Why is keeping your backup environment in sync with your storage environment so important?

“Forty-two percent of small organizations have experienced data loss and thirty-two percent have lost files forever”

Everyday we sell storage to our clients and our first question is always “How are you going to back this up?” Sometimes we’ll get an honest answer, but some of the most common responses we get are “We already have a plan in place” in reality, they don’t or “We don’t have budget right now.” I get it, we don’t like to think about disasters, we don’t want to spend money on things that may never occur…. But what if they do? What if you chose to backup the wrong data? Or worse, what if you chose not to backup your data at all and you lose everything? What then???

So many individuals at small and midsized organizations are aware of RPO (Recovery Point Objectives ) and RTO (Recovery Time Objectives) yet sometimes interpreting exactly what they mean into real business sense gets lost in translation.

So here are some sample questions that could be applied to your business to help figure out what your actual needs are :

“If I’m a small manufacturer, how long can my manufacturing line be down?

“How many customers will I lose if my shipping tracking system is down and I can’t get orders out today?”

Once you get a good sense of what makes sense for your business, you can start looking at a backup solution that fits your current requirements. Early in your company’s inception management probably did establish an approach to backing up data. However, as the business grows so does your data which means that the protecting solution should grow at the same rate as well. This is one of the most common problems we have been seeing as of late, companies who have storage that has skyrocketed but their backup plan hasn’t changed in years! How can you honestly backup all 250tb of data in a backup window that was originally set up to for 25tb, realistically, you cant.

So how do you fix all this?!?

 

As data, storage, and your company grow and change, you need a backup solution that will do the same. There are TONS of solutions out there that we can assist you with, but it all comes down to what works best for you and your company. Would an onsite backup device work best? Offsite? Cloud solution?

We won’t know until we talk. Give us a call 732.446.8972 or drop us a note kmartir@metrotsg.com  to chat about your current environment and how we can help you avoid any surprises when it comes to keeping your business up and running if Disaster should ever strike.

Healthcare and Quantum

Last week our VP of Healthcare, Don Faistl and I had the opportunity to chat with a lot of Healthcare professionals at the NJHIMSS event. One of the major concerns everyone seemed to express was the importance of Backup and Disaster Recovery Plans. As we approach winter and our recently abundant “Blizzard season”, I thought I would take a moment to let you know about another company within the Healthcare industry that was recently able to reduce the size of its backups by up to 80 percent, significantly save on storage costs, and achieve automated remote replication for their disaster recovery plan.

Egton Medical Information Systems (EMIS) a leading software provider with more than 39 million patient records and 50% of practices across the UK. They were looking for a solution that would be able to provide robust data protection, ultra fast performance, scalability, ease of use, the works! Quantum was able to provide them with exactly that with their DXi6700 disk Backup Solution.

KEY BENEFITS

  • Reduces needed backup capacity by up to 80 percent
  • Delivers performance up to 160MB per second
  • Minimizes bandwidth required to move backup data over the network
  • Provides practical and cost-effective remote replication in support of disaster recovery protection
  • Encrypts transmitted data for protection against unauthorized access
  • Significantly reduces storage costs
  • Ensures fast, reliable restores
  • Eliminates need to hire additional admin staff, despite increased data growth
  • Provides fast, detailed,drill-down reporting on the backup/restore situation

According to Mike Marchant, the Data Center Manager for EMIS, one of the key advantages of the DXi appliances has been the embedded deduplication.

“Using the deduplication functionality, we only back up the changed data, and this has reduced the size of our backups by up to 80 percent,” Marchant says. “The store would typically be 30TB, but using the integrated deduplication in the Quantum DXi6700 appliance, we have reduced the backup to 5TB. The backup window has shrunk commensurably, too.”

