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Continuous data protection with Bacula Enterprise

One of the key points of Bacula’s service is the ability to avoid price traps per data volume.

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Image: KnowTechie

Continuous Data Protection (CDP), also called continuous backup or a real-time backup is a software created for increased safety and convenience. The CDP gives the possibility to have all your data saved automatically and make a copy of any changes that you made. In general, it allows the user or administrator to recover the needed data at any time.

Why is it needed in the current corporate environment?

The process itself begins much like a traditional backup – doing a complete review of your data. However, it ends with similarities. After the first snapshot or initial replication is complete, the backup manager constantly monitors changes in the data. Then, when you perform a backup, only files or blocks that have changed information will be saved.

Let’s look at some of the key benefits for corporate companies of using this technology for frequent full-time backups:

Server performance

Because of the system only needs to read those parts of your data that have been modified, rather than re-reading all the data each time you make an additional backup, your server performance will not suffer. This allows you to manage your full-time backups without having to worry about the frustration caused by ulcers that accompany night or weekly backups.

Save disk space

It’s easy to limit the size of your disk, and you can choose if you want to set it by the used time, number of jobs, or the size. The duration can be from hours to days. This way, CDP will only store the absolute minimum amount of data needed to represent unique disk sectors at a given point in time. You only need to make a full backup once, so basically, you recycle that data repeatedly without taking up any extra disk space.
Less data loss

Continuous data protection can often help you to meet your restore point goals by allowing shorter backup times. This means that in the event of a disaster, you only need to go back to a few minutes or an hour instead of a few days.

Bacula’s CDP solution

Common backup solutions create images or images of your client computers and virtual machines at predetermined time intervals. Although this method has been used successfully in physical environments, it can pose some additional challenges for cloud and virtual environments:

– Creating snapshots creates extra workload for your system. This can tax your environment, especially on virtual machines that are resource-efficient and typically run at 80% CPU. In contrast, most physical servers run between 10% and 30% CPU.
– In today’s environment, changes occur so fast that periodic pictures cannot capture all the bits of data that have changed back and forth since the last picture.
– When restoring data, not all solutions can recover separate, specific files. With Bacula, it is possible to restore not only the data you need but also the entire snapshot by backing up your snapshots.

Use Case of CDP

A real-life example of using CDP: a mid-sized hosting provider operating in Greece and the Balkan states needed a solution that provided constantly updated backup. Five years previously, their hosting environment had approximately 70% physical servers and 30% virtual machines. The company used a traditional backup solution and methods that provided full and different backups. At first, that was enough to meet their needs. But now the company technicians were running out of time to back up regularly.

In addition, the company’s difficulties were compounded by the increased amount of data it needed to deal with. As the company grew successfully, it was expected that this data growth would continue in the future and any proposed solution would have to be proven to meet future demand.

It became clear that the company needed to move to a modern, efficient, and fast solution that would allow the user or the administrator to recover data at any time. After data research, the company realized that it would be advantageous to use a real CDP solution: a solution that would detect a modified file and copy it to the local spool area. The company needed files to be recovered as fast as possible, and the ability to automatically capture and track data modifications, saving each version of user-generated data locally or in a target repository. Nevertheless, in recent years, as the company has migrated to virtual infrastructure, the proportion had changed: More recently, their environment was predominantly virtual machines and servers (78%), while physical servers accounted only 22%.

Because routine backup and restore operations required a lot of resources and time, the organization began to look for alternative backup solutions (https://www.baculasystems.com/best-enterprise-data-backup-solutions/) that they could use locally or with their existing backup infrastructure.

The company decided to use Bacula Enterprise with the built-in permanent data protection (CDP) option. Bacula closely integrates its highly efficient CDP into a comprehensive enterprise backup and recovery environment, which provides system administrators and users with more flexibility and higher efficiency. Bacula’s approach is as platform-friendly as possible, without any special requirements for the file system. One of the many benefits of this philosophy is the ability to significantly reduce the reliance on snapshots.

Conclusion

Bacula Enterprise is a highly scalable, flexible backup and recovery software that provides easy data backup, protection, and recovery. It is a high-end enterprise solution for medium and large enterprises. As a backup solution, Bacula (https://www.baculasystems.com/continuous-data-protection-solutions/) offers many different specialist features such as an extensive range of different types of backup media (including many tape types and multiple cloud storage), easy setup, low installation costs, and a local SQL database. This as well needs to be considered in terms of overall software performance, advanced deduction, and protection.

Bacula has special features of security. Enterprise security levels are available at every level and stage of data usage. To sum up, the availability is very high. One of the key points of Bacula’s service is the ability to avoid price traps per data volume. That’s because Bacula doesn’t charge for data, it frees up organizations – not only to grow with much fewer restrictions but to plan with much more clarity.

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