Today I am not here to pitch HPE products if you like find me at the booth and we can discuss what HPE is doing today with some of our offerings, I am here to hopefully let you walk out of this session with a better understanding on 4 areas to look at when considering backup solutions.
Like many of you, I am a VMUG user. I started with the group with the New England VMUG which is now the VTUG. I knew nothing about user groups, VMware, Data Storage? What was that? I started by getting a cracked copy of Workstation, rest assured I have a legitimate copy now. My drive to learn more is what drove me to partake in the group. I was sitting there at Gillette Stadium back in Jan 2010. Wanting to learn more about this product that I jus started using. What intrigued me the most was learning from people, the conversations I had inspired me to this day. Fast forward 6 years and here I am talking to you, hopefully I inspire you or that you take one thing out of this whole experience that you find valuable.
Now when I was asked by my marketing team to come support this event I jumped at the opportunity, having attended a Philly VMUG in the past I enjoyed the user experience. The abstract that was originally sent was product focused, heavily, I personally cringed at it. Not from an HPE employee view – the original abstract is ok, but not for our event. An event for users by users. So I took about a week and I approached them with this session. The concept behind this came from years attending these events and a conversation I had with Chris Willaims you can engage with Chris on Twitter his user name is @Mistwire. Chris and I met for lunch one day and got to talking
About how the backup market is saturated with products today. From software only vendors to those offering backup appliances. This got me thinking as Chris is on the user side me the vendor side. Those who work for a vendor and “customer” understand the difference. But like back in 2010 I had the urge to understand a different point of view. What are customers looking at when evaluating solutions today?
Backup Solutions are very important to your businesses overall success. How many people saw that article where a small hosting company where the business owner ran a script with “rm –rf” essentially wiping his entire company out?
We know it wasn’t a real story, however it is something that could happen. Now how many recall when Emory University had an SCCM issue where it reformatted all of it’s servers? This was a real incident, I still recall hearing about this event 2 years ago. It is the thing that gives sysadmins nightmares.
I asked Chris “What are the top things you as a user look for when evaluating a backup solution?”
You have to understand something I love hearing thought processes from people and their rationale on why those choose something. In all facets of life.
Chris sat back and gave me a grin and repeated the question then
He replied” Ease of use”
“Ease of use I stated” It makes perfect sense, I sat there with this look on my face and hand on my chin and Chris was laughing at me. It is exactly correct that when implementing a solution users do not want something majorly complex, software is suppose to make our lives easier.
I said Chris that makes perfect sense, as with Backup environments you have so many different specifications for different business units and applications, you want it as easy as possible
It really got me thinking this would be a great tip to share with you all is how easy is a solution to deploy, as well as when you configure the bread and butter of the backup application backup jobs.
Systems for companies are all different and that is where Tip 2 comes into play. Interoperability.
You have to have an understanding of what your environment looks like and where are those backups going to reside. Are you doing on-site backups now but looking for cloud backups down the road? It would be great to have those questions answered as to where and the solution fits into your existing infrastructure. We know things are changing today companies get acquired all the time, technology changes, you move from VMware to Microsoft, back to VMware.
Can you see how Tip 1 of ease of use and tip 2 Interoperability go hand in hand.
It is very important when considering a backup vendor to understand that the offering fits what you have and can fit where you are headed, But our needs as admins is miniscule compared to the service we are offering our lines of business.
Implementing any solution is going to affect RTO and RPO which happens to be Tip 3
RTO is Recovery Time Objective – The time you will have a down system restored by
How many people have tested their backups to ensure they have an accurate RTO SLA with business unit?
Here is an example – If you do not have a true understanding of your Recovery Time what is going to happen if I was to set you business unit with a RTO of 25 minutes for your systems, but in reality it takes 45 minutes to recover?
We fail the Business, hands down, we as admins need to set realistic RTO times that are dictated by your business, and each department will have a different RTO. But that is great you focus on the business unit and say You set an RTO SLA of 10 minutes, your team needs it’s own RTO of at least 8 minutes.
How fast the systems are back online is only half of it…
RPO – there are many factors that dictate how long you need to keep something and that we are not covering today, but when considering a solution you should understand if it can fit the requirement of how far you HAVE to go.
Now Backup jobs and specifications will impact the RPO and the RPO will dictate the specification for certain systems. Understand that not all systems are going to have the same RPO requirement.
As an example of this you may set an RPO of 2 minutes or under for a database or POS system, while for your business analyst group you set an hour RPO meaning you have said you are willing to roll back the last hour in the event of a failure. Where with the DB you are going to recover 2 minutes before the failure.
For this conversation these numbers are hypothetical, ensure that you understand the capabilities of the solutions RTO & RPO abilities. This will help you set realistic SLA’s for your business needs.
Anyone notice how tip 3 ties into tip 1 and 2 pretty easy? You need a solution that is easy to configure the parts that are going to affect your success the most, if you never test backups how can you know for certain that you are able to deliver your SLA’s to the business unit?
There is one more part to RTO/RPO’s for every business unit or backup specification you will need 2 SLA’s for RTO & 2 for RPO. Wait a second, why do I need to 2? You need one for the business unit and one the IT team. IT ops needs to have the systems up before they can garuntee them for the business units. So that is why you need 2.
But I saved the best for last Tip for it has to meet YOUR use case.
My business isn’t going to have the same needs as Chris’s business or your business. Don’t just look at the top choice because you see them everywhere. Their solution may not fit your needs. I am confident that HPE solutions fit a majority of needs, as do many other vendors out there. Understanding exactly how you need to use a product and if it solves a business problem
Whether that be cost, if it does virtual environments, ease of use. You as an admin or business needs to identify what your use case for any solution. Then take those solutions that fit that criteria and research them deeper.
The most important tip that any solution has to fit YOUR use case.
Here we have ZaneRay who is a web design and ecommerce company. Back in August ZaneRay embarked on a journey to replace their old backup solution as it was failing constantly. Some areas they looked at was Cost, ability to run in multiple locations, reliability, Ease of use.
Last week members of the HPE Backup team were onsite recording a video where ZaneRay was talking about their journey and why they chose our solution. Personally I can’t wait to hear their story and if you follow us on twitter I will share the video. But the solution met their Use Case. And first and foremost as a business you need to identify the use case for any solution and if it solves ta problem in your organization.
In closing I would like you to understand that when evaluating a backup solution that you consider Your Use case(s), How solution integrates into your existing Environment, RTO/RPO, Ease of use
I am now open for questions and would like to say thank you, it has been a real pleasure and honor to be part of this great community. If you would like to learn more about our solutions please come chat at our booth and connect wit us on twitter @HPE_Backup or me personally @NerdBlurt
Demystifying backup - 4 Tips when evaluating a backup solution
4 Tips when considering a Backup Solution
Tip 4 Use Case
Protecting high-value websites and internal systems
“We could run two instances on separate licenses to support as many
servers as we need, and still stay within budget,” says Brennan Sandusky,
ZaneRay’s Systems Director. “VM Explorer is exactly the product I was
Complete virtual machines can be recovered in as few as three minutes,
which is critical to ZaneRay’s ability to promise its customers a 99.99
percent service uptime.
Ease of Use
Does it fit