Data Backup

  • What's the Difference? Azure Backup Vault Vs Site Recovery

    azure vault azure site recovery

    Business consistency needs vary from organization to organization. Larger IT organizations with heavier dependency on applications require more robust business consistency and disaster recovery. However, smaller, less dependent IT implementations may not need as intensive plans for data back-up and recovery as enterprise-class customers. Microsoft Azure provides two different models from which to choose with its recovery services

    · Backup Vault or the newer Azure Recovery Services Vault

    · Site Recovery Services

    The names of these two services suggest they cover the same needs, but they are different models. Backup Vault is used to perform backups that most organizations currently use. With Azure, the Backup Vault/Azure Recovery Services Vault replaces older technology with backup to the cloud. With Backup Vault more granular backup and restoration can be done down to individual files.

    Meanwhile, Site Recovery services is a different model for business recovery altogether. Site Recovery services replicates entire site data, physical servers, VMs and even network services. In this manner, an entire site has redundancy for high availability, failover and failback services. With a Site Recovery subscription, business consistency is achieved through replication either from an on-premise to cloud model or a cloud to cloud model.

    The distinction between Backup Vault and Site Recovery services is that, while both operate by storing data to the cloud for business consistency and disaster recovery, they achieve similar goals differently. Backup Vault uses the traditional method of backup but without the necessity of tape, using the Azure cloud instead. Site Recovery services achieves business consistency by site replication and failover/failback operations.

    Azure Backup Vault

    Azure Backup Vault is a backup solution most familiar to IT personnel where data is backed up so that it can be restored as necessary. The traditional method was to backup to tapes and send them off site. With Azure Backup Vault, tapes and tape drives are no longer necessary as data is backed up to the Azure cloud-based vault. Cost is reduced through the elimination of older equipment and the reduction of restoration time with backed up data always available.

    Backup Vault works as a cloud-to-cloud implementation where cloud-based VMs and data can be backed-up to the Backup Vault without disruption to services. Additionally, on-premise physical servers and VMs can be backed up to the Azure Backup Vault by installing an agent to handle the management of backup policies.

    A wide array of backup components may be used with Backup Vault to accomplish business consistency and disaster recovery goals. Azure Backup (MARS) agent is used for on-

    premise physical and VM server to backup data just like a traditional backup paradigm but without the need for a backup server. System Center DPM provides a wider variety of backup options including Linux OS backups from VMs and even options for on-premise tapes. Azure Backup Server has as many options as System Center DPM without tape support. Azure IaaS VM Backup will backup VM servers but only allows for restoration at the server level.

    Scenarios for the various components differ with some overlap. Also, Linux support among these various components differs, but all are effective ways to protect data for business consistency using a traditional backup model. For more information about Backup Vault components as well as specific OS and application backup support, contact your representative at Royal Discount.

    Azure Recovery Services Vault

    Azure Site Recovery is a new service with more advanced options for large instances and enterprises. Backup Vaults are still supported but can no longer be created since it was based on Azure Service Manager as an early version of the vaults. Recovery Services Vaults are the second version in which Azure Resource Manager model features were introduced. As such, Recovery Services Vault contains features not available in the original Backup Vault. Upgrades to Recovery Services Vault are available and retain backup data as part of the upgrade process.

    New features in Recovery Services Vault include:

    · Enhanced security features for backup that allow for data recovery even if production and backup servers are compromised

    · Central monitoring of hybrid IT environments which extends monitoring of assets from Azure IaaS VMs to on-premise assets from a central point.

    · Role-Based Access Control: there are three built-in roles to manage recovery points in Azure Recovery Services Vault so backup and restore user controls can be enforced.

    · All types of Azure VMs are protected: Premium Disks, Managed Disks and Encrypted VMs are all protected in the new Azure Resource Manager model. Upgraded vaults will retain former Service Manager recovery points while gaining the ability to configure protection policies for the upgraded Resource Manager-based VMs.

    · Instantly restore data from IaaS VMs: whereas Service Manager-based IaaS VMs in Backup Vault could only be restored to the VM level, new Resource Manager-based IaaS VMs can be restored down to the folder and file level within the VM. This new feature provides faster data restoration for both Windows and Linux OS VMs.

    Azure Site Recovery Services

    Site Recovery Services follows a more robust model for business consistency and disaster recovery by allowing full site replication for failover and failback events. With redundant sites, even down to network configurations, business consistency meets high availability standards for larger, more technically dependent organizations.

