Oct 05, 2021

Porting Backup Solutions from the Data Center to the Cloud: Why It Doesn’t Work

Authors
Suhas Nayak
Porting Backup Solutions from the Data Center to the Cloud: Why It Doesn’t Work

So, you’ve decided to migrate your applications from a data center to the cloud with AWS. But what about the old backup solution you’ve been running in your data center? Wouldn’t it be easier to use the cloud version of the same product in the cloud as well? Not so fast.

Your old backup solution for your on-premises storage may have gotten the job done, but trying to shoehorn it into the cloud environment as a matter of convenience is likely to cause more problems than you’re trying to solve.

Read on to learn why having a plan for a cloud-native backup solution should be an essential part of your cloud strategy.

Can You Migrate the Same Backup Solutions from Your Data Center to the Cloud?

It’s easy to see why people assume they can use the same backup product they used on-premises, but the cloud version of it and expect things to work smoothly. After all, it worked great on-premises, why not get a similar experience in the cloud?

That’s because traditional on-prem backup solutions were specifically made to run on physical infrastructure, with limited compute and storage that scale linearly, where you pay for every second you run it. This is an entirely different system with its own unique architecture—and its own limitations, which take little to no advantage of the limitless compute and storage the public cloud brings.

Limitations of Data Center Backups

Building a platform in the cloud is not a trivial task. Decisions made to design a legacy solution for the data center have a substantial impact on the benefits and experience customers have if it were to be used in the cloud. For example, the more you natively integrate with cloud-native APIs and resources, the better are the results in performance, scale, economics, and the ability to use new services the cloud provides. On the other hand, if you took a data center architecture and used it or ported it to the public cloud it has significant downsides, some being:

  • Architectural Inefficiencies: Let’s say you were to port an on-premises solution to AWS, also known as a “lift and shift” approach where the hardware is emulated with a bunch of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) components like AWS’ EC2 virtual machines and EBS volumes for virtual hard drives. By doing this, you do not get independent scaling of compute and storage, you end up having to size the backup data very accurately and manually keep tweaking the AWS resources to deal with changes to your backup requirements. This results in high management complexity, cloud costs, and zero benefits of cloud agility.
  • Compute Scale limitations: Software development in a finite computing model (running on nodes of hardware) is very different from software development in an infinite compute model of the public cloud. In the data center, compute is running all the time and is a fixed sunk cost, but the cloud is different where you pay for every compute cycle. When building a platform in the cloud, functional computing drives benefits of efficiency along with parallelism. This results in faster backups, restores, and lower costs all of which the ported architecture cannot deliver.

Put simply, building solutions for the data center is entirely different from a cloud-native approach, and thus utilizes a different architecture for backup. Although it is indeed possible to migrate a physical data center’s backup solution to the cloud, should you do it?

The short answer is a resounding “no,” but let’s unpack the reasons why.

Why a Cloud-Native Approach is Needed

Some of the primary reasons an enterprise moves its workloads to the cloud are, faster access to innovation, offloading the IT management aspect, and taking advantage of the cloud’s unlimited scalability and performance. Porting over the same backup solution from a data center to the cloud instantly negates all of these cloud’s benefits.

There’s a better way.

Clumio’s Cloud-Native Advantage

Built in the cloud for the cloud, Clumio’s unique architectural approach plays out in three distinct ways:

Optimized Cloud Scaling

By leveraging the full extent of cloud scalability, Clumio avoids the data flow bottlenecks that plague other data protection solutions. This is largely achieved by sidestepping process tiers and transporting data directly into highly scalable and durable object storage. This enables Clumio to not just scale but do so rapidly as and when needed to adapt to the application requirements.

Microservices Processing Workflows

Clumio takes what is typically a single application, breaks it up into thousands of tiny functions, and orchestrates them seamlessly into a workflow. This is central to designing a true services model that responds to specific customer requests (across 1000s of customers) in real-time and provides quick resolution as well.

Control Plane and Data Plane Disaggregation

By separating the control plane from the data plane, Clumio enables flexibility in how and where backups are stored independent of the primary data or the customer location. This results in optimized storage of backup data delivering the lowest RTO and TCO.

Customer Benefits

Collectively, this approach offers users a number of advantages that are not found with data center backup solutions ported as cloud solutions, most notably:

  • Predictable user experience – Clumio’s platform is predominantly built on Lambda functions that are orchestrated into large workflows, which means that each user request results in the same amount of Lambda functions executed in parallel—even if 1,000 requests are made at the same time. This eliminates the guesswork of computing scale requirements and ensures a predictable user experience.
  • Supportability – Separating the platform into small functions allows it to quickly restart from failures and also speed up the diagnosing of a failure when it occurs. If a backup fails, Clumio can restart where the backup left off rather than starting over and wasting time and bandwidth. And since there are no servers, there is no patching or updates, no need for antivirus software, and no OS crashes to worry about.
  • Faster access to innovation – Clumio’s microservices processing workflows make it easy to add new features and values without major upgrades—fixes and patches are localized to a single execution step. This enables you to quickly leverage new features and remain ahead of competitors.
  • Cost savings – The serverless architecture of Clumio results in a superior level of cost and processing efficiencies. For example, you typically need 10x more EC2 resources as compared to serverless compute for implementing an equivalent solution. Even the most extensive and complex autoscaling policies fail to rival the efficiency and parallelism of running Lambda functions in a workflow. Separation of the control and data plane also results in optimized storage of backups and eliminations of egress costs.

Want to see for yourself why Clumio’s cloud-native architecture is a superior backup solution in every sense? Contact us today to schedule a free trial. In just 15 minutes, you’ll be ready to begin using Clumio’s responsive and intuitive interface—with no need to install new software or hardware, or perform any in-depth planning. You can simply jump right in.