Q&A on US Signal’s Cloud Availability Suite for Veeam

July 11, 2019
Backup, Disaster Recovery, Storage

If you’re seeing a lot of information from US Signal about its Cloud Availability Suite for Veeam, there’s a good reason. It offers some amazing data protection benefits. This week’s blog covers them through a question-and-answer session with US Signal Product Manager Mike Walmer.

What is US Signal’s “Cloud Availability for Veeam”?

Used in conjunction with Veeam Backup and Replication version 9.5 update 4, Cloud Availability for Veeam offers a comprehensive approach to data protection with geographic diversity in a single pane of glass.

It includes three services that can be used together or individually:

Without these services, customers would have to implement multiple software platforms — resulting in increased complexity — to achieve similar levels of data protection.

In general, what are the advantages that each service offers?

Cloud Replication for Veeam creates ready-to-start replicas of VMs in the cloud. Customers can immediately power on the VMs with a few clicks of a button, minimizing down time and providing business continuity in the event of a disaster.

Cloud Backup for Veeam helps customers meet the 3-2-1 rule (keep at least three copies of data, with two backup copies stored on different storage media and one located offsite). It also allows them more flexibility to restore individual files and application data from the cloud, along with having more recovery points.

Cloud Archive for Veeam provides lower cost storage for saving more data longer.

What kind of companies can benefit the most from this suite of products?

There’s a wide range of organizations that can benefit from US Signal’s Cloud Availability for Veeam. Among them: VMware customers already using Veeam and businesses that want a complete approach to data protection through a single platform.

There’s also a wide variety of companies across numerous industries that can benefit. That includes organizations that have HIPAA, PCI or other compliance needs for long-term data retention. Depending on the regulation, the duration of time for data storage in order to remain in compliance can range anywhere from three years for private companies all the way to 100 years for nuclear energy companies.

Think about architecture, engineering and construction companies. Many of them need to keep building plans and other project documentation for anywhere from 50 to 100 years. The capability to move seldom-accessed data that must be retained for many years to a cheaper from of storage offers a huge cost savings. Plus, users get all the security and other benefits of US Signal’s cloud infrastructure.

What are some the use cases for Cloud Availability for Veeam and how can it help companies overcome specific challenges or meet certain IT needs?

Here are three of the most common use cases:

  • Backup: It helps fit the 3-2-1 rule to keep three copies of your data, stored on two types of media with one copy being off-site. This creates a secondary copy of data stored offsite. Data is recoverable if something happens to the local storage or if local copies of backup become corrupt. Customers are able to restore individual files, folders, application data or entire images.
  • Disaster Recovery: Using replication provides a geographically diverse site to operate in the event of a disaster without the capital expenses of purchasing and maintaining one. Customers can minimize downtime by failing over to their ready-to-run environment in the cloud.
  • Archive:  It helps tackle the challenge of rapidly growing data and longer retention needs. This is particularly important for businesses that must preserve data for specified periods of time to meet compliance standards. The lower cost storage allows customers to control costs around storing rapidly growing data sets and information that may not need to be accessed often.

How can a company use these products for a DR plan (or at least integrate them into a DR plan)?

Veeam Backup and Replication, combined with US Signal Cloud Replication for Veeam, is going to ensure the business continuity you need from a DR plan. It provides the ability to immediately failover individual workloads or entire sites into the cloud with a few clicks of a button, allowing your business to keep running in a geographically diverse site if emergency strikes.

Customers also have the flexibility to customize their DR solution to align with budgetary needs. Critical workloads may be protected with replication, while less critical data may take advantage of the cost efficiencies of Cloud Backup for Veeam. The Veeam backup files are highly compressed, providing lower cost storage for workloads that may not be needed for 24 or more hours. This backup data can be restored to a US Signal disaster recovery environment or to customer site when needed.

How does US Signal use the Veeam “Cloud Tier” feature to move data to US Signal’s object storage?

Cloud Tier is configured on the customer’s site to move certain data out from the local backup to US Signal S3 Object Storage. Backups can be tiered based on multiple criteria, such as age. For example, after one month, backups could be set to automatically transfer to the cloud.

Data may also be tiered out based on local repository capacity. The oldest data would start being moved to S3 storage if it exceeds a specified threshold. Let’s say a specified limit of 80% disk capacity was being met, Veeam would tier out the oldest data to remain under the threshold and prevent new backups from failing. When tiered out, a shell of the backup file remains local, with the underlying data stored in the cloud. Customers then can seamlessly restore data from S3 with normal Veeam backup functionality as if it all remained local.

What makes US Signal’s suite of services different than what other companies are offering that appear to be comparable?

The quality of US Signal’s infrastructure is a major differentiator. If customers must actually recover something, they can be assured it will be recovered. US Signal also offers outstanding 24/7 support. Plus, there are all the other services and customized solutions that US Signal provides that can help customers meet just about any IT need.

If a company decides to go with these products, what’s entailed in getting started and getting up and running?

If a customer already has Veeam, US Signal will provision the resources and provide the connection information. If a customer needs assistance in acquiring, installing and configuring Veeam, the US Signal Professional Services team can be engaged to help.

Are there any technology or other requirements in order to use these products?

Customers must be using Veeam 9.5 update 4 or later. Physical Windows, Linux and VMware virtualized environments are supported.

Where can customers get more information about US Signal’s Cloud Availability for Veeam?

Our solution architects and account executives will be happy to answer any questions and work with customers to implement this or other solutions. You can contact us, or you can sign up for a free 30-day trial.

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