The importance of maintaining backups & DR for your cloud servers

The cloud is supposed to solve all problems right, including ensuring backups magically happen and that you’re relieved of needing to consider disaster recovery (DR)? Wrong, planning and consideration still needs to be given to ensuring you have a backup and disaster recovery strategy in place for your cloud hosted servers.

You should always ensure that you keep a regular backup of all servers, including an onsite and offsite copy. An onsite copy of the data should be stored on a separate storage system than what your server is hosted on, this ensures that backups can be restored quickly in case of disaster, and mitigates failure of the storage underlying your server. Generally most customers will backup daily, although some customer requirements demand more frequent backups.

An offsite copy of the data ensures that your data is protected in case of loss of the primary data center, or the primary and secondary storage within the data center. The frequency which you take offsite backups is dependant upon your specific business requirements, however we’d suggest doing this at least once per week. CloudCentral will shortly be introducing a second availability zone which you can use for this purpose, in the meantime you’ll need to store you’re offsite backups with an alternate provider.

CloudCentral provides several options to support customers in implementing their backup & DR strategy. Firstly we provide secondary NAS storage to enable customers to implement their own backup strategy. Typically this would be using a script, or a backup package to backup files from your Cloud Server to NAS storage. This storage is provided via industry standard file sharing protocols including Network File System (NFS) for Linux servers and Common Internet File System (CIFS) for Windows servers. Our secondary storage is protected via ZFS RAIDZ2, which ensures high data integrity and reliability. Additionally we enable customers to implement an offsite backup strategy for their existing in-house servers. We provide 25 GB of backup storage free of charge, with additional space being available for $0.20/GB/month for larger requirements.

CloudCentral also offers managed backup services, whereby CloudCentral takes on the responsibility of implementing and managing backups on behalf of the customer. We provide two types of managed backup service, the first type is Continuous Data Protection (CDP) which makes a continous backup of the protected server as changes are made to it. The second type is a regular point in time backup, implemented by taking a snapshot of the server at the file system layer, then copying this to backup storage. If you are interested in either of these options, please contact sales [at] cloudcentral [dot] com [dot] au.