Cloud Backup II

In my previous blog on Cloud Backup, I wrote about the solutions we offer to backup to the Storage Cloud (e.g. Amazon S3). In this blog I will talk about backup of cloud, i.e. backup of your applications running on a Compute Cloud (e.g. Amazon EC2).

Let’s say you are migrating some on-premises applications (e.g. a customer facing enterprise app), which are currently being backed up to a tape library, to the cloud (fig 1).
Applications migrating to the cloud

Clouds don’t have a notion of a local tape library. So, your current backup solution will likely not work after this migration.

Backup of Apps on Clouds?So, where do you backup? Note that Compute Cloud vendors do not offer automatic backups. While they may offer storage redundancy features, e.g. replication and snapshots, these are not replacement for a complete backup solution.

You still need backup archives and a backup catalog for those archives to be able to recover from user and application errors. Just like RAID is not a backup solution for on-premises data, storage redundancy features offered by cloud vendors don’t provide a backup solution either. In summary, an automated backup solution is a must-have regardless of where the applications are running: on-premises or in the cloud. Well this is where Zmanda comes into play. We offer three choices as destination for backup of data residing in applications on the cloud(fig 3):

Backup of Apps on Clouds1. Backup to a local Storage Cloud - e.g. Amazon S3 if your applications are running on EC2. This is great option from a cost or performance perspective, but not so great from spreading-your-risk perspective.

2. Backup to a remote cloud. This requires having relationships with two different cloud vendors, but reduces your risks the most.

3. Backup to disks on your premises. This requires local infrastructure, but gives you complete control of your backup archives.

All three of our products: Amanda Enterprise, ZRM for MySQL, and Zmanda Cloud Backup are tested and supported on virtual machines running on the cloud.

So, today you can buy these products and run them on a virtual machine of your choice (as long as it runs an operating system from our compatibility matrix). In near future, we will be shipping virtual appliances which can be run either in your data center or in the cloud. So, lets say you bought and run few VMs in the cloud to run a set of your applications. In order to backup these applications, you will simply buy a Zmanda Backup Appliance (which will be another VM in the same cloud), and quickly configure this appliance to know about your application VMs and the destination for your archives. You don’t have to worry about dependencies, installation issues or optimizing the OS for backup purposes.

Currently we are working actively with Novell and VMware to build our first backup appliance. Novell today announced its partnership with VMware to build SUSE Linux Enterprise Appliances on VMware ESX. We are very excited about this development. SLES is already in Tier 1 of operating systems we test and support. We have hundreds of customers running Amanda Enterprise on SLES (e.g. Zen Innovations). Several of our customers protect guest OS’es running on ESX. We are now polishing up this combination to create an appliance-like experience, presented on a browser via Zmanda Management Console.

Reasons to migrate your applications to cloud are to increase efficiency and to dramatically reduce your IT costs. Our virtual backup appliances will help you with both of these goals.

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