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Sep 17 2015

IT Solutions for SMBs, Pt. 3: Keep Your Business Running


What happens to a company that suddenly loses larger parts of its core data, such as the product or customer database, logistical or configuration information regarding virtual servers? Maybe not a lot at first, but if data and applications aren't available again on the third day, even the most tolerant clients and suppliers may start looking for alternatives. Or imagine an online shop that is not accessible within a few seconds. Many visitors will simply leave the website and buy somewhere else. The best way to prevent such catastrophic events is to build IT infrastructures that have high availability (HA) built in and support fast and concise backup and recovery. Fujitsu's server and storage systems enable businesses to do just that – so they can get back on track as fast as possible.

In today's hyper-connected economy, business relations are a volatile asset. Customers, suppliers, investors, banks and other potential associates will soon lose interest if the company they chose to team up with can't provide crucial information about products, services, prices or its financial status in due time simply because it was deleted and a backup copy doesn't exist. Or if said copy exists – as is often the case – but the related recovery process is too complicated and time-consuming to be performed within the first 48 hours after the loss occurred. What happens next is that each of the above-mentioned contacts will start looking for alternatives and probably strike up a business relationship with the next competitor in the area simply because he can provide the required data – even if his products or services are of lesser quality. Put differently, if a company runs a large web shop and various other client- or partner-facing services and cannot keep them from crashing for prolonged time periods, it's likely to go out of business soon. And this kind of merciless logic applies worldwide, no matter what size a company is, which market it serves or which jurisdiction it resides in.

High Availability Meets Rapid Recovery and Rock-Solid Backup
However, despite their potentially catastrophic impact, there's one good thing to be said about data losses and downtimes: they're not natural disasters (even if they may be caused by one); hence negative effects can be mitigated, if not completely avoided. To achieve this, IT departments need an appropriate data protection strategy that ensures high availability as well as exhaustive backups and superfast recoveryplus matching server and storage hardware to put it into effect. With a long tradition in building high-class data centers that started in the 1950s, Fujitsu is the go-to shop for present-day SMBs looking for a vendor that can help them to devise adequate policies as well as to set up and maintain the matching platforms:

  • Our enterprise-class PRIMERGY servers and ETERNUS DX storage systems are designed to meet HA demands anytime. For example, PRIMERGY servers rely on RAS features like redundant, hot-pluggable fans and power supplies, Advanced ECC, SDDC, and Memory Scrubbing in order to deliver top endurance and performance. Likewise, our ETERNUS DX disk arrays provide enterprise-grade functionality that SMBs could not previously achieve because it was too complicated and expensive to implement, for example Storage Cluster functionality that enables remote replication of data and lightning restores. Thus, in the unlikely event of a failure, Fujitsu systems or Fujitsu-based infrastructures will be up and running within a fraction of the usual time needed to restore operations: even our entry-level systems only pause for only 16 minutes a year on average - the dream of every trustworthy administrator.
  • Still even the most reliable HA servers and disaster-proof recovery concepts appear useless without the proper backup functionality to support them. Or as one analyst put it: "Even HA and DR combined cannot bring back data that were never backed up." This is where our ETERNUS CS data protection appliances come into play, which simplify backups from the get-go and up to the point where almost any backup-related task can be handled automatically.

The ETERNUS Difference
So why do ETERNUS systems stand out from the norm? One reason is that we removed any kind of unnecessary complexity and created a platform that just works as expected. To better explain this, let's return to the issue of storage clusters: most storage vendors only offer this functionality in conjunction with or as part of upper midrange and enterprise systems SMBs could neither manage nor afford. By contrast, all but one system in Fujitsu's ETERNUS DX family of online storage systems have the necessary capabilities built in. Starting with the DX100 series, they come with the Storage Cluster Option – a feature that enables small shops to build 'twins' of productive systems at secondary or remote sites, store copies of all critical data in both locations, switch between both systems automatically and transparently if a malfunction occurs – and of course perform recoveries as fast as possible. For more details, please refer to Stefan Bürger's article about the DX100 series published in June.


Fig. 1

Fig. 1: FUJITSU Storage Cluster


Our ETERNUS CS Data Protection Appliances follow a similar approach, only this time the focus is on backup and archiving. The following solutions were tailored to specifically meet the needs of SMBs:

  • The FUJITSU Storage ETERNUS CS200c integrates correctly-sized hardware with powerful data protection software from our "Strategic Technology Alliance Partner" Commvault into a complete backup and archiving solution. With everything pre-configured and pre-loaded, it enables a fast and hassle-free setup of comprehensive file backup and archiving and lays the groundwork for a fast, easy and complete recovery, especially in Windows environments. Functional highlights include replication, deduplication-to-disk, virtual machine archiving, and optional application, snapshot or tape support, to name just a few. What's more, broad automation options, central GUI-based management and remote access allow for unified administration according to company policies, reduce the risk of failure, cut costs and free up management capacities. Equipped with SSDs or fast HDDs, this all-in-one solution scales from 2 to 96 TB and fits perfectly into small environments as well as midsize data centers with a strong support of virtualization. For more information, please read our blog Get Ready to Innovate: FUJITSU Storage ETERNUS CS200c with CommVault Simpana.
  • The FUJITSU Storage ETERNUS CS800 is a turnkey data protection appliance that provides a simple and affordable solution for customers which follow a disk backup strategy with deduplication. The advanced deduplication technology reduces typical disk capacity requirements for disk-to-disk backup by up to 95%. This solution is available in two flavors that cover different capacity and performance requirements: entry-level systems scale from 4 to 24 TB storage capacity and allow for up to 5.5 TB of data transfers per hour, whereas scale systems can hold between 16 and 320 TB of information and achieve transfer speeds of 13 TB per hour. Like their smaller cousins, these appliances support deduplication and remote replication; but they also add a number of extras on top of that, for instance NAS and VTL support, integrated export to tape, optimized integration with Symantec OST, and support for cloud-based backup and recovery concepts. The ETERNUS CS800 is certified for all leading backup software.


Fig. 2

Fig. 2: Overview of FUJITSU Backup Solutions

In recent years, we learned that a vast majority of SMBs would like to reach the same levels of near-permanent data availability and business continuity as midsize firms and large enterprises, but were often forced to give up their attempts because the available solutions exceeded both their management skills and their IT budgets. For firms that have faced such dilemmas, Fujitsu's PRIMERGY servers, ETERNUS DX Disk Storage Systems and ETERNUS CS Data Protection Appliances provide an easy way out: the combination of powerful hardware, built-in high-availability and advanced software functionalities like deduplication, remote replication and numerous automation options allows for rapid improvements at affordable costs, thus paving the way to thoroughly modern data protection environments. For more traditionally-minded customers, we also offer a vast array of storage subsystems for DAS and NAS scenarios, such as our ETERNUS JX subsystems, or tape solutions from our ETERNUS LT product family.

For more information about Fujitsu solutions that keep your customers' businesses running, please visit our new SMB microsite.


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