Technical fact 7: Providing safe and sufficient offsite backup

Mieke Van Deun
20-sep-2021 11:47:48

Incredible progress has been made by technology in the last couple of years. The future of technology is overwhelming for some, while it can be exciting for others. In our ‘Technical Facts’ series, we have put together some interesting and surprising facts about tech! You will notice that this technical fact is less profound than the previous one. But we wanted to share with you how we provide companies with safe and efficient offsite backup.

What issues could be faced with the current backup - method?

Let us start by describing the IT environment of the customer (a distributor of audio material) so that you can contextualize the case properly.

This case is about a mid-sized enterprise that has its own on-premise environment consisting of a virtualization cluster with 20 virtual machines on it. What, among other things, is running on these VM’s? Its Active Directory, Enterprise Resource Planning, Exchange, File Transfer Protocol, and its fileserver. They have a few applications running in the cloud, but these are outside the scope (not important) of this project.

Offsite Backup Strategy Datacenter Managed Services Core ICT
Backup: Why it is important (click here to read more)

Our customer has its own warehouse which is highly dependent on the ERP system. Local backups are being made, which are being copied to cloud storage every x number of time. The size of this transfer is usually around 2 terabytes of compressed data.

In case of a breakdown of their IT infrastructure (due to a fire or corruption), they would have to face several problems:

  • Their offsite backup is located in the public cloud. As a result, the download of the backups would take a long time. (possibly 12 to 24h)
  • Not GDPR compliant.
  • When the backup is downloaded - there is no hardware available to restore the backup (the only solution is to order a new server, which takes at least 48 hours).
  • And you have to add at least 4 hours to restore the data.

Our customer only has a production environment, which means there is no possibility to run restorative tests without affecting the production.

Michel’s approach to provide a safe and efficient offsite backup

To provide our customer with a secure backup, we’ve set up a backup target in our own data center. This way our customer can make a secure connection through VPN and can copy, every night, the backups to our storage in our datacenter. We have provided a cold standby server in our data center, which is strong enough to host the environment of our customer.

Offsite Backup Strategy Datacenter Managed Services Core ICT
We reduced RTO from 48h to 4h! Speed and reliability are critical when it comes to recovery.

In case of a total failure of our customer's IT environment, our standby server in our data center will take over. This way the backups (who already exist) are restored, which lasts about 4 hours. Of course, it’s important to know in advance if the backups will be restored correctly. To validate this procedure, disaster recovery tests are done regularly.

Which were the results of this backup project?

This solution gives the customer the following benefits:

  • Thanks to the fact that we host the backup environment the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) was down from 48 hours to 4-5 hours.
  • There is no longer the need to invest in new servers when the process of disaster recovery starts.
  • In addition, hosting your backup is a business-safe solution, because the tests are performed regularly.

What else do we have to offer?

In addition to hosting we also can provide the following services:

  • A workspace for employees when your office is not available (fire, flood, not reachable,…)
  • We can lower Recovery Point Objective (RPO) by making several backups a day, in combination with Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS).
  • We can lower RTO by providing Virtual Machines in hot standby.

Do you need more information about this topic or maybe you can’t solve another IT problem on your own? Please reach out, we will help you!

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