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Containers Expo Blog: Blog Post

Reducing Windows Server Backup Costs

George Crump of Storage Switzerland, and Chris Schin of Zetta.net discuss Windows server backup challenges

by Nick Mueller, Zetta.net

How can you free up to 70 percent of your backup budget in 2013? George Crump, lead analyst at Storage Switzerland, and Chris Schin of Zetta.net recently presented a whiteboard discussion on the challenges of Windows server backup and approaches that cut both cost and complexity.

First, let's address complexity:

Why Windows Server Backup is Complex
The complexity starts with the fact that the Windows server platform is not homogeneous - there's usually at least 2008 and 2012 with R1 and R2 versions, with SQL, System State, and VSS done differently in each release.

Next the discussion moves to what is deployed on those servers. It could be a bunch of SQL databases, an Exchange system, or files. At Zetta we're increasingly seeing that customers are running this whole environment on a set of Hyper-V images - which adds another layer of complication.

If you think about how a configuration like this is deployed in your organization or others in the real-world, there's often a headquarters building which has good bandwidth and a good data center, but then there might be a branch office or home office, which adds an "n-way" complexity to the challenge of backup.

Finally, consider that most companies don't want to do traditional backup - like you, they're looking for onsite backup for rapid recovery, offsite backup for regulatory compliance, plus archiving and disaster recovery.

How the Costs Pile Up
The traditional way backup and environment like the one described above uses specific backup software agents, local disk for onsite, and a tapes infrastructure for offsite backup with tape drives, an offsiting service, and maybe additional products for archiving and disaster recovery.

For something as simple as a 15 server deployment - to really protect it all well - you could be spending $50,000 to $100,000 dollars a year.

Zetta's Take on Reducing the Cost of Windows Server Backup
What Zetta does is take all this complexity and simplify it down to very few component pieces. Starting with our cloud, which is a large scale-out file system housed in multiple domestic data centers, that takes care of the offsite component of the backup.

Then there's the ZettaMirror software client, which does 3 things:

  1. It has the ability to backup and migrate files to the cloud in a very WAN-efficient manner. It runs on an operating system, and for Hyper-V you can run it on the host and backup the guests or run it wherever you want inside of each guest.
  2. It has a plug-in architecture with has plug-ins for Hyper-V, SQL, Exchange, System State, etc.
  3. Allows you to manage your onsite backup by taking whatever you're sending offsite and also storing it somewhere in your local environment.

ZettaMirror can be deployed easily in a home office / branch office environment because it's just a simple agent that installs on an operating system. It takes away a ton of complexity by removing application specific backup products with the plug-in architecture.

As previously mentioned, it also encompasses archiving and disaster recovery, uses no appliance, and has no licensing fees.

What you get with Zetta's offering is 500GB of offsite storage in our cloud, any number of ZettaMirror licenses, archival capabilities, disaster recovery capabilities, onsite backup, offsite backup, home office & branch office backup, all the upgrades and maintenance, plus 24×7 support - for as low as $2500 a year.

Once you've installed the clients, you can log into the web application portal that functions as a configuration tool, and manage your whole system from a laptop. It works as a monitoring and management platform, with an embedded file browser that lets you restore directly through the cloud.

As George says in closing, Zetta is, "simple to deploy, significantly less expensive, and really removes the backup headache."

To view the Storage Switzerland-Zetta.net discussion, visit: Reducing Server Backup Costs: Whiteboard Discussion With Storage Switzerland - http://bit.ly/Yd3kXU


Nick is Zetta's Corporate Reporter, and has been writing and telling stories about technology with blogs, social media, and content marketing since the days when the BBS reigned.

More Stories By Derek Kol

Derek Kol is a technology specialist focused on SMB and enterprise IT innovations.

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