DTS’ data backup and restore environment is available for State agencies and government entities for the following hosting environments:
- Servers (virtual and physical) hosted in the Taylorsville or Richfield data centers.
- Servers with State of Utah WAN connectivity hosted at agency sites outside the Taylorsville and Richfield data centers.
- Compute and database instances in public cloud
- Google Cloud VMWare Engine (GCVE) private cloud virtual machines.
Server backups are sent to the backup appliances located in the Taylorsville and Richfield data centers. Data is also archived on day one to public cloud and held for long term retention, for on premise servers. Public cloud servers are backed up entirely in the associated cloud account/project. Agent software is needed on physical servers but not on virtual servers. Backup and restores are managed through a web console. An initial full backup or snapshot is performed and then followed by daily incremental snapshot backups determined by the SLA policy. System Administrators may restore data through the management console as needed. DTS personnel are available 24x7x365 to provide assistance.
Product Features and Descriptions
Supports a broad range of server platforms, including:
- Microsoft SQL
- Virtual, physical, and cloud hosted servers
A web based client platform provides robust customer administrator capabilities to manage all backup and restore activities from a single console.
The backup environment is made up of several appliances, each with 4 nodes. Three or more appliances make a cluster. Nodes and appliances can be added to or taken out without bringing the cluster down or affecting performance. This allows the processes of expansion, upgrading and maintenance to be done with ease and without worrying about downtime.
Instant Search for File Restores
For single file restores the file search complexity inherent in legacy backup and recovery solutions is eliminated by introducing consumer-grade file search that delivers query results instantly. As the user types the query, results are expedited by displaying suggested search results with auto-complete functionality. The user can instantly locate specific versions of files across all VMs and compute instances.
For servers that are hosted on VMware, use any snapshot to quickly recover a virtual machine as a point in time replacement or as a point in time copy of the original. Recovery requests can be made to the DTS Core Cloud Team.
The backup cluster uses an intelligent, global deduplication that combines the advantages of traditional approaches to deduplication without the disadvantages. During data ingest, the cluster pulls data directly to flash SSD, without deduplication processing, achieving very fast data ingestion rates. After the data lands on the flash SSD, the cluster performs global deduplication by comparing data blocks across the cluster. After deduplication, the cluster compresses the data, and then stores the data on the hard disk drives.
Data Redundancy for Disaster Recovery
Backups are being pushed to public cloud storage. In the event of a disaster, the needed infrastructure will need to be acquired and put in place for a complete recovery. Google Cloud VMWare Engine (GCVE) can also be used in this scenario.
SLA Domain Policies
Retention periods, number of snapshots, etc., are defined in flexible SLA domain policies that can be created to meet specific needs.
An open API to the backup product provides services such as more detailed reporting.
A secure, climate-controlled environment.
Reliable uninterruptable power with UPS, battery, and generator backup.
The standard backup retention policies have a 90 day retention. Backup data stays on local storage for 30 days then is offloaded to a public cloud archive location for the rest of the 90 days. This allows the faster local storage to be freed up from data that may not be accessed very much. Backups residing in public cloud storage are still indexed, searchable and restorable from the management console, although longer restore times should be expected.
The current backup product is not a long-term archiving solution, i.e. a solution to retain data for a year or more. For long-term retention needs such as 1 year, 3 years, etc., data should be archived to public cloud storage using the s3 protocol and s3 tools.
Features Not Included
Local desktop / laptop drives are not backed up
Local desktop or laptop drives (commonly known as “C” or “D” drives) are not backed up. It is the end-users responsibility to store data on their network drives.
File level storage is not provided as a part of this product. See the product description for SAN Storage.
Ordering and Provisioning
Any Government agency interested in purchasing Backup and Restore services should work with their client server administrator to initiate the order process. The provisioning process includes these steps:
- The client server administrator uses the Backup Request Form for servers needing backups: Form
- For backups, the DTS Core Cloud team adds the server to protection and notifies the client server administrator when complete.
- Service and billing begins.
Administration of the backup environment is accomplished by the following:
- The DTS Core Cloud Team
- The Client Server Administrator/DevOps
The partnership between these two helps ensure that data is managed according to the needs of the customer agency.
Data Protection Administration (DTS Staff)
The backup servers in DTS data centers are centrally managed by a Data Protection Administrator. The duties of the Administrator include:
- Manage the overall enterprise backup environment.
- Provide orientation materials for the Client Server Administrators.
- Maintain the backup clusters with the help of product support when needed.
- Work with customer Client Server Administrators and provide information on backup and restore policies.
- Provide 24×7 support for issues encountered by Client Server Administrators during data restores.
- Notify Client Server Administrators of missed and failed backups.
- Provide other assistance and/or consultation as needed.
The Client Server Administrator
The agency Client Server Administrator/DevOps is the steward of the data managed by individual servers. This Administrator is identified when backup services are first ordered and understands the data and business needs of the customer agency. As a result, backup administration on client servers is managed by the System Administrator for that server. This System Administrator is normally a DTS employee assigned to the customer agency. However, if an agency has contracted with DTS to provide system administration (or backup administration duties) for a specific server, then DTS staff will perform storage backup administration on that server.
If the Client Server Administrator/DevOps for the client server is a different person than the one who manages applications on the server, the Client Server Administrator and Client Application Manager must work together to ensure that backup policies for the machine are appropriate for the application. For instance, if the server is a database server where one person administers the hardware and operating system and another person administers the database, these two people should work together to ensure that backup policies meet the needs of the database on that server. Business operations management must sign-off on all backup and archive requirements to ensure business needs are met. The Client Server Administrator/DevOps will procure this agreement. Client Server Administration duties include the following:
- Learn and understand how to perform backup client server administration tasks.
- Work with the person who manages applications on the client server to ensure backup policy definitions are appropriate for the application.
- Establish a working process to validate backup, restore and archives on a regular basis.
- Monitor whether backups were successful and whether the correct data was backed up.
- Manage data restores. (The DTS Core Cloud team is available for assistance.)
- Work with the DTS Core Cloud to:
- Define and manage backup/restore policies and retention.
- Install the agent and create and manage filesets for physical servers that define “include” and “exclude” lists.
- Test backups and restores.
- Take action to correct missed or failed backups.