HP enhances data backup in the cloud with new Helion DRaaS offering

Data recovery times cut by 90 percent claim

HP has enhanced its disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) offering in the cloud. Known as HP Helion Continuity Service, it forms part of HP's new HP Helion cloud package of services.

DRaaS - or providing data backup, data recovery and data replication on demand in the cloud - is a market which is expected to take off soon. HP data backup rival Veeam, for instance, predicts that DRaaS will become a popular alternative to purely on-premise data backup next year, as cloud deployments become even more widespread.

HP says its Helion DRaaS offering can improve data recovery times by up to 90 percent, reduce data loss by up to 95 percent, and can save 15 percent to 50 percent in costs through its cloud-based as-a-service pricing model.

HP Helion Continuity Service protects workloads that are run in a client on-premises private cloud, traditional hosting environment or running on the HP Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud. The previous release of HP Helion Continuity Service supported physical and virtual Windows servers and clusters as well as Linux servers.

The new release provides customers greater choice with support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux clustering, Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC), and storage area network (SAN)-based data stores. Additional enhancements provide clients with the ability to provision additional storage at the time of recovery, to meet short-term needs that arise as a result of changing workload requirements.

There is also the option of a dedicated hypervisor to give clients the ability to host dedicated applications requiring real-time replication, and improved snapshot integration with 3PAR technology - providing organisations greater flexibility when planning rehearsals around Active Directory servers, for instance.

Jim Fanella, vice president for workload and cloud at HP Enterprise Services, said, "As we continue to grow our HP Helion managed portfolio of services we believe that continuity should be a core feature for every business who utilises the cloud, and that clients should demand that their cloud partner prepares them for the worst case scenario."

To improve availability of the DRaaS service and help meet regional regulatory requirements, HP has expended the number of data centres the service is available through.

The service was previously delivered through HP data centres in the state of Georgia, US and Reading, Berkshire. It is now going to be available from data centres in Toronto, Boston and Colorado (for US public sector data) in North America, and Milan and Melbourne.

The data centre expansion for delivering the data backup service is in response to organisations facing different regional regulatory requirements, said HP, but like other US technology providers HP faces the same problem around the US Patriot Act. The Act dictates that even if an organisation's data is located in a data centre outside the US, the US government can order a US technology firm to hand over that organisation's data, which is something that bothers many organisations.

While the US Patriot Act was primarily drafted to help the US defend itself against terrorists and criminals, the spying scandal around the Snowden revelations has not helped to alleviate data concerns around server, network and cloud security.

On the HP data centre move and the US Patriot Act, Alejandro Froyo of HP enterprise services, told ComputerworldUK, "What we do see is that some companies are comfortable about having their data closer to home. I'm no legal expert, but it's a contentious issue and there are different legal views on this."

UK housing association Paragon Housing is already using the HP DRaaS service. Froyo said, "Paragon wanted their data in the UK, at our Reading data centre - you want to fight any data battle on your home turf."

Earlier this week, SAP said it would be using IBM's global data centre network to deliver its SAP HANA data analytics service and other applications in the cloud. It claimed using IBM data centres in the same country as SAP customers would help address data security concerns.

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