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RMA TeleVaulting FAQ

Control and System Architecture of the Offsite TeleVaulting
Backup Process
Security and Transmission of Data
Restoring Lost Data/Disaster Recovery
Cost of Service

Control and System Architecture of the Offsite TeleVaulting

How do we control and monitor the offsite TeleVaulting?

At installation the offsite TeleVaulting DS-Client is installed on as many or as few workstations as required and will require a valid logon, ensuring no unauthorized access. The offsite TeleVaulting DS-Client acts as your interface with the offsite TeleVaulting and enables the configuration of all backups and restores.

Is software installed on any other machines?

The offsite TeleVaulting backup software is totally agentless, requiring no additional software to be installed on any machines to enable backup, be it Novell NetWare, Windows Microsoft® NT, SQL, Exchange, or others.

Who is authorized to use the DS-Client?

Records Management & Archiving will set up users with access to create and maintain backup sets and schedules. Only people with a user ID on the DS-Client will be able to administer its functions.

Can users administer backups for their own machines?

Multiple user accounts can be created for use on the DS-Client and access permissions can be set per backup set. These permissions can be any combination of Backup, Restore, Delete or Modify, so a particular user could be given access to backup and restore only their own machine.

Is data held on the DS-Client or does it pass straight through?

The DS-Client acts as a gateway only, passing data through after it has been compressed and encrypted, using delta blocking, common file elimination and a digital signature. A database showing information on what has been backed up is held on the DS-Client, but no actual data files are retained.

What platforms are supported?

Windows NT 2000 & 2003, XT, 9x-2003, MS-Exchange, MS-SQL, Lotus Notes, GroupWise, Oracle, DB2, AS400/iSeries, NetWare, Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, and other popular systems.

If the software is agentless, how is MS SQL and Exchange backed up?

Microsoft® developed SQL and Exchange with the backup requirement in mind. Both products can respond to API calls requesting the services to dump their data, whilst online, to an external destination. In the offsite TeleVaulting's case the product simply asks the specified MS SQL or Exchange server to stream the data to the DS-Client where it is delta blocked and transmitted offsite. This process is a totally supported Microsoft function and guarantees compatibility with your existing MS systems. This adhesion to Microsoft standards does however prevent us from restoring individual Exchange mailboxes as this is not a function Microsoft have ever supported.

Can the offsite TeleVaulting run pre and post commands on servers?

Yes, even though the offsite TeleVaulting is an agentless solution, it is still capable of running commands on remote servers, be it NetWare or NT. For example, shutting down a database or application running on a server to back it up correctly and restart afterwards, or perhaps interact with some overnight batch processing.

Backup Process

How is the first backup done, given that there will be a lot of data?

For large data volumes, the initial backup may be done to a portable unit, backing up at LAN speeds to a large array of disks. When the full backup of your data is complete, the disks are transported back to Records Management & Archiving's data vault. Future backups, which are purely incremental, will be transmitted via the Internet connection and synchronized with your initial backup data at the data vault.

What frequency of backup can be set?

The backups can be configured as often as every hour or as infrequently as once a year. More advanced schedule options include the last working day of the month or even one off backups on a particular date.

What level of granularity is possible in setting up the backup, i.e. file level/individual database?

A backup set can include a whole server, share/volume, directory or even a single file. The backup set could even include just a registry, should you desire.

Can one machine be prioritized over another?

There are literally hundreds of different priority levels that can be assigned, ensuring maximum flexibility when organizing your backup schedules.

Security and Transmission of Data

How and to what standard is the data encrypted?

The small files and delta blocks of data are first compressed and then encrypted with 256-bit AES key, which is set by the customer during the installation of the DS-Client. This key is unknown to Records Management & Archiving and the data remains encrypted at all times, even when stored offsite. The backup data is only unencrypted by the DS-Client at your site when it has retrieved the encrypted data from Records Management & Archiving's Data Center for a restore.

What is common file elimination?

Common file elimination is one of the sophisticated ways that the DS-Client reduces the raw data from your network servers to a size that can be transmitted over the Internet. It ensures that the same data is never transmitted offsite more than twice, thereby saving the bandwidth to transmit only new, unique data. It achieves this simple elimination by generating a Checksum of each file as it is backed up and comparing it against the known details of all previous files. If the Checksum matches a previously backed up file, it must be a duplicate and only a shortcut need be transmitted up the line.

