Why do we backup? There are numerous reasons our primary storage is not reliable enough – virus issues and government mandates that require data recovery up to 30 years to name a few. Until now we have primarily relied on Tape Backup Hardware and Software solutions. Most of these solutions were developed over 30 years ago and are on versions 15 and higher.
Backup Software was developed when hard disks, data file count and data size were small. A large tape cartridge may have been 12GB with 2:1 compression. The overall architecture of backup hasn’t changed for years. The Backup Software points to a drive, walks the drive, and copies files, attributes, security, etc. to tape. In the early 2000’s, backup was moved to disk with the introduction of disk-2-disk (D2D) backup and disk-based Virtual Tape Libraries (VTL). Backup software pointed to these devices thinking they were tape. Finally, in the mid-2000’s, backup software began to understand disk and would write natively to disk. However, in most cases data was still written in a proprietary format. If a file was to be recovered, IT Administrators would still have to use backup software. Nothing has changed accept the annual maintenance fees.
Proper backup requires not only backup but disaster recovery. Cloud Storage includes advanced disaster recovery techniques allowing up to 99.999999999% reliability. Up to this point, most applications using Cloud Storage have been backup applications. Data is sent either with Backup Software applications or 3rd party file sharing programs. However, RAID 6 which is used for primary storage on most NAS devices only has 99.99% data reliability. So why aren’t we using the Cloud to store our primary data? Well, the Cloud will not help with deleted files or versions. If a file has been deleted, how to you get it back? The file will be deleted in the Cloud as well. And what happens when you need to retrieve a previous version of a file? How is this accomplished? These questions are now answered by BridgeSTOR’s Cloud Storage File System (CSFS).
BridgeSTOR’s abstraction layer sits in front of Cloud Storage and adds numerous features normally unavailable in tradition NAS – Version Control, Soft Delete and local tiers of storage to name a few. Coronado V-NAS Access Points allow the ability of a local tier of storage. This could be SSD, SAS or SATA drives. This tier has been designed to allow fast file retrieve without recovering data from the Cloud. When files are ingested into the system, a split write is performed where the data is written twice – once to the cache and a second write into the Cloud. The Coronado V-NAS Global View Manager is the keeper of all metadata. The Coronado V-NAS Access Points have the capability of trimming this local tier based on a user defined policy. Files that have not been accessed will be removed from the local tier based on a policy. However, the view to the user will remain. If the file is accessed again, the file will be recovered from Cloud Storage. Although this works well for day-to-day operations and disaster recovery, it still does not solve the backup problem.
Soft Delete and Version Control are designed to be the final piece of eliminating backup software. If a file is deleted from a Coronado V-NAS Access Point, it will be immediately moved to a recycle directory. Once in the directory the administrator may view the directory and easily copy a deleted file back into the system. Version Control is also included. For example, if a Microsoft Word document is edited and saved, the previous version will also be copied into the recycle bin. User defined policies then allow for trimming of deleted files and versions. For instance, a maximum of 100 versions could exist, which would be trimmed to 40 versions after 3 days and 2 versions after a month.
The Coronado system will not eliminate all backup policies (for example databases), but does aid in the dramatic reduction of existing backup software problems and cost. Using Coronado allows administrators to break the proprietary storage of files as all files in Cloud Storage may be viewed over a normal NAS share and copied directly out of the Cloud using normal file access techniques.