CloudCentral Partners with Ctera and Arcserve to Preserve Data in the Cloud

We’re proud to announce that CloudCentral has launched a new Backup and Disaster Recovery service.

Powered by Ctera and Arcserve, the service is designed to offer data protection and sovereignty for Governments & Enterprises within Australia. It also complements the existing line-up of data sovereign cloud services offered by the Canberra company.

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From a cave to the cloud

Using tools has made life easier for people from the dawn of ages. It may have started with the invention of hammers and spears but we’ve come a long way since. The cloud is part of this constant move for innovation to make our life easier. This started with Infrastructure as a Service, and now evolves to Platform as a Service.

A common misconception is that moving to the cloud will magically make your application cloud ready, resolving all issues around reliability and manageability. However, cloud is not a magic bullet. Cloud it is a tool to help you achieve higher reliability with less effort.

A good cloud provider provides cloud services with many built-in redundancies. No single point of hardware failure, be it a compute node, hard-drive failure or network failure affect the performance of a cloud hosted system. However, this doesn’t address the most common cause of failure: software. Not only that, it also ignores the true benefits of cloud computing.

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Growing towards the future with more capacity

As if that isn’t enough, new private ethernet pipes between our TransACT and a soon to be announced new data centre will be bought online this week.

All these improvements will ensure even better connectivity between our data centres. Especially customers who have are using a geographically redundant setup between our data centre will notice even greater speeds than before.

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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.

CloudCentral Launches Second Australian Availability Zone in Sydney

CloudCentral is proud to announce that we are expanding our cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) to the new Equinix SY3 International Business Exchange™ (IBX) data centre in Sydney. CloudCentral will commence offering services from the Equinix SY3 data centre on the 1st of August 2011. It will continue to provide services from its existing Canberra availability zone located in the TransACT data centre.

CloudCentral’s multiple availability zones enable customers to deploy highly available solutions across locations. Having a presence in Canberra and Sydney will also provide CloudCentral customers flexibility to locate latency-sensitive websites as close to their target customers as possible.

The new alliance and cloud computing location differentiates CloudCentral from its competitors, especially those without an Australian data centre presence. CloudCentral’s dual site offering is in stark contrast to existing competitive offerings. It is important to us that our availability zones are located in secure, reliable and network-rich data centres and operating two data centres is an integral part of our business continuity strategy.

From August 1, CloudCentral will be the only provider of true pay-as-you-grow, on-demand cloud infrastructure services from multiple Australian eastern seaboard data centres that are on the whole-of-government Data Centre Facilities Panel with a guarantee that all data will be retained within Australia.

CloudCentral will offer customers connectivity into the Sydney availability zone at speeds of up to 10 gigabits/second via agreements with several leading Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

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