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Backups are about protecting data, applications, and systems that are important to the organization. In operations environments, it’s easy to provide backups: pick the workload that needs hyper-availability and back it up. Operations environments are relatively static – in that, the systems and applications used remain relatively consistent, with only the data changing daily.
When it comes to the very temporal uses of the DevOps environment, the simple answer is you don’t. Well, at least not the temporary VMs used for code testing. Where IT needs to help DevOps with backups mostly revolves around protecting the DevOps infrastructure that Development uses to create their testing environment.
DevOps has a ton of VM infrastructure, automation scripts, CICD platforms, and even more making up the work environment. THAT needs protection, as it does remain relatively consistent with some daily changes. (sound familiar?)
We all know this isn’t going to be as simple as three steps, but, at a high level, the work doesn’t get much more complex than this. The real trick to backing up DevOps is understanding exactly what needs to be backed up.
The objective of DevOps is that developers test their apps in a copy of the production environment in which their code will run. Often virtual machines and container solutions like Docker running on individual laptops or desktops is the go-to test bed. Unfortunately, this type of containerized microservice does not entirely simulate the capacity constraints of a real-world production environment.
Some IT departments are further embracing DevOps on a deeper level. Developers are requesting access to the hot spare disaster recovery environment to mitigate the laptop or desktop constraints. Generally, midsize and larger organizations will have cloud-based backup infrastructures.
These cloud-based DR backups are almost exact carbon copies of the environments running critical production workloads and are available in case workloads need to be ported over in the event of a service disruption or a disaster.
If you think about it, there is a ready-made sandbox of valuable production data in your backups and replicas, just sitting idle and collecting dust. Is there a way for DevOps to take advantage of this hot spare DR workspace for testing and planning while also remaining available for its original DR purpose?
You can leverage backups and replicas to mitigate application deployment risks by testing in a secure and trusted, production-like environment. The KeepItSafe cloud allows organizations to create new instances and accelerate time-to-market innovations by leveraging an isolated, virtual sandbox for rapid application development and testing. Tools like Veeam DataLabs™ will provide a method for DevOps to dynamically spin up instances of the production environment as they design new features. This capability enables use cases beyond typical data protection scenarios, such as DevTest, DevOps, and DevSecOps, including security, forensics, and GDPR, HIPAA, and FINRA compliance testing.
For example use Veeam Backup & Replication™ to create isolated virtual environments to perform application-item recovery and validate VM backups and replicas. DataLabs will allow you to boot VMs directly within a backup or replica into a secure, isolated virtual environment without the need for provisioning storage capacity or a spare host. Veeam DataLabs features:
The idea here is to have the idle capacity and resources doing something useful while not completely missing the purpose of its existence. With hypervisors and containers, a VM can be spun up and down in a matter of seconds along with the rest of the SDx (software-defined everything) environment. In most cases the data is already accessible to the environment, allowing for real-world testing on real data without long copying times. Should an emergent event occur, you can quickly shut down the virtual machines — and have your hot spares back to retain maximum production environment IT resiliency.
Expect more from your backup storage and disaster recovery (DR) resources. Your data is invaluable, KeepItSafe.
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