Multicloud and hybrid cloud are all anyone seems to be interested in at the moment if statistics are anything to go by. What this means is that in the not so distant future, the majority of work environments are going to comprise of a great mix of workloads. These will include IoT and edge devices, multiple hypervisors, various on-premises equipment, multiple public clouds and span across different geographic locations. Now while a lot of enterprise solutions are devoted to making the networking side of things possible, what’s often neglected is data protection, which is more than evident from the number of breaches in the last couple of years. You can’t stitch an assortment of platforms, devices, and operating systems together and ignore the security implications of your actions. It takes specialized tools to protect such “diverse” environments and you can’t expect your standard security measures to keep your data safe. One such tool is NAKIVO Backup & Replication — but before we take a closer look at the new version, let’s see why we need tools like this in the first place.
A major challenge for organizations running hybrid cloud environments has been maintaining separate management and security platforms for the interconnected public and private cloud components. Additionally, while on-premises infrastructure can be actively monitored and secured, the public clouds are managed by their respective providers, limiting the kind of active security measures you can take to keep your data protected. This doesn’t get you off the hook, however, as you’re still ultimately responsible for securing your own data and ignorance about how it’s stored, encrypted and protected can be pretty much termed as negligence. According to a report by the Identity Theft Resource Center, last year was pretty terrible for the people in charge of securing data and over half a billion consumer records were either stolen or exposed. This year isn’t going much better and thanks to a couple of incidents in India and China, about 1.3 billion records were breached in April 2019 alone.
A more recent example of how ignorance is anything but bliss is the breach of Capital One customer data that has said to have hit more than 100 million people in the U.S. and 6 million in Canada. While the cause has been narrowed down to a cloud misconfiguration that a hacker took advantage of, the severity of the breach is pretty much in the red zone as leaked information included credit applications, Social Security numbers, and bank account numbers among other personal and financial information. In a typical case of relying on your cloud vendor for security, data was stolen from cloud servers rented from Amazon Web Services. A former AWS engineer, Paige Thompson, was arrested by the FBI for the incident. Amounting to one of the biggest data breaches to ever hit a financial services company, it should serve as fair warning that big public clouds are not invulnerable to attack and modern and “active” security measures are a must.
Windows server support
Fortunately, there are enterprise-level tools that strive to offer complete data protection across all environments, and we use the word “strive” here because the list of environments is ever-growing. One such tool that’s been actively expanding its list of supported platforms is NAKIVO. As part of its popular Backup & Replication product, NAKIVO releases updates in the form of beta programs, directly to their customers for testing. The last major update that came with version 8.5 was the ability to backup and restore Nutanix VMs, which is an ability that’s being extended to Windows Server in the new version. Why Windows Server? Well to put it quite simply, the hybrid cloud is all about getting different pieces of the enterprise to work together and an astonishing number of those “pieces” still run on Windows Server. Even in today’s virtually diverse environments, it’s important to remember that physical servers still exist and need to be backed up and secured.
Additionally, while VMs are no doubt easier to maintain than bare metal servers, for operations that require the full extent of your resources and capabilities, physical servers are still the way to go. With this v9.0 release, NAKIVO has included all the features you would possibly desire from a backup solution, including abilities like being able to backup servers running apps like Microsoft Exchange, Oracle, Active Directory, SharePoint, and more. The icing on the cake is without a doubt the fact that you no longer need to keep juggling different versions of backup products to keep your physical, virtual, and cloud versions safe. This is because NAKIVO doesn’t just back up your physical servers, it lets you protect your entire hybrid environment with a single solution. It also includes advanced features like application-aware mode, file and object recovery, global duplication, network acceleration, compression, log truncation, and more.
Backup and replication
Now disaster recovery isn’t the first thing you think about when you’re getting ready for your big venture, especially if you’re a startup just raring to go. Once disaster hits, though, it is usually the first thing on your mind, followed by a phone call to your partner saying “don’t wait up.” If you’re using NAKIVO’s Backup and Replication, however, you simply power on the replicas when disaster strikes and before you know it, you’re back home in time for dinner. You can also have VMs running alongside Windows Servers and Linux servers and have them all backed up and replicated and ready to go from one central control panel. Efficiency is also critical when you’re backing up entire environments every time a change is made, NAKIVO features changed block tracking that works by copying only those blocks that have changed since the last backup, which is a much more efficient method.
Backups have come a long way from the first punch cards used in 1951, but if you’re still thinking files on disk, think again. Imagine pulling the plug on Windows Server and then using a snapshot of the last state it was in to recover it. You’re going to have a number of complications that cause this kind of a backup to be called inconsistent. Data needs to be flushed from memory, pending I/O operations resolved and operations are frozen so a meaningful snapshot can be taken. This is called application-awareness and it’s not only useful when you back up but while you restore as well. Many things need to be taken into account before restoring a complex system, including using process calls to bring applications to a consistent state, replaying logs and more. This ability to make application-aware backups is critical in modern environments where you really can’t afford any downtime.
New age threat management
It’s no secret that cybersecurity is losing the battle for data privacy, and records are being either lost or stolen in the billions now. This is not a case of “it will get better with time” since edge devices and the IoT are only going to add to the burden. Additionally, with the majority of the enterprise aiming at a hybrid cloud configuration, a new approach that’s agnostic to platforms, equipment, server types, and locations is essential to being able to monitor and manage such diverse environments. There is a very thin line between ignorance and negligence and as far as cybersecurity is concerned, it doesn’t exist. Doing nothing is pretty self-destructive as there are hackers working overtime, all the time, to get into your system and steal your customers’ information. Lastly, depending on your cloud provider to keep your data safe isn’t “fail-safe” either and you need modern-day tools to tackle modern-day attacks, breaches, and disasters.
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