The most important commodity of any business is information. With the loss of Information in any part of your business, you could suffer time, productivity and even financial loss. The only way to prevent this is redundancy, for example, the more people that know about the information needed to keep the business going, a lesser impact will be felt if one of those people decides to leave. The same goes for data. The more instances of data you have, the less likely you will suffer long downtime or total catastrophe in the event of hardware failure.

Getting your information back to a state where it can be usable again wasn't an easy and fast process, especially if new equipment was required to replace the failed hardware. A backup method that is still widely used today is the LTO Tape backup and archive systems. While this is still an excellent and reliable backup process, the restoration period is time consuming and costly.

In the Video Editing industry, we mainly focus on files and assets that are needed to complete the project. These file commonly reside on central storage so a number of editors or producers can access the assets quickly and easily. The editing suites rarely have any vital information stored on them so if the computer fails for any reason the project can be continued on another system. Edit systems can be easily fixed if only replacement hardware needs to be installed or software re-installation. We strongly recommend here at Digistor that redundancy of the data on the storage is a necessity.

As backup has evolved over time, the process of getting your business back to a working state has become quicker and easier. One of the main methods that I wanted to point out is remote replication.

Remote replication is the process of syncing new and modified data over the network directly to a secondary storage unit. This other unit can either be on-site on the same network or off-site at another location that can be accessed over the internet. If the systems have multiple Ethernet ports, a dedicated network could be created between the two units to keep the replication network traffic off your corporate LAN. This setup with a dedicated network is only feasible when the units are close together, unless you have multiple internet connections.

Remote Replication

Remote Replication

One company that has made this easy to implement is Infortrend. Infortrend’s EonNAS storage system incorporates this function and is built straight into their easy web interface so no additional hardware is required. There is many other software vendors that provide this functionally, but is usually run on a machine that connects to both storage systems.

Another main utility that has been around for almost 20 years that you may have heard about is RSYNC which performs a very similar function. Infortrend also include this utility to synchronise with 3rd party storage that supports RSYNC. This flexibility means that you’re not bound to buying two Infortrend units and can purchase addition less expensive storage to sync your data to.

** Your 3rd party storage system must support RSYNC for this function to be available to utilise **

Here is a quick setup guide of how easy it is configure.

On your second EonNAS system setup a share by completing the following steps:

  1. In the left hand menu, click on "Folder" then on "Share".

    Remote Replication

  2. Click on the "Add" button on the lower right and side of the interface. A "Create Shared Folder" dialog box will appear.

    Remote Replication

  3. Enter the relevant information and click on the "OK" button.

    Remote Replication

Now back to your main EonNAS system where all of your data is kept.

  1. In the left hand menu, click on “Backup” then on “Remote Replication”.

    Remote Replication
  2. Click on the “Add” button. A “Remote Replication” dialog box will appear.

    Remote Replication

  3. Enter the relevant information of the data you wish to be replicated and click on the OK button.

    i. Specify the Backup Source
    - Select the backup source either being all the shared folders, home directories or a specific share folder.

    ii. Specify the Backup Target (remote system) - Select “NAS” if using two Infortrend EonNAS units, or “Third Party” if using RSYNC.
    - Select the Security.
    - Enter the IP Address of the remote EonNAS.
    - The “Port” field will only be active when using Third Party RSYNC.
    - Enter a username specified in the remote system.
    - Enter the password of specified user.
    - Enter the share name that was created on the second unit into the “Directory” text field. You must include the full path to the directory, e.g. /Pool-1/EonBackup.

    iii. Specify a schedule when the sync is performed. I would suggest doing this overnight as is won’t disrupt other network traffic.

  4. Check to see if your Remote Replication task is in the list. I would suggest that you press the “Execute” to make sure that job is performed correctly. (pictured )

    Remote Replication

That’s It. Congratulations you have just successfully configured a Remote Replication between two Infortrend EonNASs.

You can also check the logs on the system to see if the job succeeded or failed. If the replication completed, you can remote into your second EonNAS to see if the data is there.

If your main storage stops working with this setup in place, bringing your environment back online is a much simpler process than restoring all your data from tape. What could take you hours has now turned into minutes. Swapping out the main storage for your backup system and some minor configurations is all it takes to get your business back up and running.

For more information on implementing this solution or if you would like to discuss your data protection challenges with Digistor please contact our consultancy team at [email protected]. We can help you with all forms of protection including traditional tape based backup and replication strategies.