Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question about the AssureStor backup2cloud platform? Check the frequently asked questions below to see if we have the answer for you.
As companies cope with the growing amount of corporate information being generated every day, they face a daunting truth: without their data, they have no business. That’s why it’s now so critical to have a modern and dependable system in place to safeguard valuable business information. Over the last decade, cloud backup, recovery and restore options have emerged as secure, cost-effective and reliable solutions. Here are seven key advantages that AssureStor’s cloud-based Backup as a Service (BaaS) platform can offer you and your end users:-
Cloud backup and recovery software typically requires agents that are installed on host servers that a system administrator wants to back up. Even in a modest-sized environment, agent management can get extremely complex when an administrator is forced to deal with different operating systems and revision levels. The complexity of agent management is further complicated by the growing number of software packages that also require agents running on the same host servers, or what is also referred to as ‘agent pollution’.
backup2cloud does not require any agents to be installed for each machine or application that needs to be protected. Instead, it reaches out over the network to backup operating systems, file systems, and applications using industry-standard programming interfaces.
The backup2cloud platform, powered by Asigra Cloud Backup and Recovery, is the most secure agentless data protection platform in the industry. backup2cloud customers can choose from encryption strengths that range from triple DES 56-bit with an 8-character key, to AES 256-bit with a 32-character key. In addition, the following features further add to the security of all data protected by backup2cloud: –
- Encrypts the data in-flight and at-rest from cradle to grave.
- FIPS 140-21 certified – an independent third-party certification.
- Key escrow management.
- Password rotation support.
- IP restrictions per client.
- Hardware fingerprinting to avoid impersonation attempts per client.
- Data destroyed with certificate of destruction.
And with our use of leading Tier III+ UK data centre locations, along with our own ISO 27001 certification, we ensure that security best practices are employed throughout all elements of the backup2cloud service.
Each backup2cloud client deployed makes a secure, SSL encrypted connection back to the centralised backup2cloud platform. In addition, to further enhance security the centralised backup2cloud platform can be restricted to only allow specific IP addresses to be used by each individual client.
Not as much as you may think!
backup2cloud only needs to transmit the changes in your data once it has completed its initial full backup. So, unlike traditional tape systems that backup 90%+ of the same data night and after night, backup2cloud intelligently analyses all files in real-time, only sending the delta-block changes that have occurred within each changed file. In addition, backup2cloud includes the following technologies to optimise bandwidth usage:-
- De-duplication – our technology supports local/client-side de-duplication at Local Area Network (LAN) level, as well as global de-duplication (known as Common File Elimination) across all protected sites. backup2cloud identifies duplicate data by looking for the same data queued for backup more than once. All data is compared based on its content, so it does not matter if the files are on different servers or have different names. Common data is stored to the appropriate repository, and a pointer/stub is used to point from the data’s original location to the library location. This is a continuous process, as common data can appear at any time.
- Data compression – all data is first compressed before being sent to the centralised backup2cloud platform. The compression ratio achieved with data compression is dependent on data type. Higher compression ratios can be achieved for databases than for image or audio files. Since compressing already compressed data can increase the file size, backup2cloud technology has the intelligence to detect compressed files and it skips re-compression of such files.
- Bandwidth throttling – the backup2cloud client can be configured with granular bandwidth throttling rules, allowing backup processes to run during normal production times without impacting mission critical services and Internet access. These rules can then allow for unrestricted bandwidth usage during off-peak periods, such as overnight or during the weekends.
- Initial seeding – backup2cloud only requires one full backup to be taken of the data it protects. However, depending on the amount of data to be protected and the amount of bandwidth available, this could still take days or even weeks to complete. To avoid this scenario, backup2cloud fully supports the local seeding of the initial backup to a portable hard disk or NAS device. This device can then be shipped to the backup2cloud platform and imported as if the client were locally connected. Once the seeding data has been imported, the backup2cloud client will then start its incremental backup process so that only changes are transmitted over the Internet connection.
Whilst the backup2cloud platform has been designed to offer a cloud-based backup service, we also fully support local-only backups. The solution provides an easy mechanism to deliver a local disk-based backup solution for any backup set. It is as simple as attaching suitable (RAID protected) disk storage to the backup2cloud client and then configuring a local-only backup set.
And if in the future you decide that the data stored locally now requires the full protection of the cloud, local-only backup sets can be migrated, ensuring that all backed up data and retention points are maintained.
Note: Local-only backups do not provide de-duplication or delta-block processing, as this is part of the centralised BaaS platform and thus requires data to be protected in the cloud.
backup2cloud provides a single platform that protects your data centre and servers, desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones and cloud-based applications.
- Tablet devices (Android / iOS)
- Mobile devices (Android / iOS)
Software – O/S and Applications
- Microsoft Windows (Server and Desktop)
- Linux / Unix
- Apple Mac
- Novell Netware
- Microsoft Exchange Server
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Microsoft SharePoint Server
- Lotus Domino
- VMware vSphere
- Microsoft Hyper-V
- Citrix XenServer
- Redhat KVM
- Office 365 (Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive)
- Google Apps
- IBM SmartCloud
Whatever you want them to be!
The backup2cloud platform can store and retain data for as long as you require. Through the use of both passive and active retention, end users can configure straightforward retention policies that can be applied individually to each backup set. This allows the backup administrator to ensure that data is retained based on the priorities and potential regulatory requirements of the business in the most efficient manner.
In addition, the backup2cloud platform also provides an intelligent archiving platform called BLM (Backup Lifecycle Management). The BLM platform can be configured to identify older, less critical data or scheduled to perform regular (monthly, quarterly, annual) point-in-time copies of the backup data to a lower-cost tiered storage platform.
As fast as your LAN can transfer the data.
One of the issues many people are concerned about with cloud backup is how long it will take to recover data back to their environment. When you restore a few files recovery times are not normally an issue, but what if you needed to restore a large data set or even a complete server?
So how can a Cloud Backup service deliver LAN speed recovery?
The backup2cloud client can be configured to use available storage as a temporary storage area for the caching of backup data that is sent to the cloud. As this cache is a copy of the data protected in the cloud, it can be cost-effective, unprotected (non-RAID) storage.
When a request to perform a restore is made, the backup2cloud client will first check to see if the requested file/s exist in the local cache. If they do, the restore process will use the local copy instead of downloading the copy stored in the cloud. This not only delivers LAN speed recovery, but also reduces the bandwidth impact of large data restores.
Your single-pane-of-glass management interface.
The NOC portal is a command centre that provides visibility and control of the entire backup2cloud environment via a web-based interface. This bird’s eye view allows you to monitor and control the backup environment in real-time from a centralised location.
- Real-time dashboard showing you active and historic jobs in an easy to view traffic light format.
- Detailed information on the data stored within the platform, including storage usage and detailed activity reports.
- Ability to manage your backup2cloud client/s centrally, pushing live updates to job, schedule and retention policies.
- An extensive array of reports giving you top-level and detailed information on all aspects of your backup service.
All bills for the backup2cloud service are invoiced monthly in arrears, with payments collected automatically by Direct Debit.
Unlike some other similar solutions, the backup2cloud billing model is simple and straightforward. We only bill based on the amount of data stored within the backup environment (cloud storage or local-only storage). There are no costs for number of clients deployed or for any agents, as backup2cloud is agentless.
And as we bill based on stored data, the savings of de-duplication and compression are passed on to you. Typically, this provides a 50% saving on the actual source storage being protected (excluding retention).
If you have a question that is not listed in our FAQ section, please complete the form below and we will get back to you with an answer within 24 working hours.