When Cambridge Support was presented with the case of improving a clients backup infrastructure, we were excited to get right to work. The client was an Electronics Design & Manufacturing organization. Aaron, one of our Technical Consultants was able to identify their previous IT partner implemented a backup infrastructure which was not fit for purpose. Therefore, we had some work cut out for us, but we were confident we could improve their infrastructure.
The challenge was to ensure that their backups are fit for purpose. Aaron spotted their backup jobs consisted of portable hard drives in daily rotation. These were then either taken offsite or stored in a safe depending on the day. Another issue was the safe itself sat next to the server rack. This causes a potential risk, which we will discuss further.
Firstly, the problem with a manual daily rotation of hard drives is it relies on a human element, which is a potential risk. The task could easily be forgotten thus overwriting the previous day’s backup if the drive wasn’t rotated. Whoever is responsible for the backups would then need to take the disk offsite; this opens the possibility of loss or damage, and even theft.
Secondly, Aaron noticed that if there was an environmental catastrophe like flooding or a fire this would cause devastating effects. The organisation stored their backups in a safe next to the servers. This is a major security risk as in the event of a fire or flood both the backup and server would be destroyed. This would leave only one copy of the entire organisations data on merely a single portable hard drive.
Aaron and Mark, the Service Delivery Manager, both realised this is a huge risk to the organisation. They identified this configuration as sub-optimal and implemented a solution which would eliminate the human element. This was by automating the backup procedure and ensuring there is a suitable offsite backup that is held in more than one location. In addition, Mark and Aaron built upon the backup infrastructure features by introducing virtualization and rapid restores.
Mark and Aaron spotted all the deficiencies of the existing backup infrastructure and suggested that Datto Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) solution be implemented.
‘this would provide a backup configuration that would be resilient, flexible and reliable’.
The Datto BCDR contains a Datto appliance and Datto Cloud. What Aaron identified is that the company needs backups on the hour throughout the day. Therefore, a custom-built server was produced running Datto’s proprietary software to perform backups and store them locally on the internal storage. It then communicates with the organisation’s servers and performs hourly backups between 08:00 and 18:00. This means throughout the day any changes are backed up.
The final backup of the day is then replicated to Datto Cloud. This is stored offsite at recovery points in both the UK and Iceland. Essentially the backups are stored in three locations; one is local and two are cloud based in two geographically located areas.
This Datto solution provides a selection of recovery options. If files are lost, they can be restored, and even entire servers can be restored from the last backup. If the Datto appliance is down, it is even possible to virtualise your servers in Datto Cloud. Therefore, there are many options available with this solution. Aaron and Mark worked hard to ensure this solution was properly set up and met all the clients needs.