Enterprise Backup System

Enterprise Backup System

File data – documents, images, audio, video, etc. – is essential to business processes of all types. When file counts multiply, so do the challenges of efficient file management; expansion typically leads to a proliferation of isolated file servers. Instead of simplifying file access (as file servers are designed to do), this proliferation complicates it, impeding file access, wasting storage resources and creating hardship for both administrators and users Increasingly, however, for the organizations with large or fast-growing file management needs can find even better economy – and improved performance – by architecting file storage based on scale-out Network Attached Storage (NAS) solutions.

In contrast to file server solutions, scale-out NAS solutions remove file-serving responsibilities from networked servers instead, using dedicated resources to provide file-based access. The potential benefits of NAS-based file management over file server farms include faster data access, simpler configuration and easier administration.

As an organization grows, at what point will a scale-out NAS solution deliver higher efficiency and performance than multiple file servers?

To answer this, An organization should consider four criteria:

1. System patching and other administration burdens;

2. File access scalability requirements;

3. Server licensing considerations;

4. Backup & restore complexity and cost.

System patches and upgrades

All servers require regular patches and upgrades to ensure system health and protect against viruses and other security risks. The routine of managing the patching and upgrading process for each server can be manageable for operations running 2-3 servers, but become an all-consuming process as server counts and file capacities grow. Moreover, IT administrator often need to schedule downtime to perform these patches and upgrades, adding cost and constraining productivity.

A well-designed, scale-out NAS solution can reduce the burden of patching and upgrading by limiting such operations to a small set of NAS gateway systems. Further, system redundancy designed into some NAS gateways enables upgrades in live, production environments, without any need to schedule downtime. Organizations can further improve availability by using a NAS platform built on a stable, purpose-built operating system, instead of on a standard server OS.

File access scalability.

While file servers may suffice for smaller operations, it can constrain file access speed – and hinder overall productivity – in organizations that need to manage large numbers of files or support many users who must access files simultaneously. Server performance limitations can create the need for multiple file servers, each with its own namespace. Yet even where servers have the storage capacity to accommodate large numbers of files, the namespace limitation imposed by certain Windows and Unix file systems can force the expansion from one to two or more namespaces.

An organization often use scripting to simplify file access for users, but the namespace management burden – now shifted from users to administrators – still remains. NAS platforms, on the other hand, are designed from the ground up to optimize file access and storage, with no risk of contention from other computing processes. The most advanced platforms apply innovative, scale-out architectures and enable storage of up to tens of billions of files within a single namespace. This capability gives IT administrators the flexibility they need to define directory systems to suit business needs, instead of to accommodate namespace limitations, and can thus streamline file access by users without the need for cumbersome scripts.

Server licensing

Another criterion for IT managers to consider is the lifecycle cost of running a file server farm. These costs include the licenses required by Microsoft, RedHat and other OS vendors. These licenses multiply with the addition of each new file server. The costs of real estate and power similarly multiply with the consumption of rack space and floor space. IT decision makers need to consider all of these criteria in calculating when the costs to run a file server farm surpass the cost to run a scale-out NAS solution.

Backup licensing and resourcing

To support data protection and disaster recovery, enterprise-class file storage infrastructures need to support automated backup capabilities. This automation typically comes from third-party backup software, which for many products requires license fees for each host. Under this arrangement, the number of licenses to manage grows with the addition of each new file server. This can become a tremendous administrative burden on organizations maintaining multiple file servers. Moreover, backup architectures for file servers are point-to-point.

Maintaining these architectures can be labor intensive for large operations, and the network traffic generated by backup processes can hinder file access performance. By architecting a scale-out NAS solution, enterprises and organizations can avoid this scalability constraint. This is because enterprise-class NAS systems can leverage Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP). This protocol, devised specifically to simplify file backup for NAS solutions, enables NAS gateways to communicate directly with backup storage media. As a result, NAS gateways with NDMP support can significantly reduce the administrative workload associated with backup software licensing and architecture. By eliminating point-to-point architectures, NAS solutions enable backup as a single, coordinated job, reducing administrative workloads as well as backup network traffic

Optimizing on the scalability of NAS performance,  IGNS has come out with Enterprise Backup System which leverage on Cloud Storage with a reputable provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS) to cater to the increasing critical data backup needs of Enterprise organization.

Please call or email us your requirements and needs!  We shall come up with a proposal for your evaluation.

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