Extolling the virtue and indeed necessity


ETI-NET: Extolling the virtue and indeed necessity to embrace the rule of 3-2-1-X

When it comes to recent NonStop events and conferences, it is clear that the need for backups has never been more prominent. Even the best fault tolerant deployment of a NonStop system isn’t immune to the occurrence of natural disasters and, looking back to something that was brought home to all of us following the infamous 1989 Loma Peta earthquake that struck Silicon Valley and the Bay, lessons can still be learnt. That disaster gave rise to one panicked user who reported that his system had fallen over, crashing through the raised flooring.

What the call was about however wasn’t that the NonStop system had stopped working but rather, what was the prescribed process to bring the NonStop system back to an upright position. Did this actually happen? Is it simply a part of the original Tandem folklore? We will leave it to others to entertain us with their responses but by all reports, something of this nature did happen. The architecture of NonStop was such that it’s fault tolerant nature simply worked-around components that may have failed.

However, today with the presence of severe hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural phenomena, the need for a second and even a tertiary presence of NonStop either on-prem or co-lo (and perhaps even virtually), has been deemed an appropriate investment to protect businesses from interruptions to the most important mission-critical applications. Nothing projects a worse image for any business than being offline at important times of the year. NonStop is the premier fault tolerant system today but that alone is no longer enough to ensure business continuity.

Fast forward to today where disasters continue to be a concern, but more often these latest disasters are of an unnatural variety. Disasters initiated by bad actors’ intent on destruction either for money or simply out of spite. Nothing quite excites the imagination of technologists as much as fear of the unknown and when it comes to the actions of bad actors there really isn’t any tried and true manner to thwart these actions. All we can do as technology professionals is to put into place procedures and processes to minimize the impact these bad actors might have on our business.

For a very long time such musings have been few and far apart for the HPE NonStop community. The inherent architecture of the NonStop operating system gave little credence to unannounced code arrival. Sneak in some code from a bad actor and the NonStop operating system ignored it giving rise to the adage that NonStop was immune to the attacks of bad actors. And yet, even now, we know that the tantalizing opportunities NonStop presents to these bad actors suggests that NonStop systems will eventually succumb to attacks of one sort or another. The impossible never deters the possible nor does an incumbent architecture delay what we may believe is the inevitable.

For many IT professionals, the conversations have turned from recovery through backups to protecting the backup data and the systems which perform this task to recover at a high level of integrity. According to Mike Mitsch, ETI-NET Director, Business Development, “While there are potential holes in any architecture, it is not without saying that observation and continuing enhancements, continues to be the optimal approach. With ETI-NET’s latest releases of BackBox® with QoreStor® ETI-NET and HPE are giving NonStop users enhanced functionality to protect backup data and systems to recover from cyber-attacks utilizing evolving best practices for backup data protection that have proven successful.”

What proved to be a highlight of recent NonStop events was the message coming from ETI-NET about the enhancements to the 3-2-1 rule that have become the foundation for best practice backup data protection. Dating back over a decade, embracing this rule and its evolution has become more of a necessity than a luxury of late. It will be harder and harder to ignore the need for data protection through storage systems and services, optimally configured to protect the enterprise’s specific security requirements.

According to TechTarget’s analyst, Rich Castagna “three copies are made of the backup data to be protected, the copies are stored on two different types of storage media and one copy of the data is sent off site.” Featured in presentations at NonStop TBC 2023 and then followed up with additional commentary in recent presentation by the ETI-NET Team at VNUG and BITUG’s Little SIG, the 3-2-1 best practice is gaining more attention given the need for greater backup data protection and recoverability following potential actions from unauthorized parties looking to penetrate the regular defenses of a NonStop system.

“Providing enhanced control of their NonStop Backup Storage allows organizations to not only react faster to data backup and recovery requirements, but this also ensures that best practices and new evolving data protection standards that extend the 3-2-1 rule are implemented.” said Mike Mitsch. Calling out the provision to do even more to protect the NonStop customers, “ETI-NET’s BackBox with QoreStor not only simplifies the implementation the solution provides multiple -X options to implement the 3-2-1 immutability through various methods to align with corporate protection standards.”

This is truly a unique capability of the BackBox with QoreStor solution “and already we are seeing our customers turning to this latest release to ensure they can manage and directly gain even better protection than what otherwise may already been in place,” added Mike. “With the latest version of QoreStor, ETI-NET continues to expand our BackBox backup data protection for NonStop customers with expanded S3 Cloud Service providers.” Clearly an anticipated outcome with the latest release of the combined BackBox with QoreStor and as Mike views this expansion, “such enhancements help NonStop customers extend immutability to new service levels, a continuation that reinforces ETI-NET’s 3-2-1-X strategy.”

Whatever type of resilience you are looking for, particularly where the focus is on cyber resilience, ETI-NET is best positioned to address it. If you have missed our presentations of late or have as yet not visited the ETI-NET web site to download the latest presentation – and remember too, check for the presence of ETI-NET’s first fireside chat recording that was posted to the ETI-NET LinkedIn Group – scroll down to where you come across the lead-in of “Treat yourself to our first fireside chat” to find the reference and if as yet you haven’t joined this group now may be a good time to do so.