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For years financial services companies have focused on simply backing up their business-critical data, always assuming that as long as it appeared that a backup was completed, their business was safe-guarded against various threats and outages. When the backups were perceived to be done, the IT team could go home.
That is, until an outage strikes. Or until a massive bout with crypto ransomware takes place. And then said companies realize that their backups are corrupt. That their backups are missing critical data. That they can’t price stocks. That they can’t restore bank accounts. That they can’t produce files mandated by a legal filing. And then the IT team finds themselves spending more time trying to restore their reputations than their data. And when you can’t find the data, they come find you.
In fact, in just 30 days from now—January, 2017—there will be enforceable guidelines from the Dept. of the U.S. Treasury—from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)—for recovery planning by insured national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches of foreign banks. Due to recent large-scale events, such as destructive cyber attacks, financial services companies will now need to demonstrate how they plan to recover from these occurrences. At the same time, in Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation calls for “the ability to restore the availability and access to data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident.”
Under these new enforceable guidelines, reporting the status of a company’s data recovery situation to upper management is required. However, without real-time recovery status, companies are left assuming and guessing about the status of their backups rather than knowing and having real-time assurance.
With its Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance, Oracle has designed a system that lets you know the recovery time for all of your Oracle Databases, so if you see an unprotected data window larger than <1 sec, you can take immediate action to ensure you always have a good copy of your data whenever required. This is further enhanced by the fact that all data is validated during both backup and restore operations, with end-to-end block validation that automatically detects and repairs any corrupt data blocks so companies no longer have to suffer from the fallout resulting from those “corrupt backup surprises.”
With the ZDLRA, companies know which databases are protected, what their unprotected data window is at all times, and whether a valid copy of their critical business data exists—ensuring that the drama surrounding 2AM wake up calls searching for a good backup copy can now officially be put to bed. As Wikibon CTO David Floyer noted in a research report that discussed ZDLRA in-depth, “Backup is one thing; recovery is everything.”
Another key element in meeting these enforceable legal recovery requirements is ensuring that your data protection systems have very high performance recovery speeds. With its ZDLRA, Oracle publishes 12 terabytes per hour for data restore per rack, scaling out to 216 terabytes per hour across 18 racks. Keeping in mind that the ZDLRA only deals with changed blocks—using an incremental backup forever design—it essentially provides a very lightweight copy known as a Virtual Full Backup. This enables a single rack ZDLRA to store up to 5.8 petabytes of Oracle Database backups, while utilizing 10X less the physical space that a conventional backup device would use. This is in stark contrast to Dell-EMC data deduplication devices, which do not publish restore times, which have been tested by independent researchers to take days or weeks to restore any data, and which do not offer a modern, scale-out architecture.
In fact, GE switched from Data Domain to Oracle ZDLRA, and reduced recovery time from 20 hours to 2 hours; check out this video:
Another customer that switched from Data Domain to Oracle ZDLRA is KEB Hana Card, which processes $850M in credit card transactions per month, meaning a one hour outage would result in a potential revenue loss of $1.2M. In the words of Senior IT Manager Iljoon Lee, “We replaced Data Domain with Oracle’s Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance to enable real-time incremental backup and restore more than US$850 million in monthly credit card transactions without data loss. We have also reduced average backup size by 30x and increased backup capacity by 65 percent.”
AMMROC, a leading provider of military maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force and other military operators across South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, also purchased a ZDLRA; as Eyad Al-Sahli, Head of IT, said, “Oracle has a range of best-of-breed products that meet our requirements and serve our vision and strategy. With Oracle’s Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance we can respond in a very short period of time with zero data loss, and this would not have been achievable with any other competitive product.”
Companies such as Intel, Energy Transfer Equity, Allstate, and SK Hynix have selected ZDLRA as well. The Cube attended the recent Oracle OpenWorld Cloud Storage Forum and heard firsthand how some of these companies have benefitted from the ZDLRA.
It should also be noted that the ZDLRA runs the Oracle Database and records thousands of other databases in the enterprise, enabling companies to rewind and play back whatever database to whatever point-in-time mandated by law. As we’ve noted before, it’s like a DVR for the enterprise. General purpose data deduplication devices don’t run Oracle Database and can’t offer this capability, nor can they provide data recovery at the transaction-level, focusing instead on flat file backup rather than the recovery of a transactional database. A database-aware approach that tracks each System Change Number (SCN) per transaction is ultimately what’s required, another unique design of the ZDLRA. So whether it’s an outage, a ransomware infection, or a natural disaster, only the Oracle ZDLRA enables companies to leverage its quick rewind capability and rapidly restore to any point-in-time before the business impact occurred.
From our perspective, for financial services corporations running Oracle Database at the core of their business operations, deploying a ZDLRA is like adding a database option. If you want an active standby database, you select Active Data Guard on the options list. If you want zero data loss, you select the ZDLRA. Since it was designed by the same team that designed Oracle Database 12c, we can’t think of anyone more qualified to engineer a way to recover the database than this established and highly regarded group of engineers—always pushing the envelope of database innovation, both on-premises and in the cloud.