Thursday 31 January 2019

Replace Tape Backup with Cloud Based Storage

Requirements of storage for backup and continuing archiving for data protection and disaster recovery are expanding at huge rate. Enterprises of all types need to backup their active data regularly to avoid losses, stay compliant, and preserve data integrity. However, data protection approaches of legacy methods such as tape backup are expensive and have become increasingly complex to manage because of the large number of tapes frequently required for a restore procedure. Tape media configuration and management, media costs, third party offsite contracts and huge amount of data growth makes the tape backup challenging in organizations. 

Moving from tape backup to cloud based storage doesn’t mean that you can just roll out the old tape library and replace the capacity with some private or public cloud and you’re done. Replacing tape with cloud based storage is not difficult, but backup administrators need a plan and roadmap to ensure minimal business disruption while maintaining data protection and achieving the best results within the time frame.

AWS Storage Gateway Overview

The AWS Storage Gateway service offers a Tape Gateway configuration that gives an alternative to physical backup tapes that fits seamlessly into customer’s existing backup process. It connects an on-premise software appliance with cloud-based storage to provide seamless, protected and secure integration between an organization’s on-premise IT environment and AWS side storage infrastructure. The Tape Gateway configuration provides customer with a cost-effective, scalable, and durable virtual tape infrastructure that allows to eliminate the challenges associated with owning and operating an on-premise physical tape infra.

By getting started with AWS Storage Gateway service with your on-premise tape media setup, following points will be accomplished:
  • Create/Provision a virtual host with local storage for AWS Storage Gateway.
  • Create virtual tapes in gateway's Virtual Tape Library. Virtual tapes are stored in Amazon S3 and available to backup software through the VTL interface. It replaces tape and tape automation, so that one can start using the cloud as a backup target with minimal disruption to existing systems and processes.
  • Back up to these virtual tapes using existing backup software. The Tape Gateway enables backups to the cloud and preserves existing software licensing investment, backup jobs, and catalogs.
  • Reduce costs with long-term archival storage using Amazon Glacier. Backup software can be used to move a virtual tape into Amazon Glacier for further cost reductions.

Prerequisites Before Getting Started
  • An AWS Account to download an AWS Storage Gateway and to create a VTL and virtual tapes.
  • A Hypervisor and Host is required. The easy approach is to run AWS Storage Gateway on-premises as a virtual machine. Click here to see the list of supported Hypervisors and Host requirements.
  • Existing third party backup software to manage the backup jobs and catalog. Click here to check the list of compatible 3rd party backup software.
  • It is recommended to have skills and expertise with storage and backup technologies, networking, virtualization, backup tools, and tape solutions.

Cost Calculations

Charges are calculated based on the type and amount of storage is used, the requests you make, and the amount of data transferred out of AWS. There are monthly data storage fees for tapes stored in S3 and for tapes archived in Glacier. 

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