EMIS deployed DXi6700 appliances in two data centers. Two Quantum Scalar i500 intelligent tape libraries complete the picture, offering seamlessly integrated disk-to-disk-to-tape protection and vaulting off-site.

dxi6700

Are you interested in reducing your backup capacity? Increase performance? Decrease storage costs? (I think we all are)

Check out the full case study and drop me a note at kmartir@metrotsg.com with any questions you may have!

SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud now available on IBM Cloud

When you think of the “cloud” whats the first company that comes to mind? For most people, Amazon’s AWS is the first company that pops up, but there are a plethora of others out there. Some are small, serving a specific region or service, while others like IBM, are much larger with multiple data centers across the globe providing their customers with an array of services as well.

As we all know, the popularity and need for Cloud Services is expanding every day and IBM’s latest partnership has brought a much needed and requested change to the industry. IBM’s Cloud , Softlayer, recently just partnered with SAP, the German Software giant which allows them to bring you SAP’s business applications for the automated management of operations via subscription based services.

SAP announced their own cloud services last year, but chose to partner with IBM because of their many strengths, including their long experience with corporate customer, global presence and expertise in computer security and disaster recovery. Unlike some other vendors, IBM offers cloud computing either on shared software or as machines dedicated to a single company, so-called bare-metal cloud. Most importantly having data centers distributed around the globe is an advantage with corporate customers that do not want their business and customer information residing outside their home countries.

So whether you are a new or long time use of SAP applications, you can count on this new Cloud deliverance for speed, quality , security and cost effectiveness.

So why use cloud based SAP?

• Faster provisioning of SAP applications
• Greater flexibility in SAP environments
• Improved service levels for SAP users
• Easily stay up to date

New release features include:
• SAP HANA. You can bring your own box and have it connected to our managed cloud infrastructure. We then provide the hosting and administrative services needed to run HANA in the cloud. You can also run HANA as platform as a service where IBM provides a dedicated HANA appliance, plus hosting and administrative services, as part of IBM Cloud Managed Services for SAP Applications.
• Disaster recovery. New disaster recovery capabilities are designed to minimize data loss and downtime with industry-leading recovery point objectives of 1 hour and recovery time objectives of 4 hours. (Scheduled for availability in late second quarter 2014.)
• Extended landscape sizes. You can start small and grow as needed with SAP landscape t-shirt sizes ranging from XXS (1100 SAPS) to XL (20,000 SAPS). XL SAP systems are also now available on Intel in addition to IBM AIX.
• Enhanced availability 99.7% SLA for SAP instances on AIX, Linux and Windows at the application level.
• Support for large enterprise SAP databases up to 18 TB.

Quick video about the new IBM and SAP relationship

 

Having access to SAP applications via IBM’s trusted cloud is a huge advantage, it can allow you to maximize SAP’s value while minimizing the burden of maintenance. As always if you would like further information, please contact us kmartir@metrotsg.com.

Actifio Sky – Why ALL companies need this Ground Breaking Technology

I’ve mentioned Actifio in the past (Actifio Blog) and how their copy data virtualization solution is essential to pretty much every company in business today. Well, their solution just got 10x better with their addition of Actifio Sky. Actifio Sky is a Virtual appliance version of actifio’s data virtualization platform. The new offering will extend the functionality of Actifio CDS, making a virtual instance of the company’s Virtual Data Pipeline™ technology available wherever application data may reside, from the data center core to the public cloud.

To really understand how exciting Actifio Sky is, you have to understand how important Actifio’s technology is to begin with. Actifio’s copy data virtualization platform solves so many of today’s enterprise problems by simply replacing a complex tangle of siloed storage and data management systems (all creating copies of the same production data) with a single solution that lets customers:

– Capture data from production applications according to an SLA that can be defined in just a few clicks and changed anytime

– Manage the lifecycle of that data in the most efficient way through the creation of a single “golden master” that can be stored anywhere and updated incrementally forever, and

– Use that data to spin up an unlimited number of virtual copies for any use, anytime, anywhere.

Oh and did I mention that it will save you money? Since you aren’t storing 100000 copies of the same data, Actifio will help drive down your costs while increasing performance and availability.

