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Cloud Data Seeding for Backup & DRaaS

Nov 29, 2018, 18:27 PM by Trenton Baker

Cloud Data Seeding for Backup and DRaaS

Cloud seeding is a strategy for transferring large volumes of existing backup data to cloud storage and is a common choice for companies adopting a cloud backup and DR service.

If customers want to start fresh with the new cloud provider, they merely adopt their new backup application, point backup to the new cloud repository, and go. However, customers who want to transfer existing backups to the new provider – i.e., data seeding -- have more to do.

The obvious solution is to upload backup data over the WAN, but narrow bandwidth and/or large data sets can take years to send over the wire.

AWS calculates that sending 100PB over a 1Gbps would take 20 years. TBs are the more common size calculation, but even there just 2TB at a slow 25Mbps rate will take nearly a year. Clearly, that won’t do.

Typical Transfer Rates at WAN Speeds

Seeding Options

Three popular seeding options are WAN, physical, and reverse seeding.

  • WAN Seeding. Transferring multi-TBs of data takes time even over fast bandwidth, and the slower your bandwidth, the greater the pain. 2TB of data at 100Mbps would take two days, which isn’t too painful. However, 75TB will take over two months. Businesses who decide to seed over the WAN need to review their available bandwidth to determine if it’s adequate or due for an upgrade.
  • Physical Seeding. IT stores existing backup/replication images to removable media, and ships them overnight to the new cloud provider. The process is more time-intensive than it appears: customers must take the time to locate and transfer backup files and images which may be from multiple repositories.
  • Reverse Seeding. Another consideration for WAN and physical seeding is “reverse seeding,” or restoring data on-premises. Plan beforehand: Under what circumstances will a restore require physical media and trucking? Is there time to meet RTOs? How long would a worst-case full environmental restore take, and how would you prioritize applications and data?

KeepItSafe and Seeding

KeepItSafe recommends seeding over the WAN when possible. (Although you might need to upgrade your bandwidth, fatter pipes will benefit any cloud or remote office data transfers.) Also look for advanced WAN acceleration features from your cloud backup vendor. When you have these capabilities in place, the initial sync process will be efficient and as fast as possible.

KeepItSafe with Veeam Cloud Connect supports WAN, physical and reverse seeding options. For your initial upload, Veeam enables you to replicate VM backups directly over the WAN.

We also help you copy and encrypt large data sets on a removable device. Call us, and we’ll courier the device to our secure cloud, where we’ll upload your VMs into your secure cloud storage environment. Reverse seeding repeats the process, up to and including a full environmental restore with fast shipping.

Next Steps

Seeding can be expensive given WAN upgrade costs and removable storage media. Be sure that your cloud provider will not charge you additional fees for receiving or sending seeded disks. Also, understand how efficiently your cloud provider will sync your seed data set.

KeepItSafe doesn’t do seeding as an afterthought. We do it as a customer strategy. Contact us today, and we’ll work closely with you to devise your best method for initial uploads and large restores.

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