As all of us know, backup, like insurance, is a necessary evil. As long as you don’t use it, you always wish you didn’t have to spend the money for it. Backup, also like insurance, is also one of the things that you pay for, but wish you don’t ever have to use it :-) People like you and me who run the business know that a good data protection strategy is a basic fiduciary responsibility.
When customers evaluate a backup and recovery product, the biggest thing the customer needs to evaluate is the recovery aspect. Reason being, when a recovery request comes in, it is always one of those requests where you wish you had completed it yesterday and also one of the ones where everyone in the business gets involved. So in short, a high visibility event and the one where you do not want to make a mistake. My colleague and our VP of Engineering Goran Garevski, has done a great job recently discussing the importance of recovery. As he astutely notes:
“Recovery of the right set of data, on the right (production) place and within the right application service. Imagine if in the “Saving Private Ryan” movie Cpt. Miller decided to finish his mission the moment he realized he found Private Ryan alive? That’s equivalent to spinning the VMs from the target, and leaving your data (Private Ryan) there. One needs to bring the data home alive (and kicking).”
The three things that backup vendors can do to help customers are:
- Make recovery intuitive for the end user
- Present data in the language the user would understand (i.e. don’t bring in any backup or storage lingo)
- Execute with speed and keep the entire process simple and limit knobs to eliminate errors.
These are exactly the guiding principles that we took to heart when we designed HYCU.
As you can see from our <3 minute video, all of our recovery process is in the context of the VM or application administrator. They do not have to know anything about Nutanix, snapshots, primary target, secondary targets, APIs, agents or the jobs. Just choose the data set you care about and what time window of the data you want back, granularity you want and the system takes care of the rest.
To speed up the recovery process, traditional data protection vendors, come up with fancy recovery mechanisms called live ”this” or live ”that”. All of these fancy protection mechanisms require additional infrastructure and additional software licenses to move data back to the system. We told ourselves that we can do better because we can leverage the power of the Nutanix platform and not reinvent the wheel. Unlike other vendors, HYCU uses storage level snapshots not just for efficient backups, but also for rapid recovery. We have learned over time that 95% of the recovery requests customers get are for data that was present within the most recent 24-72 hour timeframe. So, instead of going to an external source, we just leverage the Nutanix snapshots and make it quick for the customers to get the data. Again, this is not exposed to the end user, because we expect the system should be smart enough to do the right thing and HYCU does it.
Customers who are getting more into cloud style management want to let the data recovery process be handled by the end-user/application owner itself. So, to accomplish that, in HYCU we added a self-service capability. With this, the task of recovering the data can be done by the person who knows most about it without having to file a ticket or call someone to help.
I encourage you to check out Goran’s post to learn how HYCU, the industry’s first purpose-built data protection software solution for Nutanix, handles point-in-time recovery for MS SQL extremely well. It’s just one example of the way we have designed HCYU to handle recovery which is fundamentally different.
So if you are looking for ways to bring your data home, alive and kicking, versus just finding it, check out HYCU. The following video demonstrates our recovery process in more detail.