Actifio Sky offers a new level of deployment flexibility and range, enabling seamless data management wherever the enterprise data is located to improve data protection, governance, and analytics. Sky will be offered first for Remote/Branch Offices and a Cloud deployment option for businesses looking to shift enterprise workloads into the cloud. Together with Actifio’s CDS data center appliance, Actifio Sky will eliminate barriers to data mobility between the edge to the core, enabling transformational data management velocity and scale across the enterprise.

Actifio Sky’s capabilities now include:

  • Easy Download and Deploy with a consumer-grade User Interface delivering an intuitive, point-and-click data management delivering faster time to productivity
  • Application-centric, SLA-based management for powerful remote data protection and disaster recovery for applications
  • Rapid recovery from remote site failure, centrally, or into the cloud
  • The ability to vault data directly to public cloud storage services including AmazonWeb Services
  • Patented Dedup-Async Replicationfor network-optimized data replication and space efficiency through Direct-to-DeDup storage

 

So really why is this so exciting?

Did you know that over two-thirds of storage capacity is being used to store copies of data, rather than production originals ?? There are copies for data protection, copies for business continuity, another for disaster recovery, more for analysis, archiving etc. etc. Organizations today have reached the point where they are spending more to manage copies of their “stuff” than they are to manage their actual “stuff” !!!!! Now that is simply outrageous! Simply put, Actifio virtualizes data as other technologies have virtualized compute and networking. This in turn decouples the management of increasingly strategic enterprise data from increasingly commoditized enterprise infrastructure. Actifio sky will be able to provide you with the capability to capture, manage and use data for multiple use cases no matter where its stored , and that is just the first step in Actifio’s vision for “Actifio Anywhere.”

 

 

Its almost Hurricane Season – Are you prepared?

With Hurricane season quickly approaching the East Coast, does your company have a DR plan in place? Is it the same as it was before Sandy hit? Are you confident that your data will not only be protected but that you will also be able to retrieve your data quickly and efficiently?

Most likely you have some doubts, if not some… you have a LOT of doubts. There are tons of DR solutions on the market today but one of the best we’ve seen is from Sungard.  When you partner with Sungard they bring their over 35 years’ worth of expertise to you and your company. They are with you every step of the way to create a DR plan that fits your company’s unique wants, needs and budget. Sungard then combines your distinct knowledge of your company with their own expertise and experience in availability to create the perfect solution for you.

But how many times have you heard that before? How do you know they can do what they say? Or can be trusted with your valuable data and really perform in when disaster hits? Well 50% of Fortune 500 companies and 70% of Fortune 50 companies trust Sungard AS to keep their IT environments up and running , soooo they are obviously doing something right! If that doesn’t help convince you they have

  • Redundant network equipment
  • Redundant power and cooling
  • Redundant connectivity
  • Environmental controls
  • Multiple layers of physical and virtual security
  • Guaranteed overall business recovery backed by our SLA

And its all managed by experts in RECOVERY, which I think is extremely important. This way you can have 100% confidence in not only their solution but their personnel as well behind it as well. Sungard runs thousands of tests and recovery scenarios throughout the year and know exactly what can go wrong, so they choose the best and most current reliable hardware to be placed in their facilities. This isn’t always an option for every business’s budget, so why not take advantage of this best of breed technology and expertise when it really matters.

So ease your mind as hurricane season approaches, let us know what your concerns are and let Metrotech and Sungard create the perfect solution for you. Also here is a great read on some lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina just to really help bring it all into perspective. LessonsLearnedFromHurricaneKatrina_WPS-013

 

Questions? Comments?  Contact us at  kmartir@metrotsg.com

Xand: How can they help YOU?

