let’s dive into the two different types of backup storage, speed-based backup storage, and retention-based backup storage. The use-cases for both types of storage are quite different, but for many organizations, both may be a requirement.
Speed-based Cloud Backup Storage
This type of backup storage is required to ensure backups finish fast, and more importantly, restore within a reasonable amount of time. You’d want these types of backups in instances where you need your data right away, and you need it to be consumable. Maybe your systems were plagued by ransomware or maybe an employee accidentally wiped out some of your company’s critical data. Whatever the case may be, you need this data, and you need it now. This is typically the function of local backups, however, managing large amounts of storage locally in a redundant, scalable, and economical way can be expensive and come with an operational overhead.
By leveraging cloud service providers with regional “edge” infrastructure, end users can shift some or all of the heavy lifting traditionally relegated to local storage to “the cloud.” Let’s take a quick look at some of the features:
- Fast backups & restores
- Immediately restorable with low RTOs
- Fast file-level restores
- “Boot and Browse” backups
- Snapshot-like capabilities
- Ability to offset local storage and still use the cloud
- Shift operational responsibilities such as management and monitoring to a provider
Retention & Archival Cloud Backup Storage
Retention-based storage is quite the opposite. This type of storage is ideal for long-term data that you’ll rarely need access to. Primarily, this type of storage is used for organizations that have to abide by compliance, regulatory, or legal requirements. Because of this, these organizations must retain the data for a specific length of time (i.e. 3 years, 5 years, 7 years, 10 years, etc.). Let’s take a deeper look into what retention-based storage entails:
- Archival or “Cold Storage”
- Slow restores
- Located far from the original copies
- Typically employs multiple copies of your data
- Requires storage & underlying infrastructure, integration with backup software, operational oversight, and geography
So, is it possible to employ a single backup platform to cover all your bases as far as hot storage and cold storage? The answer is, yes, it’s possible, but it can be difficult due to the complexity of your organization and/or your performance/retention requirements. For example, maybe you tweak the platform to make one of your use-cases more efficient, but at the same time, these adjustments could be detrimental to your other use-cases.
Public Cloud Backups: Considerations
If you’re using public cloud backups for both cold storage and hot storage, it’s important that you understand what you’re buying. You need to know what’s included, and you need to make sure that it satisfies your appetite for accountability. So, what are some of the things that you need to consider? Let’s find out:
- Not all vendors integrate with all the different tiers (i.e. Glacier)
- Having your data in an Availability Zone is not the same as having a 2nd copy of your data
- Off-site DOES NOT mean your backups are air-gapped
- Most solutions are completely Do-It-Yourself
- Security concerns as your data will live in public object storage buckets
If you’re looking for a company to take care of managing and assuming responsibility for your solution, a public cloud solution is definitely not the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re comfortable with assuming all the risk and responsibility for managing and deploying your solution, that’s a different story.
Backup Storage: Costs & Services
On the surface, it may seem that the big-box service providers are the more cost-effective option for archival storage and non-archival storage. When you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that there are a lot of gaps that will end up costing you in the long run. If you want one of the bigger providers to monitor, manage, and take ownership of your backup solutions, you just won’t get that. What happens if your data is lost with one of these companies and you don’t have the appropriate storage tier? Well, that’s on you. With Webair, it’s all on us.
With Webair, 24x7x365 management and monitoring are included, plus we take complete accountability for your backups. The big-box providers also typically charge Transfer Fees per GB as well as Operation Fees.
During the webinar, we share a cost comparison chart that’ll give you a better idea of the big picture. You’ll find that you can end up spending more money and getting less out of your solution when it’s all said and done.
Want to learn more about Webair’s Archival Storage Tier? Talk to one of our experts today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-WEBAIR-1 (1-866-932-2471).
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