NetApp Cloud Terminology - Group of business people joining together silver and golden colored gears on table at workplace top view

Decoding NetApp Cloud Terminology – Part 4

Ready for the fourth part of our NetApp cloud terminology explainer? Here we go…

What is multi-cloud?

The beauty of the public cloud is the broad range of services you can choose from, paying only for what you use. However, each platform has its variations and limitations. So building a best-of-breed application may mean using services from multiple vendors simultaneously.

If your business uses services from two or more vendors, you have joined the multi-cloud. But that additional flexibility brings significant admin overheads with it – so you need a common control plane to unify the experience. And this is where NetApp positions their BlueXP toolkit.

What are microservices?

Traditional applications were monolithic, containing everything they needed to run in a single codebase. However, this approach does not work in the modern CI/CD environment.

Instead, applications are broken down into smaller parts, each of which becomes a microservice; each function has its own microservice. Microservices are independent of the rest of the application, allowing for rapid development and deployment and increased scalability as demand increases. And because they are built for an abstracted layer, microservices can run virtually anywhere – in the cloud, on-premise, hybrid cloud or even on bare metal if required.

What is Lift and Shift?

Left and Shift is the fastest and easiest way to migrate operations to the cloud. You take your existing virtual servers and simply move them to a cloud platform. This is how most businesses began their cloud transition.

Although this approach works, it tends to be quite costly in the long run because services are not properly optimised for the pay-as-you-use resource billing model. Lift and Shift should only really be used as a stop-gap, allowing your operations to continue normally until your applications can be re-engineered for the cloud (see microservices above).

What are Dynamic Disk Pools?

RAID technology offers an important tool for protecting against data loss in the event of a server hard drive failure. But as storage capacity increases, so too does the RAID array rebuild time when disks fail.

To help accelerate the rebuild and recovery process, NetApp has introduced Dynamic Disk Pools. Using DPP your storage administrators can group sets of like disks into a pool topology. All the drives in the pool can then participate in the I/O workflow, extending failover capabilities far beyond just the disks associated with a physical array.

To learn more about NetApp cloud or for further explanation of any of these terms – please give the WTL team a call . We’re always happy to help!

Oracle Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance - Finger pointing data in binary code on a computer screen with word data loss

5 Compelling Reasons for the Oracle Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance

Reliable recovery is a non-negotiable requirement. And for mission-critical operations, data loss is inexcusable. As you consider your backup options, you will encounter the Oracle Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance, Oracle’s enterprise-class backup solution. Here are 5 compelling reasons it should be at the top of your shortlist.

1. Optimised for Oracle databases

Built by Oracle for Oracle, the Appliance offers deep integration with the Oracle database for enhanced backup options. According to Oracle, the device performs 50x faster than traditional backup solutions when using incremental backups and can deliver sub-second recovery point objectives thanks to its real-time redo transport which sends data directly from DB server memory. Virtual full backup technology accelerates recovery time by as much as 800%.

2. Ultra-high performance

Your Oracle databases continue to grow exponentially and the Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance has been designed with this fact in mind. Capacity starts at 2PB and easily scales beyond 282PB. Each appliance delivers 35TB backup and recovery throughput per hour, scaling up to 630TB in a six-rack configuration. This unprecedented capacity allows businesses to capture 6PB of database backups every hour.

3. Powerful management functions

The Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance integrates neatly with other Oracle management tools to help simplify administration. Advanced automation features can reduce database administrator workloads by as much as 80%. The tight integration between database, software and hardware reduces resource requirements, causing TCO to fall by over 30% when compared to solutions from other vendors.

4. Built-in security

Immutable, incremental forever backups are encrypted and compressed as standard, protecting data against loss, corruption, theft or misuse. The Appliance also checks all incoming and replicated backups for Oracle block correctness; any deviations or errors are immediately quarantined for further analysis, helping to stop the spread of ransomware. Backups are further protected by the Exadata architecture which has been tested and hardened to reduce attack surfaces and cybersecurity risk.

5. Reduced costs

The Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance creates savings across several domains. Consolidating enterprise-wide database protection while using database-aware compression and deduplication eliminates inefficient, standalone solutions and shrinks storage requirements by up to 40%. Automated admin tasks reduce workloads by 80%. And incremental forever backups lower networking overheads and operational costs.

As such, Oracle estimates the Appliance achieves a 62% lower total cost of ownership than rival systems. And that is before you consider the value of a system that offers zero data loss protection.

Ready to learn more about the Oracle Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance? Contact the WTL team the WTL team today to discuss how this solution could revolutionise your backup and disaster recovery strategy.


Disaster Recovery As A Service - words with cloud over white background

Recovering quickly from a disaster with DRaaS

Whether caused by nature or human activity, IT disasters have one guaranteed outcome – a drop in productivity. This is why you need a disaster recovery plan that restores operations as quickly as possible. Harnessing the power and flexibility of the cloud, disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) makes enterprise-class protections available to businesses of any size.

Co-location for all

The best way to maintain operations during a disaster has always been through the use of co-located data centres. Under this design, businesses operate two data centres; their primary computing location and a duplicate data centre in a different physical location. Data is mirrored between the sites automatically so that if the primary data centre fails, traffic is automatically switched to the second, reducing downtime to a matter of seconds.

Effective and robust, co-located data centres are extremely expensive. Maintaining a duplicate means doubling your data centre costs ‘just in case’ there is an outage.

DRaaS offers a cost-effective alternative, using cloud infrastructure to host duplicate systems. Thanks to virtualised servers and tools like Veeam, there is no need to maintain physical hardware in a backup location. As with traditional co-location design, if the primary data centre goes offline, the cloud-based backup springs into action.

