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6 Big Revelations on Zmanda Backup and Data Replication Technology

No doubt, our reliance on large volumes of mission-critical data is ever-increasing. So are the rising expectations for the data to remain intact, 24x7 available, 100% accessible, always updated, and reliably protected at any moment a disaster strikes. Business units undergo mergers and acquisitions. At times, enterprises face unexpected disasters such as internet outages, database failover, natural disasters, etc. Such situations are almost inevitable within your business environment. But, this also warrants high availability and quick recovery of data. With this in mind, businesses today are turning to the enterprise data replication software of their choice, like the VMware data protection and replication.

It’s enticing to use online data replication as a backup method. Many organizations even make it part of a “do-it-yourself” (DIY) strategy of disaster recovery solution. But, did you know that things can massively go wrong if certain considerations are not met? Yes, and these considerations might range from architectural limitations of open-source data replication tools, application-specific agents, snapshot storage requirements to virtualization. Also, the cost and risks of complications to sync a large number of virtual workloads can be a complex and expensive process if not managed properly.

But, this might not be the case.

Until you demystify the common misconceptions to determine the right approach to VMware data recovery replication solution:

Myth: I am in charge of my Organization’s data backup and replication.

Truth: NOT all disaster recovery partners can optimize the compute capacity or address cross-region replication in one step.

The key is to select the right software backup and replication solution that best fits your RPO & RTO objectives assigned to mission-critical applications with the highest revenue impact. After all, during catastrophic events, having a replica for ensuring data availability always makes sense for accomplishing disaster recovery. Hence, Replication comes into the picture.

What is Data Replication?

Unlike normal backup, database backup and replication Synology is the practice of creating copies of a database in more than one site or node, or server. Active data replication makes the data available seamlessly to the users even during downtimes or heavy traffic movements to the server as the data is duplicated on an ongoing basis. So, the data stays consistently updated and synchronized with the source. You can set up a full replication where the full database is copied or partial replication wherein only frequently used data is replicated across the servers.

The article aims to provide you in-depth knowledge about how Zmanda or Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM) provides near real-time data replication and backup for cloud VMware data recovery replication. Zmanda has built this solution for customers to capitalize on full administrative access and control over VMware compute instances that make the DR process much less painful and quick. In effect, this addresses customers' business continuity and disaster recovery needs in addition to a global 24/7/365 support. Let’s dive deep into it.

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Check out what makes Zmanda amazing in backup and replication

Here are the top six reasons that explain why you should replicate your data to the cloud and on-prem using Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM):

1. Delivering low RPOs - ZRM’s approach to lowering RPOs to seconds makes the entire process of data recovery very easy. ZRM backup engine reads data from the snapshot that appears in a specific moment (the exact time of the snapshot) to recover the MySQL database to a specific Recovery Point Objective (RPO). Since it continuously tracks the block-level changes of the VM data, this aids in real-time monitoring to ensure consistent data backup.

By employing robust open-source data replication tools that include native code architectures, backup from storage snapshots dramatically improves recovery point objectives (RPOs). Consequently, Zmanda leverages instant VMware backups to deliver 20 times faster storage snapshots to near-real-time RPO. Thanks to Zmanda’s vSphere backup and replication software that dramatically reduces the size of backup images.

2. Ransomware protection for the air-gap environment - Air-gapping works wonders with a simple formula: If data can’t be accessed, it can’t get infected. Ransomware and cyberattacks are ruthless. Know that you are at the mercy of cybercriminals once you pay the ransom. Zmanda’s data isolation and the air-gapped solution is a robust encryption system designed with multiple layers of security to protect your business-critical backed-up data, thereby preventing any lateral threats.

Whether the data is in transit or at rest, the ZRM backup engine maintains efficient RPO and RTO in combination with tighter security controls, even when the resources are turned off. ZRM smartly isolates backed-up data and streams it through the encrypted tunnel from storage targets to resources for data replication. The replicated data is then air-gapped by severing the encrypted tunnel when the isolated data does not need to be accessed. This way, your backed-up data is always protected and recovery-ready!

3. Protection for unlimited VMs - By integrating backup, Zmanda allows the users to backup and protect an unlimited number of virtual machines. For VMware data replication, ZRM employs vStorage APIs that directly communicate with the VMware ESXi host servers that allow live migration of VMs from one server to another. As a result, this ensures continuous availability and reliable data protection for each of the hypervisors with no data loss or downtime for workloads. The good news is that you just need one license to be installed on the server to protect an unlimited number of VMs on each ESXi Host (Hypervisor) individually.

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4. File-level recovery (FLR) - File-level restore plays an important role when you want to restore the previous version of an individual file that has been accidentally deleted. Database files are huge, and restoring the entire version of the virtual machine is cumbersome and time-taking. The special FLR feature creates two copies of specified, file-level content, which makes it convenient to access files within a restore point in time. Additionally, you can also compare the versions or overwrite the existing file to revert to its older version.

5. Instant recovery of snapshots - ZRM creates snapshots for each point-in-time by creating a logical copy that includes a MySQL binary log to synchronize data. By using snapshots and MySQL binary logs that save all individual database events, it stores the last changed data (including full or incremental) backup. This makes it easier to recover data from incremental backup up to achieving a more granular recovery point and of course, without any downtime.

6. Near-instantaneous hot backups to support multiple platforms - ZRM for MySQL supports snapshot capability for Linux Logical Volume Manager (LVM), Solaris ZFS, NetApp, VSS, Veritas, and VxFS Snapshots. Since ZRM performs backup by creating temporary snapshots while blocking the writes in less than a second time, you can easily backup mission-critical MySQL database at any point in time e.g., just before any specific transaction error made by the user. Besides, ZRM integrates with EMC SnapView to facilitate instantaneous hot backups of live databases and rapid restores with minimal impact on the MySQL application.

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Final thoughts

As your business contracts or expands, this calls for the virtualization of more workloads and applications. For enterprises, it’s crucial to minimize the data loss for customers without sacrificing business continuity and productivity. In this case, hunting for a Synology backup and replication solution tailored specifically to your business is daunting. Plus, even if you rely on your IT department to deal with the replication process on their own, can you back up your sensitive data from the ever-daunting threat of human error? Obviously, no. Besides, this also poses several additional concerns such as:

  • How would you recognize and set the baselines of which backup or data replication software will work, and which not?

  • How do you determine the right tools unique to backup and data replication technologies that offer storage, recovery, and backup?

  • How do you narrow down the cost of each database backup and replication service for your business?

  • Or, how do you calculate the acceptable recovery timeframes for each service?

There’s no right or wrong answer to these questions. The key is to select the right backup and replication solution for your enterprise needs. With Zmanda as your replication partner, we have built our reputation by helping our customers worldwide with our robust and reliable backup solutions to match the enterprise needs.

We are well-equipped with proven years of expertise in visibility and management control over replication and failover. If you have a backup and data replication solution and services in mind, we have a customized replication process to work it out together.