virtualDCS Launches Integrated Apple Failover Protection for Veeam

Leeds-based cloud computing specialists, virtualDCS, has launched Veeam Apple Backup – enabling virtualised Apple Macs to be fully integrated into Veeam Cloud Connect, the world-leading backup and disaster recovery platform, for the first time.

Designed for businesses that use virtualised Apple Macs for graphics-heavy video editing and design work – it enables customers to protect and restore mission critical data at will, without interrupting processing, all from a single, easy to use central portal.

The system seamlessly replicates virtual machines to secure, off-site data centres, providing full and partial failover recovery from the same central platform as existing Veeam backups. It removes the need for separate, dedicated systems and inelegant workarounds for the protection of Apple Mac virtual machines, allowing them to be fully integrated with other data and virtual environments for the first time.   

Veeam Apple Backup

Matt Sharpe and Richard May. Photo credit: Luke Broadhurst

Matt Sharpe, virtualDCS engineer and Veeam Certified Architect, explains:

“Up until now, Apple Mac virtual machine users have had to use Apple’s own cloud backups or a separate system for disaster recovery. For businesses running multiple operating systems and environments, this means additional cost, time and management. Our system does away with all of that – providing complete control over all data, effective protection and flexible backup using Veeam Cloud Connect.”

Veeam is the leader in Intelligent Data Management, providing cloud backup, replication and disaster recover solutions to businesses of all sizes, across the world. virtualDCS is a Gold Veeam partner, with a successful track record in bringing Veeam solutions to business clients across the UK.

Richard May, Managing Director at virtualDCS, explains:

“At virtualDCS, we’re committed to adapting and evolving Veeam solutions to deliver real-world benefits to our clients. We were the first UK provider to offer Veeam Cloud Connect, and will continue to pioneer new services to improve integration, enhance business protection and help customers to generate real commercial benefits through the cloud.”

Greg Bailey, Veeam’s Director Channel & Cloud UKI, said:

“Veeams VCSP community is increasingly offering target verticals with high availability data services using Veeam products. This new Apple replication and failover service from virtualDCS is an example of a new service that many end users are requesting”.   

Based in Leeds, UK, virtualDCS provides innovative, quality cloud computing solutions to businesses worldwide. The company works in partnership with clients across a range of industries to deliver cloud solutions that reshape the way companies work for the better. All services are delivered from its own hosted cloud platforms, in line with the latest ISO 27001 information security standards.

Additional information about Veeam Apple Backup from virtualDCS can be found at virtualDCS.co.uk, by calling virtualDCS on 03453 888 327, or by emailing enquiries@virtualDCS.co.uk.

Simple data protection tips for SMEs

Heading into 2019, it’s more important than ever before to protect your data. Data protection doesn’t have to be complicated and there are a few basic changes you can implement starting right… now.

Never leave devices unattended or unprotected

If you were away from the office, perhaps working in a coffee shop, you wouldn’t dream of leaving your laptop unattended on the table while you go to the counter. But what about when you’re in the office? 

A surprising number of security breaches are insider attacks, often carried out by trusted sources. Perhaps someone is secretly setting up a competitor business – or a visitor to the office has an interest in accessing your company’s data.

But don’t worry, there are many simple ways to protect your data and to ensure that your private information stays private. One of the most natural solutions, which is so often forgotten, is to lock your computer, following the instructions on your device. Do be sure to create a memorable password though!

Do you always remember to lock your computer before you leave the room? This is the only foolproof way to ensure no prying eyes are scouring your files for valuable information. You should never risk someone else viewing financial data or other sensitive information you’re in the middle of working on.

Patching and software updates

data protection

Criminals and hackers are constantly evolving and creating new ways to access your data – and you can be sure that 2018 won’t be any different.

One of the most effective ways of protecting your business from any vulnerabilities is by ensuring that your devices are always updated to the latest software versions.

Automatic updates are usually available, so make sure your systems are set up to receive them. That way it’s not a task you have to keep thinking about to make sure your protection is current and secure and there’s no danger of this vital function being overlooked when you’re busy concentrating on core business activities.

Be wary of unknown external devices

Never opening attachments on unsolicited emails is now widely seen as common sense – but the same should be said about opening unfamiliar devices. Malware can be spread through infected external hard drives, smartphones and flash drives.

So if you find a discarded flash drive in the car park, don’t be tempted to plug it in, to try and find out whom it belongs to or uncover what secrets it holds! You don’t know what, or who, you could be inviting onto your laptop.