    With Site Recovery Services, a wide range of requirements can be met and managed to include even manual intervention for more specialized applications. Microsoft has tested many widely used applications and workloads for replication and site recovery. Site Recovery Services even provides burst services for high-demand operational time-frames along with a large number of tools to assess, manage and monitor assets for optimal business consistency.

    Why Choose Backup Vault/Recovery Services Vault?

    Vault-based backup and recovery deployments follow a traditional model of business consistency and disaster recovery by backing up data in a variety of policies, some even with tape systems. On-premise, hybrid implementations without the need for high availability can easily manage backups. Upgrading to Recovery Services Vault for Resource Manager-based features improves backup management and security while retaining the components to allow for flexible backup models that use either cloud or tape backup technology. Additional security features in Recovery Services Vault provide advanced restoration even for compromised systems.

    Why Choose Site Recovery Services?

    With high availability needs, an organization is able to use Site Recovery Services to meet higher demands for business consistency and disaster recovery. Sites are replicated even to the network level while a wide range of applications and workloads can be accommodated for failover/failback events, testing new applications, and increased workload demands all while retaining security through encrypted connections. Site Recovery Services meets the needs for the highest of IT environment demands at cost.

    To determine your business consistency and disaster recovery needs, consider the dynamics of your organization and the demands placed on your IT environment. If high availability for your site is a priority, then Azure Sire Recovery Services may fit your needs. If high availability is not an issue, you may find Azure's vault-based technology to be the best answer for data protection. Consider upgrading your existing Backup Vault to Recovery Services Vault to leverage new, advanced features. Have questions? Learn more at - To request more information on cloud services, speak with our Microsoft licensing experts at 1-877-292-7712.

  • Azure Site Recovery Migration & Deployment Guide

    azure site recovery migration

    Starting from the Beginning

    All the research has been completed. All the decisions have been made to use Azure Site Recovery. Now the real work begins with planning the deployment. Beyond creating an Azure Portal account and budgeting for cloud storage and other services, decisions must now be made to execute the move to the cloud and/or site recovery. Current information is needed for determining what VM servers can be migrated or replicated to the cloud.

    Fortunately, new and old customers of Azure services alike can take advantage of one tool to assist with planning and completing a Site Recovery implementation. The Site Recovery Deployment Planner for VMware and Hyper-V presents a handy set of features that easily assists with planning your Site Recovery project, so you can successfully complete the project while meeting all the requirements defined for business consistency and disaster recovery.

    How the Deployment Planner Assists

    The latest version of the planner is now available for enterprise customers and provides insights into an IT environment. The tool delivers enterprise customers with three key types of information:

    1. Customers with either VMware and/or Hyper-V VMs can determine the scope of their on-premises network requirements based on their current number of servers and application demands.

    2. The planner also assists with calculating storage requirements for satisfactory replication to Site Recovery storage.

    3. Also, the planner assesses infrastructure needs for test failover or application failovers.

    With these key data points, customers can determine their precise infrastructure requirements to estimate their total costs involved for meeting disaster recovery needs. With the tool, total cost estimates and licenses can be determined for an associated subscription with currency specified to generate a report that includes needs and pricing for compute, storage, network and Site Recovery. The tool's reporting can be completed without installing any software or creating a negative impact on the existing VM environment since it collects performance data directly from VM environment host servers (either Hyper-V or VMware hosts).

    Information Gathered by the Deployment Planner Tool

    By using the planner, the following information will be extracted to discover infrastructure topography and meet project objectives with precision:

    · Compatibility Assessment - VM servers are assessed for eligibility for use in Azure with Site Recovery

    · Network bandwidth needs versus Recovery Point Objects (RPO) - this provides estimates for required bandwidth for delta replication, expected throughput for Site Recovery between on-premises equipment to Azure, what RPO can be achieved given existing bandwidth, and any impact to RPO for choosing a lower bandwidth.

    · Required Microsoft Azure infrastructure - determine the following factors based on VMs: type of storage needed (standard or premium), the total number of accounts necessary (standard or premium) when setting up replication, storage-account placement of all VMs, how many cores will be needed for test and application failovers, and Azure VM size recommendations for on-premise VMs

    · Required on-premise infrastructure - the required free storage of volumes for Hyper-V volumes for successful replication, copy frequency maximums for Hyper-V replication and requirements for the number of process and configuration servers for VMware replication to Azure scenarios.

    · Guidance for initial replication batching - the planner determines the number of VMs that can be initially replicated.

    · Estimates for disaster recovery (DR) cost with Azure - specifics for total DR cost with detailed cost analysis for each VM

    · Determining growth estimates - future demands for on-premise workload and demand growth are assessed for future planning and budget projections.

