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EMC Glossary

Offsite Backup

Offsite Backup

Offsite backup covers the replication of backup data to a site geographically separate from the production systems site as well as performing backup over WAN. Motivations for offsite backup include disaster recovery, backup operations consolidation and cost savings.

Who uses offsite backup, and why ?

A wide variety of organizations may choose to offsite backup, for reasons including:

Disaster recovery.

In this case, offsite backup replicates backup data to a remote site, to enable recovery of data or recovery of application use should disaster strike the local site.

Backup operations consolidation.

Geographically dispersed enterprises may have their branch offices perform offsite backup to a central location rather than each branch maintaining backups on site. This would require performing backup over WAN from the branch office to another, typically, central location. Depending on the scope of backup needs and circumstances in their production facilities, such an approach can make more efficient use of IT resources as well as affording a greater degree of corporate control over backup practices.

Cost-effectiveness.

Depending on the scope of their data backup needs and circumstances in their facilities, for some organizations offsite backup in the form of backup over WAN may be more cost effective than backing up data onsite.

How offsite backup works

Traditionally, offsite backup has was limited to copying data to portable media – most often tape – and then transporting the media to the remote backup location. Given past technical limitations – most notably, network bandwidth constraints – there was no practical alternative to this labor-intensive means of implementing remote backup.

In today’s high-bandwidth era, a new generation of disk-based backup systems and remote backup software makes offsite backup simpler and faster by using corporate WANs or the internet to replicate or backup over WAN. In addition to leveraging modern high bandwidth connections, these next-generation offsite backup approaches employ advanced deduplication technologies to sharply reduce the amount of data that needs to be transmitted over the network and stored remotely. The most advanced systems and software apply deduplication at the sub-file level to dramatically reduce the bandwidth and storage capacity requirements associated with offsite backup.

Cloud backup is a specific form of modern offsite backup implementation. With cloud backup, client software on customers’ primary storage systems automatically replicates or backups data to the cloud service provider’s offsite backup location, and the service provider is responsible for operating the backup facilities.

Benefits of offsite backup

Offsite backup for disaster recovery helps enterprises avoid the potentially severe consequences of data loss or service interruption in the event of a data center scale disaster. Offsite backup over WAN benefits some organizations by reducing the total costs of providing adequate data and system backup, or by bringing backup and recovery operations under central control in a multi-office environment.

Disk-based backup systems and backup software that support deduplication deliver these offsite backup benefits as well as benefits like smaller backup windows, faster recovery times, simpler management, and improved security compared to traditional tape-based systems.

For organizations looking for offsite backup, and for cloud service providers delivering offsite backup services, EMC offers next-generation backup solutions including EMC Data Domain, EMC Avamar, and EMC NetWorker.

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