Our main goal at Metrotech is to provide our clients with the best solutions possible that not only satisfy their specific requirements, but also keep the newest trends in technology at their fingertips. So with many of our clients inquiring about Managed Services, Colocations and Cloud Environments, we decided to partner with a company that would allow us to not only provide them with these services, but to provide them with superior experience as well. Xand, a leading infrastructure solutions provider throughout the Northeastern United States, is large enough to handle intricate customer requirements across nearly 500,000 square feet of facilities, yet nimble enough to provide customized solutions with the highest level of service available in the marketplace.

So what do they offer?

Xand offers a multitude of different services:

Xcloud:

The xCloud platform provides a full suite of flexible cloud solutions that are secure, scalable and backed by 24×7 technical support. Xand offers Private, Multi-Tenant, Hybrid and Disaster Recovery cloud computing options, all customized to your organization’s needs so you can stop worrying about the infrastructure and start focusing on the business.

  • Enterprise Class Infrastructure
  • Best of Breed Hardware and Software Layers
  • Hybrid Options – Ability to connect existing colocation environments to the virtual xCloud platform of virtualized resources
  • Vast Engineering and Cloud Support Specialists
  • Fully Secure Multi-Tenant, Private and Hybrid Clouds
  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning Clouds
  • Industry Leading Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
  • 24x7x365 Local, Onsite Support
  • SSAE 16 / SOC II Compliant Facilities
  • Multiple Data Center facilities connected via dedicated Fiber network

Colocations:

Why colo? Colocation facilities are built to specific specifications and standards to meet the needs of today’s high-tech hardware. They are built with conditioned power, cooling (HVAC), Generators, security systems and many other factors where costs can add up extremely fast. These systems are also monitored by professionals 24/7/365, meaning less staffing on your end. With a colocation, it takes the problem of the physical site and staffing required away, so it may make sense for your company to take advantage of a colocation for all of your data or just a portion of it, so your IT team can focus on more important tasks.

With an Xand colocation facility you are getting the highest level of application redundancy, security and performance along with the following services:

Colo Services Overview

  • Secured Locked Cabinet (Full or Half Cabinets)
  • Custom Cages
  • Built to Spec Large Enterprise Footprints
  • 24x7x365 Remote Hands & Onsite Support
  • Full Suite of xCloud & Managed Services

Xand Advantages:

  • Resilient – Secure, reliable, redundant, and concurrently maintainable facilities.
  • Geography – Diverse locations safely situated outside major threat zones, yet convenient to highways and metropolitan areas.
  • Flexibility – Ability to shift between colocation, xCLOUD, and Managed Services as your needs change.
  • Network – 10G Internet & Private Inter-Facility Backbone for optimal customer connectivity.
  • Secure – 24x7x365 on-site support provided by Xand engineers.
  • Modern – Over 80% of Xand’s premium raised floor space has been built within the last five years.
  • Guarantees – Industry leading Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
  • Hybrid – xCloud platform available with colocation services within the same data centers.
  • Experience – A veteran data center company you can trust.

Enterprise Hosting

Xand approaches hosting from the perspective of our customers’ needs by supporting a wide range of requirements from a single server to more complex environments. With a dedicated hosting and support team, you have a choice of platforms that includes Red Hat Linux or Microsoft Windows.

Enterprise Hosting Services Overview:

  • xCloud
  • Managed Tape and Backup Solutions
  • Storage Management
  • Managed Exchange
  • Managed Load Balancing
  • Managed Network Services
  • Server Monitoring and Management
  • Managed Security Solutions
  • System Administration

Disaster Recovery

Power failures. Floods. Fires. Theft. Natural disasters. With around the clock coverage and always-on services, Xand can offer solutions that will protect your vital IT Infrastructure.

Disaster Recovery Services Overview

  • Subscription Based Disaster Recovery Services
  • xCloud – Virtualized Recovery Solutions
  • Managed Backups and IP Vaulting
  • Replication
  • Colocation and Enterprise Hosting Services
  • Tiered Storage Solutions
  • Dedicated DR Seats and Suites
  • Shared DR Seats
  • Private DR Office Suites
  • Geographically Diverse Facilities and Infrastructure to mitigate single facility risks.
  • Industry Leading Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Wan Services

Whether you’re  looking for basic Internet access or need a fully-meshed secure IP network, Xand offers the flexibility and scalability that your business requires.