Monitor your file sharing

When you add an attachment to an email, how can you make sure it stays secure? If you give your banking details to your accountant, you certainly wouldn’t want them to store or forward it to a third party without your knowledge.

Technology is continuously developing, and now some Cloud storage solutions (such as Nimbox) offer encrypted file sharing with password-protected download links and the ability to receive a notification when the recipient downloads or amends a file you own.

That way you know exactly who is reading or making any changes to your files.

For more information on how you can protect the data at the heart of your business take a look at our business continuity services or call 03453 888 327.

Infographic: 6 reasons to backup Microsoft Office 365

Why backup microsoft office 365?

Accidental deletion

Human error is one of the biggest causes of data loss. The recycle bins and version histories in Microsoft Office 365 only provide limited protection from data loss. This can turn a simple recovery into a big problem after Office 365 has geo-redundantly deleted the data forever.
 

Internal security threats

Security threats don’t just come from outside the
organisation, businesses also experience threats from the inside and it’s happening a lot more than you think.
 
Human error and malice will always pose a threat without safeguards, such as offsite backups in place.
 

Retention policy gaps

Microsoft Office 365 has limited backup and retention policies and is not intended to be an all-encompassing backup solution.
 
A Microsoft Office 365 backup solution offers a longer accessible retention policy to protect and store all data in a single location. Simple, fast & reliable.
 

External security threats

Malware, Phishing attacks and viruses, such as Ransomware are on the rise, doing serious damage
to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
 
It’s not just your data at risk, but also your reputation. Regular backups can help prevent the damage from these attacks.

Managing deployments

Organisations adopting Microsoft Office 365 usually need a window of time for transitioning between on-premise Exchange and Office Exchange online.
 
The right backup solution should be able to handle hybrid email deployments and treat Exchange data the same.

Legal requirements

Legal obligations and compliance requirements vary between industries and countries, but you may be tasked with retrieving mailboxes or historic data, well beyond the retention policy of Microsoft Office 365. With virtualDCS and Veeam you can recover files at your fingertips.

Veeam and virtualDCS

We’ve partnered with Veeam to offer a unique solution, putting Microsoft Office 365 backup and recovery at your fingertips.
 
If you already use Veeam, just enable Veeam Cloud Connect from your console and in the event of a data problem on your site you can access the virtualDCS hosted repositories and retrieve your data at any time.
 

Find out more and access your free trial.

 


 

How do I connect to a Veeam service provider?

It’s incredibly simple to connect to a Veeam service provider and configure your Veeam Cloud Connect solution.

This blog aims to give you a brief guide on how to complete the configuration.

 

 

Before you begin you need to have the following information to hand:

A full username and password for your tenant account (speak to your service provider to register these details). A full IP address or DNS name for the Service Provider you’ll be communicating with.

Stage 1: Find your Veeam service provider

In the wizard open up the background infrastructure view, click on the ‘Service Providers’ and then ‘add a service provider’. In this section enter your IP address or the full DNS name for the Server Provider. You can also add any information for your Veeam service provider.

Stage 2: Cloud Provider configuration

  • Using the port element, specify which port your tenant backup server will use to connect to the gateway. The default port is 6180, but your service provider should be able to specify this if it’s different.
  • If the service provider is managing the tenant’s backup, you should check the box that states you “Allow this Veeam Backup & Replication installation to be managed by the service provider”. This enables the Veeam service provider to be able to manage the backup server through the Availability Console.  System Domain Credentials are needed for the Service Provider to access your console.
  • Click ‘next’.

Step 3: TLS Certification

Veeam service providerIf applicable, in this section you can view and verify the TLS certificate received from the service provider. To view this, just click the link.

  • From the credentials list, select the details for the tenant account, as provided by your Veeam Service Provider. You can also manually add them in this section. When completed, click ‘apply’.

Stage 4: Repository and Replication resources

  • In the resources tab of this screen, the system will automatically calculate the amount of resource given to the tenant, then display the results. After this has completed, click ‘next’. Please note that it may take some time.
  • Within the hardware plans category the wizard will calculate storage, computing and network assets that are available and allocated to the tenant, by the Veeam Service Provider.

Stage 5: Managing Network extensions

In the network extension tab, the wizard will detail extension appliances for the network that will be deployed on the side of the tenant. The network extension appliance is used for maintaining and initially establishing connections between production Virtual Machines and virtual Machine replicas after a partial site failover has been initiated.

Here, using the Network Extension Appliances list, you can also view the default extension settings, add new network extensions (if you have multiple IP networks in production) or edit current ones.