    Deployment Planner Modes and Output

    The planner runs in three modes to generate effective reports, so enterprise customers can create the most complete picture of their IT needs and the scope of the project:

    1. Profiling mode gathers information for on-site VM equipment and existing VMs to gain an overall profile of performance by connecting to host servers for Hyper-V or VMware hosted VMs. A number of performance counters are gathered over several days up to a month for an accurate picture of site needs for storage, compute, network, and Site Recovery infrastructure as well as bandwidth discovery.

    2. The planner summary mode generates a report from the data created while in profiling mode. A generated report in the form of a spreadsheet details: current information, creates recommendations, determines storage needs, details which VMs are compatible and which are not, assesses Hyper-V requirements for storage and batching as well as provides cost estimates.

    3. Network bandwidth is determined with the Throughput Calculation mode. With this mode, bandwidth needs, and recommendations are provided even if throttling is necessary.

    With the Azure Site Recovery Deployment Planner, enterprise-class customers can achieve all expectations and requirements from Microsoft Azure for best outcomes of deployment. To learn more about Microsoft Azure Site Recovery and the Deployment Planner for VMs, contact our experts at - Your online source for cheap OEM, Retail & Cloud products.

  • How Office 365's New Features Improve Productivity

    New Features in 365 Promote Easy Collaboration

    Communication is vital to existence of any healthy relationship and business is no exception. In particular, business communication is core to internal workflow processes, external partnerships, and connection to customers. With the recent introduction of affordable, state-of-the-art internal communication platforms, telecommuting and globalization are shaping and scaling businesses in ways we’ve never seen before. Real-time services such as SharePoint and Skype for Business are decreasing business opportunity costs and are promoting a fast, fun, easy and effective way to collaborate in the digital era.

    Chats, video presentations, and virtual conferences have replaced the dreary in-person meetings of the past. Virtual discussions are the new way to get more done. Microsoft Office 365 has expanded its traditional offerings of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook to include a suite of applications which provide mobility and continual access to foster and maintain conversations globally. Microsoft’s main mission with O365 for Business is simple: collective, easy collaboration.

    Office 365 Has a Suite of New Business Applications

    Applications, such as OneDrive, offer tools for co-authoring and collaboration; Word and PowerPoint now allow colleagues to work on the same documents and presentations through its integration with OneDrive and SharePoint for “real-time” editing. These applications also include features such as the “Share” button, granting users the ability to share files within their organization and allowing individuals and management to see who is working on a particular document. Users can also send large files through Outlook, which will then convert said files into a downloadable link for those actively on OneDrive or SharePoint.

    Office 365 Plans & Pricing

    Another unique feature of Office 365 is the ability to view “historical versions” of a particular document from within the traditional desktop office suite itself. Everyone has experienced the of frustration of accidentally deleting a portion of a document and this feature acts as a safeguard for this inevitable occurrence.

    These additional offerings, such as Skype for Business integration, data forecasting, improved cross-device support, and document collaboration arm nearly any business with the latest, most powerful industry-grade tools necessary to compete in the ever-evolving world of business communications.

    For more information on Office 365 plans, pricing and features, contact us today.

  • Backup Your Most Important Data

    Back Up Your Data With OneDrive
    Many of us have important files on our computer, but it seems like people don’t know how to take care of them. As a responsible computer user, it is essential that you always back up your most important files and have a plan for recovering from a system failure.

    I often hear end-users say that they don’t have important files on their computer, so they don’t really need to do backups. That’s not true. The truth is, all the important memories in our lives are being looked after by technology – family pictures, vacation photos, wedding photos graduation photos, financial documents etc. It’s really sad when people say that their hard drive died and they lost all their pictures with it. These photos may not cost you money, but losing all those memories can be difficult.

    Most businesses also rely on soft data. Think of all the projects, files, documents, emails, spread sheets, databases and software on your computer. Now imagine what would happen if you lose all these in an instant. What would your clients say? What would happen to your business?

    You may have protected your computer form viruses, malware and other potential threats, but are you backing up your files regularly? Yes, we understand that this can be a chore for most people since the initial setup could take hours, but your data is valuable.

    Backing up your files is advantageous since you can retrieve some, if not all, of your information in case something happens to your computer. Recreating these data will take time and effort. Worse, some of them cannot be recreated at all.

    The most important files to backup are your pictures, documents, music and other files you can’t replaced easily. If you use your computer every day, please try to back up files you use most often at least every week. If you can do it every day, much better.

    If you’ve put off backing up your computer for too long, now is the perfect time to do so. You never know when your computer would give up or malicious software would destroy the information it holds.