 WAN Services Overview:

  • Dedicated Public Internet
  • Managed MPLS
  • Metro Ethernet
  • Managed Services
  • Managed Security Services
  • Customized Solutions

Managed Services: Fully managed IT Resource Solutions, Customized for your specific needs.

Xand delivers cost-effective, custom designed solutions tailored to meet your organization’s specific requirements; whether completely outsourced or partially managed point solutions such as monitoring, back-ups, or patching – flexibility is the cornerstone of our organization.

Managed Service Offerings:

  • High Speed IP and Native Fiber Channel Inter-facility Connectivity
  • 10G Metro Ethernet, Fiber, and MPLS Solutions
  • Disaster Recovery from Individual Seating to Dedicated Private Suites
  • Systems Operation and Administration Services
  • Comprehensive 24x7x365 Monitoring
  • Always-on Network Operations Center
  • Managed Storage, Backups, and IP Vaulting
  • Host & SAN Based Replication Services
  • Firewall / VPN / Security Management & Managed Networking
  • xCloud Virtual Private Server Solutions
  • Solutions Design & Architecture Services

Xand also offers Internet connectivity routed between geographically diverse data centers and points of presence for simplified multi-site benefits

With so many companies out there offerering these services, why choose Xand ???

Xand’s proven track record of managing IT infrastructure across multiple state-of-the-art facilities within four states is a platform you can count on.

  • Focused – Xand is focused on providing reliable, scalable IT Infrastructure Managed Solutions for every sector.
  • ROI – Xand delivers cutting-edge technology at competitive costs, putting even the most ROI-focused CFOs and CIOs at ease.
  • Customer Centric – Xand is 100% focused on clients’ needs. We invest the time to understand our customers’ unique requirements. Take advantage of our Colocation, xCloud or a mixture of hybrid services to satisfy the complex technological issues that face your business today.
  • Customized Solutions– We deliver the right balance of flexibility for customer requirements, while not sacrificing operational methods and procedure. custom tailoring solutions for your specific challenges.
  • Proven Track Record– Xand is a proven leader in the data center industry with a strong history of application availability, reliability and responsiveness.
  • 24×7 Technical Support – Your applications run 24×7, so do we. Our technical support is always available to lend a helping hand.
  • Diversity- Xand’s six data center Northeast footprint spans four states and is linked via a redundant 10G backbone for ease of customer interconnections.

As always, if you have any questions or inquiries, please email us at kmartir@metrotsg.com

Gridless Power

With all the storms affecting our area in recent years, Back up and Disaster Recovery plans are essential for a successful business plan. But what if catastrophe happens? What if the power completely goes out? What good is that DR site? Or what if there is no reliable power to begin with?

Metrotech has recently partnered with a ground breaking company that can solve this problem. Gridless Power. The Gridless Power Platform delivers rugged, intelligent portable, and CLEAN power by combining cutting edge hardware and software to deliver energy to where it’s needed most: disaster zones, battlefields, rural villages, hospitals, farms, and everywhere else left in the dark by the grid.

This solution is:

  • Mobile
  • Scalable
  • Weather resistant
  • Able to be Re-charged fast – in only one short hour from solar, wall outlet, gas generator, and/or your automobile

gridless power pic

Gridless Power is a no brainer when it comes to the most cost effective and RELIABLE contingency plan.

Did you know that Gridless Power supported the emergency responders during Superstorm Sandy? They will also be on hand at this year’s SuperBowl at Metlife stadium!

Don’t wait until disaster strikes, be prepared. This technology is a simple solution to ensure not only your data stays safe, but you, your coworkers, and patients do as well.

As always contact us with any questions and/or comments at kmartir@metrotsg.com