SUSE Enterprise Storage: A Sensible Solution for Disk-to-Disk Backup

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 Don’t lock yourself in to an expensive backup solution that will not grow gracefully as your needs change. SUSE Enterprise Storage combines the economies of commodity or industry standard storage and open source software with lowest-in-class licensing and enterprise-grade hardware certification and support.”

In today’s data-driven world, a unified backup strategy is more important than ever. Enterprise networks require continuous access, and the cost of data loss is often catastrophic. Many solutions exist for enterprise disk-to-disk backup, but the best solution is the one that meets your needs with the minimum total cost of ownership.

The real cost of an enterprise backup system has three components:

  • Cost of acquisition
  • Cost of management
  • Cost of upgrade

By minimizing acquisition, management, and upgrade expenses, SUSE Enterprise Storage delivers the lowest total cost for enterprise-grade disk-to-disk backup.

 The Problem

Most of the enterprise disk-to-disk backup solutions on the market today fall in a two basic categories:

  • Device-driven solutions on proprietary hardware
  • Software-based solutions on commodity hardware

A typical device-driven solution consists of an expensive disk array or other proprietary storage device.

Another category of device-driven backup solutions centers around what is known as a deduplication appliance—a sophisticated device that is designed to reduce the overall storage volume by eliminating duplicated data.

Proprietary products such as backup appliances and branded disk arrays are always satisfying to unwrap and plug in, but the satisfaction might not last. Device-driven backup alternatives have the following complications:

  • They don’t scale elegantly. To upgrade, you’ll need a whole new appliance.
  • They are expensive.
  • They depend on proprietary technologies, which limits future flexibility and results in vendor lock in.

The cost for a proprietary hardware device can be up to twice the cost of equivalent commodity hardware, and the price for add-on drives and other supporting hardware can be up to 4x the cost of generic equivalents.

Vendors often justify the high cost for proprietary hardware through performance metrics and product data sheets attesting to sophisticated features; however, many of these high-end features are not necessary for network backup. Deploying a low-latency, high-performance storage tool for an activity that does not require low latency (such as network backup) is an inefficient use of network resources. A hardware-based deduplication device is also an unnecessary expense, because the new generation of enterprise-ready backup applications can perform deduplication through the software much more economically.

Software-based solutions that run on industry standard or commodity hardware (so-called software-defined storage alternatives) offer the possibility of a better price point; however, software licensing fees, customer support contracts, and brand premiums mean the overall cost of ownership for many software-defined storage solutions is equal to (or not significantly under) the cost of hardware-based alternatives.

Software-defined storage solutions centered on open source software clearly offer the best chance for lowering cost. The open source Ceph storage solution is particularly well suited for disk-to-disk backup scenarios. Several enterprise vendors offer Ceph-based storage; however, many of the vendors who market these Ceph-based solutions prefer to compete through the feature set and do not offer significant cost saving. Brand premiums, high-priced product support, and per-gigabyte storage charges drive the TCO back into the range of the proprietary alternatives.

SUSE Enterprise Storage is a Ceph-based storage solution with an innovative licensing model design to deliver significant savings to the storage customer. The combination of Ceph storage with SUSE’s frugal licensing model makes SUSE Enterprise Storage the lowest-priced option for enterprise disk-to-disk backup.

SUSE Enterprise Storage: A Better Approach

SUSE Enterprise Storage offers a better and more scalable option for enterprise backup. A SUSE Enterprise Storage solution  greatly simplifies the typical backup scenario  as the need for a separate deduplification device is eliminated through advanced backup software that provides deduplication services.

SUSE has partnership agreements with a growing number of enterprise backup software vendors, including Veritas, CommVault, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, with built-in tools that remove the need for a separate deduplication device.

On the storage side, Ceph further simplifies things. The Ceph system appears to the backup server as a simple, monolithic target. Ceph can appear as an iSCSI interface, a REST gateway, or even a Linux filesystem. The operator of the backup software does not have to know the details of the Ceph configuration.

Behind the scenes, Ceph is a self-managing, self-healing cluster. The Ceph system provides built-in fault tolerance, ensuring that you won’t lose data if a drive fails or a server goes offline. The self healing, self-managing nature of Ceph minimizes management expense.

The Ceph cluster allows a single admin to administer up to 4 Petabytes of storage—6 times the standard rate of 500TB per admin commonly used for an equivalent block storage scenario. With its emphasis on commodity hardware and open source software, SUSE Enterprise Storage minimizes acquisition cost, and its self-managing, self-healing design minimizes management costs.

But SUSE Enterprise Storage also keeps upgrade cost at a minimum. Because SUSE does not charge a per-gigabyte fee for the total data under storage, you’ll never pay more just for storing more data. If you ever reach the point where you need to expand the system, simply buy another server license and add another server to the cluster. Ceph integrates the new server and distributes the workload.

SUSE Enterprise Storage’s hardware certification program further reduces management costs and provides a smooth transition to the SUSE Enterprise Storage environment with minimal disruption or downtime.

Real Savings

SUSE Enterprise Storage delivers savings for the disk-to-disk backup customer with:

  • Commodity hardware for minimal hardware cost
  • Open source software, for minimal software cost and maximum flexibility
  • A self-managing, self-healing architecture for minimal management cost
  • A flexible, cluster-based design for graceful and inexpensive upgrade an innovative licensing model that avoids per-gigabyte storage charges, so you won’t owe more for saving more data.

With minimal acquisition cost, management cost, and upgrade cost, SUSE Enterprise Storage is the lowest-price solution for enterprise archive and backup implementations

SUSE Enterprise Storage TCO Press Release

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Comments

  • Nicolas Muñoz says:

    Suse storage support Fiber Channel ?? Can add a SAN ?

    • davidbyte says:

      Nicolas, we would need to better understand what you are trying to accomplish. For example, you could be asking if we can act as a fibre channel target OR you could be asking if we can use SAN storage behind SUSE enterprise storage.

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    Jason Phippen
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