Using DRaaS, businesses can achieve ‘always on’ computing operations – and avoid costs like data centre rental, electricity and cooling and additional staff.

Pick and choose services

A good DRaaS service will offer much more than just a space to host virtual machines in the cloud. Reflecting the pay-as-you-use cloud model, businesses can select additional services that further improve their disaster recovery plans.

Options like a fully managed fail-over service will help to plug any skills or knowledge gaps for instance. Or tools and support to address regulatory and industry compliance requirements.

In this way, DRaaS allows businesses to build disaster recovery protections that perfectly match their requirements without the usual cost and inconvenience of a bespoke DR solution.

Don’t forget the essentials

Out of sight, out of mind? DR systems in the cloud are just as vulnerable as your on-premise servers. This means that you must ensure your DRaaS service provider is offering suitable security protection mechanisms. Things to look for include enterprise-grade security, antimalware, intrusion detection/prevention, and integrity monitoring. They should also provide comprehensive reporting so you can understand and document your security posture.

Go seamless

DRaaS should allow your mission-critical systems to fail over seamlessly. In doing so, your business is protected against local outages that damage productivity, availability, profitability and corporate reputation.

To learn more about WTL’s disaster recovery as a service offering and how it will help your business improve its disaster recovery response, please get in touch.

solaris managed service birmingham

Three things your Solaris service provider must offer

How do you know if a potential Solaris service provider is right for you? Here are three things your ideal partner must provide.

Solaris System Administration

Day-to-day Solaris activities can be resource intensive, taking your engineers away from the strategic projects that will help your business grow. With a Solaris system administration service, you will be able to outsource many of these common tasks to a suitably qualified partner.

Your service provider should take care of activities like server administration, network management, dynamic tracing (DTrace) and debugging to troubleshoot problems in real-time. They should also be available to assist in an emergency, helping you to initiate your disaster recovery plan to accelerate your response and limit the impact on your IT services.

Effective administration should also be proactive, auditing and hardening security for instance. Similarly, planning software installation and storage allocations will ensure you have the resources required to meet demand now and in the future. Your partner’s expertise will help you better understand and plan budgets and resources to deliver the greatest return on investment and control costs.

Solaris Performance-Tuning

As a mission-critical platform, you need to be sure that your Solaris environment is fully optimised for performance and security. Using their experience and knowledge, your partner should be able to suggest potential improvements – and implement them too.

Potential opportunities for performance-tuning include network optimisation, Solaris virtualised performance and Sun clustering. In addition to optimising Solaris itself, your partner should also be able to assist with secondary factors, like network protocols and VLAN configuration to accelerate information flow.

Solaris System Patching

Although essential, installing patches and updates always present a risk to your system. Your ideal Solaris service partner will not only apply Oracle best-practice but will also provide the necessary skills and resources to assist with the full project lifecycle.

Your partner should assist with pre-patch planning, and risk analysis as well as assisting with the actual upgrade patching process. They will also advise about potential knock-on effects to other applications and services that may occur following Solaris update – and how to mitigate them.

In this way you can be sure that every patch is applied as smoothly as possible to reduce disruption and create secondary issues.


As you can see, your ideal partner must be deeply experienced with skills that cover every aspect of Solaris administration and support. Here at WTL we offer all these Solaris capabilities – and much more.

To discover how we can help your business get the most from your Solaris environment, please give us a call.

cybersecurity solutions birmingham

The Plain English Guide to: Ransomware

Ransomware is emerging as one of the most effective – and destructive – types of malware circulating today. This is what you need to know.

What is ransomware?

At the most basic level it is a malicious application that is designed to stop your computer from working properly until you pay a ransom. In theory, paying the ransom will restore access – but it may also encourage the hackers to try and extort more money.

Without access to your data, operations are significantly disrupted – and that adds even more to the overall cost of the infection. Having lost their mission-critical systems, many organisations pay the ransom in the hope of restoring access quickly. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that this strategy will work as expected – the cybercriminals may choose to keep the money and run.

Different types of ransomware

There are four main types of ransomware:

1. Crypto-ransomware that encrypts all of your files. The only way to regain access is using a decryption key which the hacker will provide for a fee.

2. Disk coding ransomware that encrypts critical software and prevents your computer from starting.

3. Screen locker ransomware that prevents you from accessing the screen of your device. In the meantime, hackers have complete control of the infected computer.

4. PIN locker ransomware that changes the PIN code used to unlock your device.

The methods and techniques vary, but they all prevent you from accessing your IT resources.

How to protect against infection

There are two key safeguards against ransomware infections – effective antivirus software and robust backups.

1. Antivirus tools

Ideally you want to stop ransomware from being installed – and antivirus software can assist. These toolkits scan your device and block suspicious activity, such as software installs, until you can check that they are legitimate.

2. Robust backup systems

You should also prepare for what happens after an infection. Ensuring you have a robust, reliable backup is invaluable, allowing you to recover a ‘clean’ copy of your data. You want this process to be as quick as possible to reduce downtime and the cost of the infection.

Do SMEs have to worry?

Large companies and organisations steal all the headlines about ransomware infections – but SMEs are likely to be victims too. A lack of in-house IT knowledge and experience makes SMEs an easier target for infection – and therefore more likely to pay a moderate ransom.

Every business must have safeguards to protect against (and recover from) ransomware attacks. Otherwise, their operations and reputation could be compromised. They may also face significant fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if sensitive personal data is exposed by the breach.

To learn more about ransomware – and how to better protect yourself against it – please give the WTL team a call.