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Community Blog Hybrid Cloud Storage: Disaster Recovery Solution

Hybrid Cloud Storage: Disaster Recovery Solution

Hybrid cloud consists of two or more cloud systems forming a cloud infrastructure. These cloud systems include private cloud, and public cloud.

A hybrid cloud refers to an integrated cloud platform that combines public cloud servers with private data centers. Hybrid clouds are fast becoming the implementation of choice for businesses that are seeking to embrace cloud computing. A 2016 survey that asked IT professionals from a range of enterprises about their adoption of cloud computing found that 71% of respondents used a hybrid cloud, up from 58% in 2015. What explains this dramatic growth in the adoption of hybrid clouds, which is projected to rise even further in the future?

The answer largely lies in the fact that a hybrid cloud is able to overcome some of the limitations that come from relying purely on a public cloud service. While businesses gain significant advantages from adopting public cloud facilities, such as acquiring enormous storage space, immense processing power and scalability, there are also drawbacks involved which a hybrid cloud arrangement can help mitigate. Let’s look at a couple of these drawbacks and how they can be circumvented with a hybrid cloud model.

Security

A public cloud is typically accessed through the Internet, which makes any data that is held on the public cloud vulnerable to being infringed by malicious actors. Competent public cloud providers implement strong security protocols to reduce this risk, but it can never be eliminated entirely.

For organizations that have particularly sensitive data or applications, such as client billing information or intellectual property crucial to the business, a hybrid cloud enables them to place this most sensitive data on private servers which cannot be accessed through the Internet. Less confidential data or applications, which are usually more copious in volume, can be placed in the public cloud and benefit from the large storage capacity public servers provide.

Incompatibility

Sometimes it’s not possible to move all applications that an enterprise uses over to the public cloud, because they may not be supported by public cloud servers. Very old applications such as a COBOL DB2 database which is used to manage inventory is generally incompatible with the hardware used by public cloud providers. Either the application has to be re-written to work on the public cloud, which could cost millions of dollars rendering the option impractical in most cases, or it has to run on private hardware.

A hybrid cloud architecture enables companies to continue using legacy software which is important to their operations in a private environment, while using the public cloud to utilize more up-to-date software which can benefit from the enhanced processing capability provided.
Latency

Public cloud data centers inevitably introduce latency, however small, because they are accessed through the Internet as noted earlier. There are certain applications which are highly sensitive to latency and are therefore not appropriate for being hosted on a public cloud. Examples include algorithms which predict natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, where any delay in the calculations could mean the difference between life and death. Latency can affect even high quality voice and video streaming. A hybrid cloud allows such applications to be run on private hardware to circumvent latency issues.

Lack of control

Given that a public cloud is maintained by a third party, it can provide local IT professionals with less management capabilities than over private hardware. For example, pre-packaged software that is accessible through the public cloud, also called software-as-a-service (SaaS), can be subject to updates or redesigns beyond the control of the local IT team. Such updates may cause conflicts with other software, hardware or data that is being used by the company. Having a hybrid cloud enables the IT team to keep some software, which they feel may cause these kinds of conflicts if modified, on private machines and under their control.

That said, in some respects a public cloud can grant increased control, for instance by providing IT teams with additional computational resources to perform tasks that may not be executed locally.

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Hybrid Cloud Storage: Cross-Cloud Disaster Recovery

In this article, we will discuss the implementation of a fully hybrid cloud backup and disaster recovery solution on Alibaba Cloud with Hybrid Backup Recovery.

Hybrid Backup Recovery-based Cross-Cloud Disaster Tolerance Architecture

The following process diagram illustrates how cloud vendor T's Oracle server is backed up to Alibaba Cloud's cloud disaster recovery warehouse using a Hybrid Backup Recovery gateway, and then fails over to an Alibaba Cloud ECS instance. The Hybrid Backup Recovery gateway also supports failing back the latest data from the cloud disaster recovery warehouse to cloud vendor T's Oracle host. In this architecture diagram, you can see that the disaster tolerance deployment is symmetric at the source end and the target end. Note that the cloud disaster recovery warehouse is drawn with dots in the diagram. Unlike the cloud backup warehouse and OSS, the cloud disaster recovery warehouse is invisible to users.

Implementation of Hybrid Backup Recovery-based Cross-Cloud Disaster Tolerance

First, you can easily activate Hybrid Backup Recovery by logging on to your Alibaba Cloud console, and going to Hybrid Backup Recovery.

Then, you can go to the Disaster Tolerance Center > Disaster Tolerance Center to create a Cloud disaster recovery gateway. You will need to name the gateway and select a specification for it. The configuration of Virtual Private Cloud and VSwitch involves the design and planning of the disaster tolerance solution. You can simply configure the Virtual Private Cloud on Alibaba Cloud in the same way as that of the protected source end. Should you have any questions, feel free to consult professional disaster tolerance engineers on the Hybrid Cloud Storage team. Click OK to complete the creation of the disaster recovery gateway.

Minimizing Business Downtime with Alibaba Cloud Hybrid Disaster Recovery Solution

At The Computing Conference 2018, Alibaba Cloud demonstrated how businesses can reduce downtime using the Hybrid Disaster Recovery solution.

At The Computing Conference 2018 in Hangzhou, Alibaba Cloud presented its Hybrid Disaster Recovery (HDR) and Hybrid Backup Recovery (HBR) solution by demonstrating a full disaster recovery process on stage. The five-minute HDR demonstration presented the end-to-end process of enterprise application disaster recovery with Alibaba Cloud's second-level recovery point objective (RPO) and minute-level recovery time objective (RTO), covering the core steps of a typical cloud disaster recovery scenario.

We all know that downtime of key business brings great losses to enterprises. Traditional self-built disaster recovery solutions are costly and require complex operation and maintenance (O&M), so high-performance cloud disaster recovery services are becoming the preferential choice for enterprises to ensure business continuity. The HDR solution for key business fully demonstrates the real-time disaster recovery replication of an accounting system running on a local server to Alibaba Cloud, and quickly recovers the business on Alibaba Cloud after the downtime.

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Hybrid Backup Recovery

Provides secure, cost-effective, and scalable data protection for data stored in the cloud and on-premises data centers. With the deduplication and AES-256 encryption features, you can reduce a large number of cloud storage costs while ensuring data security. Hybrid Backup Recovery is a feasible solution that allows you to back up data stored in Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instances, Apsara File Storage NAS, Object Storage Service (OSS), on-premises data centers, and VMware virtual machines. Hybrid Backup Recovery also allows you to migrate data from VMware virtutal machines to Alibaba Cloud.

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The Backup and Recovery of Common Cloud Databases

The security of the cloud databases are critical, they are directly affecting the security and stable operation of the cloud based applications. Only by understanding the principles, methods, and operation methods of backup and recovery of commonly used cloud databases, the cloud database administrators can better protect them. Through this course, you can not only understand the backup and recovery principles, types and methods of databases on the cloud, but also understand the backup and recovery methods related to Alibaba Cloud RDS.

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Architecture description:

This solution is based on a hybrid cloud consisting of an on-premises data center, a primary Alibaba Cloud zone, and a secondary Alibaba Cloud zone. The on-premises data center and cloud zones communicate through a leased line or VPN.

"Stateless" applications are deployed in the the on-premises data center and two zones for real-time synchronization and backup between on-premises and off-premises databases.

If a failure occurs in any of the three databases (the on-premises data center or either of the two zones), traffic can be switched to one of the other two to ensure service continuity. After the fault is resolved, the service traffic can be switched back to the preferred service center.

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