SAN backups (Storage Area Network)

Due to compliance reasons or due diligence, a lot of companies don’t just want a backup locally that they can recover to very quickly, but they also want to move that data offsite in the event that they experience a site failure. A SAN backup (or SANS) can help with this.

SAN Snapshots – The basics

A snapshot is a point-in-time reference of data that you can schedule after your database dumps and transaction logs have finished running. A SAN snapshot gives you a virtual copy/image of what your database volumes, devices or systems look like at a given point in time. If you have an entire server failure, you can very quickly spin up a server, install SQL or do a bare metal restore, then import the image and get your database server back online.

SAN-to-SAN Replication Overview

The counterpart to SAN snapshots is SAN-to-SAN replication (aka synchronisation). With replication, if you had a SAN located in one data centre, you can then send data to another SAN in a different data centre location as well. You can back up very large volumes of data very quickly using SAN technology, and you can also transfer that data to a secondary location independently of your snapshot schedule.

This is a more efficient method because traditional backup windows can take a really long time and they will impact the performance of your system. By keeping it all on the SAN, it allows backups to be done very rapidly, and the data copying can be done in the background so it’s not impacting the realtime performance of your systems.

For standalone database servers with a large volume of structured data that are highly transactional, consider using SAN snapshot technologies with specified volumes for database dumps and transaction logs.

Cloud backups

A SAN recovery method focuses generally on large volumes of data, and it is more difficult to recover individual files. A Cloud only backup focuses on critical business files for more granular recovery, but that comes at the cost of slower speed. With a large volume of data, traditional recovery can be much slower than SAN-based snapshots. Our hybrid cloud backups however are another option which can bring the best of both worlds.