Due to the way this technique is applied, it does not matter if the files are on different servers, or even have different filenames - the DS-Client will still only transmit two copies.

What do you mean by compression? What happens?

Compression can be likened to letting the air out of a balloon. Although the air has gone, the structure still exists and it can be re-inflated easily. The advantage is that it takes less room. Files, especially databases, are often full of empty space, which can be removed to make the file smaller for transit, while making it very easy to recreate.

What is delta blocking? How does it work?

Delta blocking is an advanced logic that divides all files into 4K blocks. When the file is detected to have changed, the Checksum of each 4K block is compared against the last known Checksum for the same block of the same file (stored in the database on the DS-Client). Any blocks that are different are pulled out to be re-transmitted. These delta blocks will also be compressed and encrypted before transmission.

Does all of our data get transferred every day?

Only new and unique data will get backed up. Duplicate or unchanged files will not be transmitted.

How quickly will the data be transmitted over the Internet?

A 2Mb Internet connection will backup at approximately 200K/sec, however, this data is compressed bringing the effective backup speed to nearer 400K/sec. In real terms, this equates to a transfer rate of approximately 20Gb per day of compressed data (40Gb per day uncompressed). At this stage the data has also been delta blocked and 'common file eliminated' to ensure that only new data is backed up.

Is the Internet transmission of data secure?

All backup data is compressed and encrypted as described above, prior to transmission offsite. This is infinitely more secure than many current backup policies, e.g. employees taking tapes home, to another facility, or onsite storage where tapes are left in cabinets overnight.

Restoring Lost Data/Disaster Recovery

At what point is the data deemed to be backed up and offsite?

The data is backed up in real time, so when the DS-Client indicates that the backup is complete - it is also an indication that the backup data is offsite.

How many versions of my backed up files are held off site?

By default, 5 versions of each backup are held. Unlike a tape backup, where the routine is to rotate tapes in a cycle, the offsite TeleVaulting will only backup a new version of a file when it has changed, guaranteeing that clients are not wasting space backing up exactly the same version more than once. For example, if a file only changes once a month, we will have 5 months worth of that file. The number of versions stored can be configured on an individual backup set basis. Each backup set can be configured down to include just one file if desired, giving you the ability to maximize the efficiency of the storage.

At what point is the data available for restore?

The data is available for restore immediately after it has been backed up and is held offsite.

Can an individual file or registry be restored?

Yes, you can restore an individual file or registry and also specify which version you want to restore.

Can the offsite TeleVaulting perform bare-metal restores?

Assuming that the machine in question has had a full backup of all files and registry and the data is being restored to a machine of similar hardware, then a full disaster recovery of that machine is very simple.

After installing the operating system, there is no need to apply service packs, configure domain security or install additional software to the new machine, as all this information will be included in the restore.

Can you restore a whole backup set to a point in time, e.g. last Monday?

Yes, the offsite TeleVaulting will display all the files that were backed up on any given day. Providing the backed up files have not been deleted by an administrator or overwritten by more recent versions, then it is possible to restore from any given date.

Can data be restored to a different machine on our network?

Yes, the restore data can be redirected as desired. You are able to browse the network and provide connection credentials for the redirected restore, just as you do for creating the initial backup set.

Can we prioritize which data is restored in the event of a disaster?

Yes, you can select easily which files/directories/servers you wish to restore. There is no need to restore non-essential data until a later time if desired.

What happens if the DS-Client and/or the whole site is lost?

Records Management & Archiving can interact closely with your disaster recovery plan, providing a portable unit of disks, holding your data and a new DS-Client to any required site in the US. This site may even be the site of your disaster recovery company. This combination of portable unit and new DS-Client can enable LAN speed restores to reconstruct servers and workstations.

Cost of Service

How do you charge for the offsite Televaulting service?

The cost is based upon the total volume of data that is sent offsite to be stored in Records Management & Archiving's data vault, which is charged on a monthly basis. There is an initial set up charge, which varies by size and scope of the network being serviced. Additional charges apply for backups requiring delivery of portable disks, consulting, and other services that are performed on-demand.

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Records Management & Archiving
2711 Freemansburg Ave. Easton, PA 18045
Phone: 610-253-2753 • Fax: 610-258-0216
email: info@recordsmgmtpa.com
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