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The third and final installment in this three-part blog series

Part 3: Why Snapshots? (They’re as Secure as Offline Backups and Much Faster than Online)

Point-in-time copies, or snapshots, are not new. The technology has been around for years. But many enterprises have not realized the full value of snapshots for fast, space-efficient data protection – and data security. In 2020, as soon as it became clear that ransomware was a rapidly escalating menace to businesses across all industries, DDN contacted all IntelliFlash customers to educate them about this threat. We included this advisory process as part of our annual health checks and made sure all customers were using storage snapshots for backups. Why? Because snapshots do not reside in the data path and are therefore NOT affected by ransomware viruses.

A snapshot is essentially an offline (out-of-band) copy of your data – nothing on your IT estate can modify it. The ransomware can’t corrupt the snapshot, whether it’s on a production server or a backup server. An even more critical advantage is the recovery time – the snapshot “RTO” is literally measured in minutes or even seconds. So if you need to get your data back you simply clone, mount, or restore the snapshot to a particular point in time.

And because your snapshot data doesn’t even have to move, it is orders of magnitude faster than any type of restore based on backup software – from disk, tape or the cloud. Snapshots give you an ideal combination: better performance and RTO than disk-based backups, plus the security of an offline tape or cloud backup.

Mitigating the Business Impact of Ransomware Part 3

Snapshots Complement Backup Software

Snapshots aren’t intended to replace backup software solutions entirely, but rather to complement them – and you really must run both today. DDN IntelliFlash offers world-class snapshots in terms of performance, restore time, and granularity – it’s an extremely well- proven technology and an approach used by most of our customers globally.

As an example, one of our customers, a service provider (SP), uses DDN IntelliFlash because it’s certified with Veeam as both a primary storage array and a backup target. The SP, who uses both Veeam backup software and IntelliFlash snapshots, came to realize that they’ve been helping their customers recover from ransomware attacks on a weekly basis. While Veeam is an excellent backup software solution that provides full data protection, the SP is able to restore customer data much easier and faster with IntelliFlash snapshots. Snapshots turned out to be much more convenient, especially given the frequency of ransomware attacks.

What’s more, DDN IntelliFlash systems include the intelligence to monitor and analyze snapshots, automatically identifying unusual growth, which is often an indicator of ransomware activity. While snapshots help you rapidly recover from a ransomware attack, this preventative analytic capability helps you stop a ransomware attack in its tracks – early enough to avoid any impact to your business.

Storage snapshots represent critical data protection technology, but they’re just a part of a comprehensive set of enterprise-class data management capabilities. DDN IntelliFlash offers a full set of enterprise features that protect against disruption and downtime, while maximizing performance and efficiency for concurrent file and block workloads – all with a single license. Learn more.

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