AppAssure and archives

AppAssure does provide a way for you to archive your data. But before I jump into that, let me back up just a minute and define what archiving is.

Here’s how TechTarget defines archiving:

Data archiving is the process of moving data that is no longer actively used to a separate data storage device for long-term retention.

Data archives consist of older data that is still important and necessary for future reference, as well as data that must be retained for regulatory compliance.

If you work in an industry governed by regulatory compliance (banking, healthcare, finance), you already have big reasons to archive. But archiving can also be used to move data out of regular rotation, so to speak, by putting it someplace where storage costs are low, and where it is out of the normal data protection schedule. Think tapes, low cost storage, or maybe even the cloud.

OK, so that’s archives 101. Before we can talk about how AppAssure does archives, we need to talk about how AppAssure backs your data up.

AppAssure takes frequent block-based backup snapshots (according to the protection policy defined) and are saved as recovery points to the repository on the AppAssure core. Each recovery point represents the ability to restore the agent machine to the point when the snapshot was taken. The more frequently an agent is backed up, the more granular the recovery point

The core can protect multiple servers. Storing all of those recovery points can get messy. Think about it:

  • Let’s say you are protecting 5 servers, and each is set to take snapshots every thirty minutes.
  • That’s 48 snapshots a day per agent. 48 X 5 = 240 snapshots in the repository
  • After 7 days that is 1680 recovery points (240 X 7).
  • Without a retention policy that enforces rollups, the Core would quickly be overloaded with individual recovery points.
    • AppAssure preserves resources on the core over time by rolling the recovery points up to an incrementally less granular series of recovery points. We call these retention policies.

Once the recovery points age out of retention policies, AppAssure allows you to archive them. All archive data is compressed, encrypted, and deduplicated.

You can send archives to just about any type of long term storage media

AppAssure creates archives by creating a copy of the repository, or a protected server or collection of protected servers, in a “flat file” format. What this means is that the archive is designed to be a file you can send to multiple long-term storage destinations.

This also means that the data in an AppAssure archive can’t be accessed until it is ingested into an AppAssure core. It doesn’t have to be the core that created the archive; the data can be ingested back into any AppAssure core.

That’s the basics of how AppAssure does archiving.