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Synology Active Backup explained
More than half of small businesses are not prepared for data loss. Stating the importance of a proper backup strategy may sound cliché, but the costs and efforts involved when introducing a modern backup solution are intimidating. Where possible, businesses continue to write their own scripts or use free backup software with limited protection, leaving the entire IT infrastructure vulnerable to data loss.
Further complications arise when modern IT spreads across various platforms. We work on Windows and Linux workstations, servers, VMware virtual machines and public cloud services like Office 365 and G Suite. Management and maintenance get more difficult when different backup software is in place to transport source data to sometimes multiple hardware storage destinations.
Integrated appliance and optimal storage efficiency
Synology has introduced the Active Backup Suite, to bring together the hardware backup target and the software that carries data over to it. By centralising backups of multiple sources to one platform, you are able to monitor all tasks and alerts in a bird’s-eye view, and generate regular reports based on your policy.
This simplicity of this cross-platform, all-in-one solution was key in Shiseido’s decision to adopt Active Backup to protect the critical data in their Taiwanese headquarters, particularly as they have been trusting Synology NAS servers to run file servers and iSCSI servers since 2010. Key technologies used in Active Backup allowed Shiseido to both increase backup, efficiency, staff productivity and overall cost on their IT infrastucture’s storage.
Global Deduplication: 54% saved storage
Duplicated files within an organisation end up being a considerable source of hard drive investment: Active Backup’s Global deduplication mechanism identifies the duplicated data at the block level for optimal efficiency and removes the redundant copies. Of the original 58TB of data on the protected servers, this had been reduced to 28TB. The deduplication rate was even higher for desktops with used storage cut from 6.5TB to 2.1TB – overall 54% storage saved!
Importantly, Synology uses Inline Deduplication, meaning the redundant blocks are identified and removed as the backup is taking place rather than using up storage unnecessarily on the storage before being deduplicated.
In addition, Changed Block Tracking (CBT) is also supported, which performs incremental backup for changed blocks only, cutting down on backup data and time.
Ease of deployment
With 500 employees in their Headquarters, 55 virtual hosts and an expanding business, the ease of deploying Synology Active Backup was essential to Shiseido Taiwan. Creating a VMware backup task is as simple as entering your vSphere credentials without installing any agents in vCenter. It’s just as easy to deploy backup tasks for Windows PC or Windows Server through a custom template: a pre-defined backup policy is automatically applied to a client as soon as it logs in to the agent, meaning IT staff don’t need to configure each client individually.
After setting up backup tasks, the system can be easily monitored whether it be servers, virtual machines, or PCs, all from a unified management console.
Recovering files and Disaster Recovery sites
Protecting the data on employees workstations and the IT infrastructure’s servers is one thing. Being able to swiftly recover this data is just as important, and Active Backup for Business provides reliable and granular recovery methods for every file, every application, and every physical and virtual server, to help businesses achieve recovery time objectives (RTOs) to bring production back to life as soon as possible in the event of disaster.
Shiseido are now able to recover virtual machine backup data in just 15 minutes, and a self-service recovery portal allows employees to view and recover any deleted files independently without the need to rely on IT staff.
Furthermore Synology Active Backup provides tight integration with VMware environments, allowing for both instant and full VM restoration, as well as instant restoration to Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), and instant restoration from physical server to VMware (P2V), fulfilling the need for every occasion. Being able to use the Synology storage as a hypervisor to restore backup system images is a key advantage, as it can be server as a temporary disaster recovery solution or an upgrade testing environment.
One-off purchase with no hidden license cost
At the start of this article, we mentioned half of businesses leave their IT infrastructure at risk of data loss due to the effort involved, but also the cost. This last point is addressed by Synology as they have made Active Backup software completely free, no licenses are required: owners of Synology devices supporting Active Backup just have to install the package and can start using it without any additional investments.
For businesses looking for a backup solution, let’s take a look at the 3 main type of costs involved:
Storage cost: Synology NAS solutions are well known for providing cost effective storage, easily scalable. Active Backup adds Global Deduplication, optimising the efficiency of the storage by removing any duplicated blocks of data on the backup target. Shiseido’s 54% storage saved through Global Deduplication give no better example of the economies which can be made on storage costs!
Management cost: this area often gets overlooked when analysing the cost of a backup solution. Synology have made Active Backup extremely easy to deploy, with templates and pre-defined profiles to apply settings faster and avoiding the need to configure each client individually. For VMware environments, this is further improved by allowing to link the host directly removing the need to install a client on each individual VM.
The lack of a single point of contact for support can be a big downfall when an issue arises and the backup software and hardware storage are provided by different companies. With an all-in-one integrated solution, Active Backup provides customers with a single point of contact for any support needed during setup or the investigation of an issue.
Licensing cost: Active Backup is free and this is probably one the most compelling selling point and will not go unnoticed for many customers of paid software backup solutions. When comparing different licensing models available (1-year, 3 years, perpetual) it’s essential to consider the maintenance renewal costs for software updates, patches, and technical support, which can account for 22% to 27% of the cost of a perpetual licence.
These are the 3 areas of costs to be taken into account, and Synology provides a more detailed discussion around this topic in the following article for those who wish to find out more.
Synology NAS servers have long been the go-to choice for many businesses looking for a cost-effective backup repository used alongside third-party backup software. By developing Active Backup, Synology now provides an integrated solution allowing to transform their NAS into backup appliances, simplifying the administration of the system, and without any software cost, regardless of the number of computers, server, or virtual machines.
Our Solutions Team will be glad to help if you are looking to find out how Synology Active Backup can protect your business’ data – firstname.lastname@example.org .
Synology 2 Bay NAS Enclosure
• Intel Celeron J3455 Quad-core processor
• AES-NI hardware encryption engine
• Dual 1GbE LAN
Synology 8 Bay NAS Enclosure
• Quad-core, 2.1 GHz CPU
• With AES-NI encryption engine
• 4GB DDR4 memory pre-installed
Synology 4 Bay Rackmount Enclosure
• Dual-core CPU
• 12-inch depth
• 1 GB DDR3 RAM
* Prices correct at time of posting.