Date: 21/09/2018

HPe Simplivity and the Unknown Soldier- BACKUP & DR

by Pat O’Neill, Enterprise Consultant and Account Manager, MJ Flood Technology.

I have been in the industry for over 20 years and sleep well at night knowing that what we have recommended and installed, firstly works. But is hard fastened and will reduce the need to constantly support, make changes and cause excessive management. One of the fundamentals I have found that is most neglected and given the least amount of focus in a solution design is backup and DR. I have endeavored to ask “What about Back up and DR?” Then the flood gates open into question after question to look at options, RPO/RTO, ON-site, Cloud, Clustering or replication Synchronous and asynchronous DR replication. The list goes on as I am sure you are all aware. I recently discovered that HPe Simplivity answers all of the fundamentals and more. The current trends and focuses are on application development for businesses to work faster, cleaner, surefired, flexible and resilient. Cloud technologies assist with this greatly. I have watched as this has gained momentum, and in today’s market the Hardware vendors are playing catch up rather than pioneering.

MJ Flood Technology has been a HPE Partner for nearly 10 years, each new product release is predictably strong and answering the fundamentals and cornerstone of organisations ICT platform for business. The new release of HPe Simplivity is no exception with a few added extras which are more than just useful addons- Back up, the unknown soldier. He is always there somewhere, in the background, checked on every now and then, in the event of his services being needed. For the most part, Backup is its own entity 3rd party application/solution/even outsourced.

We have all heard of converged systems, the bringing together of compute and storage under a single management pane of glass, but that’s what they are, multiple layers under a single management.The new Hyperconverged is defined as a way to enable cloudlike economics and scale without compromising the performance, reliability, and availability you expect in your own data centre.However, this level of convergence only simplifies the purchase and upgrade cycle. It fails to address ongoing operational challenges that have been introduced with the advent of virtualization, Backup, Disaster recovery and High availability. A recent report from Forrester on the economic impact of Simplivity shows that HPE SimpliVity resulted in reduced costs of 69%.

HPe Simplivity is Integrated into and managed by VMware (or now with Hyper-V) with all the enhanced features expected by a Hyperconverged Solution, including optimised LAN/WAN Clustering for High availability solutions into a single, integrated all-flash solution. HPE SimpliVity 380 offers a full suite of traditional IT functions including unified global VM-centric management, data protection, cloud integration, built-in backup, and disaster recovery. The HPE SimpliVity is a hyperconverged system designed to provide enterprise system capabilities with cloud-like economics.

A recent report from Forrester on the economic impact of Simplivity shows that HPE SimpliVity resulted in reduced costs of 69%.

For me the most interesting point that came from the report was backup. After implementing HPE SimpliVity and leveraging the built-in data protection capabilities of the platform, backup administrators saved 5 hours every day that they previously spent confirming backups and resolving problems. A recent report from IDC said that “Data protection remains one of the most problematic, labour -intensive, and least loved activities in the datacenter”. Because the HPE SimpliVity deduplicates, compresses, and optimizes data the first time it is written to disk and maintains it in that state for its lifecycle, backup copies are already deduplicated and compressed, thereby eliminating the need for third-party software or purpose-built backup appliances.

Because traditional backup/recovery is both labour intensive and inadequate to meet business requirements, some IT organisations are transitioning their data protection scheme away from the defined third-party backup model to a model where data protection is built into the compute/storage stack. The client/server era was characterised by discrete technology stacks, such as server, storage, networks, and applications; backup/recovery was one of these application stacks managed largely as its own entity.

HPe Simplivity eliminates this dependency. The HPE SimpliVity approach to data protection is to provide all the benefits of a full backup and data replication at the speed of a snapshot.The methodology is also an excellent defense against ransomware because all prior images are saved as full images, permitting recovery at a point prior to the ransomware (or any other) infection.HPE SimpliVity VM-centric backups are extremely quick because they were designed into the platform to keep backups simple while maintaining performance. The backup set is deduplicated and compressed within the HPE SimpliVity Data Virtualization Platform (DVP). With local backups, no data is moved. Only a copy of the metadata is created with pointers to the original data. HPE SimpliVity VM-level backups do not challenge or impact the performance or availability of the VM. HPE SimpliVity native backup is a vast improvement over the traditional storage array or virtual machine snapshot-based backups.

The HPE Simplivity also does not take away from off site backups, cloud based backups or an additional layer of granularity for restores, HPe Simplivity is designed with full integration with independent products like Veeam.

There is a HPe White Paper for the full integration at all levels with Veeam particularly interesting is where the Hyperconverged solution is not a WAN/LAN Cluster solution, but DR is done in the traditional array for off-site replication in the event of a restore being required. Replicating VMs from SimpliVity to non-SimpliVity infrastructure where SimpliVity has been deployed in one location, but not at a DR site, it is possible to use any server with VMware vSphere and accompanying storage as a target for VM replicas managed by Veeam Backup & Replication.

HPE SimpliVity 380 named CRN’s Hyperconverged Infrastructure Product of the Year! 2017
According to CRN: The offering is a “game-changer” in part thanks to “its ability to optimize data from the very first I/O,” said Dan Molina, chief technology officer of San Diego-based Nth Generation Computing. “When the first byte of data gets created, it’s already being optimized by using data compression and data deduplication. For many other products, that’s an after-thought.”

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