Step 6: Configuring network extension appliances

This window gives two options, where you can edit the existing appliance by selecting and clicking ‘edit’, or offering the facility to add new extensions.

  • Navigate to ‘choose’ and select the host which the network extension needs applying to. This is the source host where your production Virtual Machines will be replicated to the host.
  • This step differs, depending on what hardware plan you have.
    • For VMware Hardware plans, in the ‘resource pool,’ section click ‘choose’ and select the pool where the extension appliance Virtual machine is to be placed. In the Datastore section, click choose and select the store where you would like to keep the files of the network extension appliance VM.
    • For Hyper-V hardware, in the Folder section, press ‘choose’ and select the path and folder where you’d like to keep files of the network expansion VM. In the network section, select the Virtual Switch that the production VMs on the host is currently connected to.

Step 7 (optional): IP clarification

The next step is to confirm the appliance’s settings. If you’d like to assign this automatically (you have DHCP configured in your environment), simply keep the ‘obtain IP address automatically’ selected.  Please note that Veeam Cloud Connect does not currently support DHCP for replication. Further information on the current limitations can be found at  https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/cloud/cloud_replication_limitations.html?ver=95

To manually assign the IP address to the appliance, enter the information into the “use the following IP addresses” section, specifying the IP address, Subnet mask and default gateway. Click ‘ok’ to proceed.

Stage 6: Summary of results

At the apply stage of the wizard, you’ll be able to view and save resource information, as well as deploy the specified number of network extension appliances to your host. After this process has completed, just click ‘next’. You’ll then be able to review the configuration and close the wizard.

If you’d like any further advice or information, feel free to leave a comment below, email enquiries@virtualDCS.co.uk or call +44 (0)3453 888 327.

The right Disaster Recovery solution saves time and money

As the old saying goes, time is money and to save money, you shouldn’t be wasting time. The right plan and Disaster Recovery solution can save both.

Believe us, we know it’s a manic job to manage an IT department and we’ve seen first-hand how many different tasks managers have to juggle just to keep operations running smoothly, let alone finding the time to evaluate their current Disaster Recovery solution.

disaster recovery solutionFor me, when I think about Disaster Recovery, two phrases come to mind. The first one is the one above, and the second is the cliché expression that ‘failing to prepare means preparing to fail’.

Save time with planning

Although these may sound like obvious things to consider, in a recent Business Continuity preparedness survey, a staggering 31.5%  of organisations admitted that they didn’t have a complete Disaster Recovery plan in place.

If your business is one of the 31.5%, just imagine how much time and effort it would take attempting to find (if it’s at all possible) or recreate this lost information. If it can’t be recreated, how much money would this scenario cause the business to lose?

Again, I can offer a rough guideline on this. In another Disaster Recovery survey conducted in 2016, 98% of businesses that were reported that a single hour of unplanned downtime would cost their business over $100,000, with 33% reporting that it would cost $1-5 million. When considering the increasing reliance on data from 2016, this value would have only grown.

Save time with technology

Not only does a strong Disaster Recovery plan save time, the right solution also makes a big difference. Traditionally, tape-based backups were a chore, especially when complying with the 3-2-1 rule. Not only would you have to manually back up each device on a regular schedule, you’d also have to transport a copy of the information off-site.

If only one file needed retrieving, you’d also have to allocate time to finding and restoring the specific file. The file type and size could also add extra time on to this total.

Thanks to the cloud and advances in technology, the process of backing up and retrieving information has revolutionised. If you’re interested, you can read more about the evolution of traditional solutions in our blog ‘tape vs. cloud backup’.

Available solutions

At virtualDCS, one Disaster Recovery solution we offer to our customers is Off-Site backup, utilising Veeam Cloud Connect technology. As its one of our leading services, I’m going to use it as an example to highlight the resource saving features that are available in the market, today.

With this particular cloud solution, your department can take control of its data, with the ability to access and recover hosted repositories from one central console. There’s no wait time and cheesy hold music as you don’t have to contact any external parties for assistance.

The department could also track repository consumption with ease, quickly restore entire Virtual Machines or search and restore a single file a within a couple of clicks. This is infinitely faster than non-cloud solutions. The right cloud solution can also provide these services at a lower cost than traditional tape-based solutions. If you’d like to hear more about Veeam Cloud Connect, follow this link.

If you’d like to speak to virtualDCS about finding the right Disaster Recovery solution and how we can make your life easier,  give us a call on 03453 888 327 or drop an email to enquiries@virtualDCS.co.uk We’re more than happy to help. 

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