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Dell EMC Data Protection for Microsoft Azure Stack

Cloud computing is probably the most cost-efficient method to use, maintain, and upgrade your IT infrastructure. Azure Stack brings the agility and fast-paced innovation of cloud computing to on-premises environments. Only Dell EMC offers a complete portfolio of Data Protection solutions for both traditional and emerging workloads no matter where customers are in their cloud journey.

white clouds in blue sky

Azure brings an entirely new way of doing business in the cloud

Azure brings an entirely new way of doing business in the cloud. The Azure ecosystem consists of redundant data centers located literally around our globe. In most cases, Azure can provide you with far better security, performance, and reliability than you can provide on-premises.

Microsoft Azure is a comprehensive collection of cloud services intended to provide developers and IT professionals the ability to build, deploy, and manage workloads leveraging a wide variety of development and DevOps tools and offering an extensive marketplace of offerings with which to build applications and solutions.  However, as extensive as Azure public’s offerings are there are still a number of barriers that can prevent organizations from adopting a strictly public cloud model.  Considerations such as regulatory compliance, data sovereignty, or a variety of edge cloud or disconnected use cases, just to name a few, can be drivers for customers to pursue a Hybrid Cloud model. Microsoft has recognized these challenges and answered them in the form of Azure Stack. The goal of Azure Stack is to provide an Azure consistent set of services and tools allowing Developers and IT professionals to leverage the same tools and methodologies in an Azure consistent fashion regardless of where an application is deployed (Public, on-prem, or hybrid).

Benefits: There are three core benefits when leveraging Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack.

Consistent Application Development – Developers have a true “write once deploy anywhere” model based on a consistent set of tools and processes.

On-premises Azure Services – Organizations can adopt a cloud computing model on their own terms to meet both their technical and business challenges in a hybrid model without changing tools or methodologies based on deployment locale.

Integrated Hybrid Delivery Model – Allows IT organizations to transform operations to focus on delivering cloud services predicated on integrated systems designed to deliver consistent Azure services in a predictable manner.

Protecting Your Investment: Now that you have the power of a truly hybrid Azure ecosystem at your disposal, how are you protecting your investment?

What is data protection in the cloud? And how do you choose the best backup? This isn’t an easy question to answer since it comes in various forms and the tools and technologies for data protection are extremely numerous and can be used in different combinations. A large number of choices can make cloud more difficult than traditional schemas. Still, we can simplify the challenges that appear to be complex with one solution from Dell EMC.

Dell EMC recently tested the protection of databases and file systems running on virtual machines inside the Azure Stack to data protection that was running outside of Azure Stack on the customer network. To that end, planning around network settings and security is required. Outside of Azure Stack, network configuration for routing traffic to the internal Azure Stack network(s) will need to be planned and configured. Inside, Azure Stack network security groups assigned to each virtual machine need to be configured to allow inbound and outbound network traffic on specific ports depending on the data protection solution being used (virtual editions of Avamar, NetWorker, Data Domain, etc.).

When you build modern applications across hybrid cloud environments, Dell EMCs architecture and industry-leading duplications his results in a lower overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Architecture Matters: Dell EMC data protection solutions are architected to offer customers economic benefits through industry-leading, highly efficient data deduplication. Three core supporting technologies are:

  1. Variable-Length Deduplication.Dell EMC’s advanced dedupe enables the Data Domain platform to better align incoming data structures to determine what data is unique. It produces greater data reduction compared with fixed-length architectures, which results in a much more scalable protection storage pool, helping to simplify management and lower Azure storage costs. Plus, Dell EMC provides global deduplication across sites and allows you to backup and replicate non-Azure Stack resources as well.
  2. Data Domain Boost.With DD Boost software, only unique data has to be sent from client devices or the backup server to the Data Domain platform—reducing the amount of data moved by up to 99 percent. This further reduces not only the need and cost of protection storage, but also backup time. When DD Boost is deployed with the Data Protection Software at the Azure Stack client, it sends only the de-duplicated unique data directly to protection storage, bypassing the need for a media server. The result is a reduction in infrastructure footprint required, therefore fewer resources to purchase and lower egress/ingress costs to other Azure resources, not to mention a faster backup due to fewer hops in the data path. For 8 of 12 Data Domain customers that ESG Research analyzed, up to 98 percent of all backup jobs were completed in under an hour.*
  3. Data Domain Data Invulnerability Architecture.While this technology doesn’t improve performance or reduce costs, it ensures that mission-critical Azure Stack data is always recoverable. One way that Data Domain ensures this is via inline write and read verification, which safeguards data integrity during ingest and retrieval. In addition, self-healing and on-going fault detection further protects data’s recoverability during its Data Domain lifecycle.

With Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack, you can bring the power of Azure into your data center, behind your firewall – engineered, tested, delivered, serviced and supported by Dell EMC. Whether your applications are on-prem or in the cloud today, data protection needs to be an important part of any strategy. Dell EMC’s data protection capabilities address both traditional and emerging cloud strategies.

For customers looking to leverage Microsoft Azure solutions, Dell EMC is certified to deploy Avamar and NetWorker virtual editions outside of the Azure Stack protecting VM’s with guest-level protection to provide customers with the Azure Stack Marketplace Support.It is important to note that Dell EMC requires an in-tenant client to facilitate backing up tenant workloads today.) 

Why choose Dell EMC Data Protection for Azure Stack?

Dell EMC data protection products are already proven in non-cloud environments and bring a market reliability, scale and performance to Azure Stack customers. Dell EMC is a trusted partner across the data protection portfolio. For database and filesystem protection, customers only need to install and configure the appropriate software client/agent to their virtual machines and manage their backups and recoveries the same way that they currently protect physical servers in their data centers. On the horizon, Avamar Virtual Edition and NetWorker Virtual Edition will also be available to allow customers the option of protecting Azure Stack assets using data protection that is also running within Azure Stack.

As businesses embrace the benefits of Azure Stack, the Dell EMC data protection portfolio provides a trusted foundation for businesses to transform IT through the creation of a hybrid cloud, as well as transform their business through the creation of cloud-native applications and big data solutions.

Understanding Microsoft Azure Stack

Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, bringing the agility and fast-paced innovation of cloud computing to on-premises environments. Only Azure Stack lets you deliver Azure services from your organization’s datacenter, while balancing the right amount of flexibility and control—for truly-consistent hybrid cloud deployments.


Dell EMC Azure Stack:   

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*ESG White Paper: ESG Whitepaper sponsored by Dell EMC, “The Economic Value of Data Domain,” May 2017. 8 out of 12 customers analyzed achieved backup in less than one hour. Actual results will vary.

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