Regarding the Benefits of a SAN, What Happens During A Serverless Backup?

Serverless backup is another topic that is frequently encountered during chat on cloud computing. How does it function? And why should everyone utilize it? Here, I will attempt to answer some of those questions and more from one single quiz. The quiz question was:

“Regarding the benefits of a SAN, what happens during a serverless backup?”

A) The backup server sends commands to the SAN, which backs up the data.
B) The backup server backs up the data directly from the SAN without involving the host servers.
C) The host servers back up the data to the SAN without involving the backup server.
D) The SAN backs up the data to itself without involving any servers.

The correct answer is B. Serverless backup is a way of making a direct backup file in SAN and backup devices such as a tape library, disk array, etc. This helps reduce the network traffic as well as the load on the CPUs of the host servers to enhance their availability and productivity. Similarly, it makes backup simpler and shortens the backup window.

A technology known as extended copy (or XCOPY) makes it possible for serverless backup to be conducted, and this technology comes up under the SCSI standard. Xcopy enables a SAN device to transfer data to another onboard SAN device via an avoidance circuit. The backup server first sends an XCOPY message to them SAN, which thereafter passes data straight from the source device to the destination device.

There are several advantages of using serverless backup for SANs, such as:

  • The traffic load is lower as compared to LAN/WAN, thereby minimizing network congestion and bandwidth usage.
  • The CPU and memory on the host servers are lowered because it does not need to load or deactivate the information.
  • The transmitted data is at a higher and more constant speed and thus reduces the backup window length.
  • This minimises corrupting or losing data during a network failure or malicious attack, thereby boosting a backup’s reliability and safety measures.
  • The backup is managed simply because there are fewer devices and software which are used.

This type of serverless backup, while convenient, has limitations that must be considered.

  • The process is based on XCOPY-compliant hardware and software capable of offering serverless backups. This is not always the case for each SAN and backup application.
  • This will increase the cost and complexities of the SAN infrastructure because new devices and cables must be used to connect the source and the destination devices.
  • It also does not necessarily support all kinds of data storage or applications that need some form of backup before making the copy or checking for consistency afterwards.
  • However, it may not be flexible enough, giving too much control to backup for some cases of an incremental backup.

Therefore, as indicated above, serverless backup is an excellent technology with potential benefits to SANs. Nevertheless, it cannot be a panacea for all backup methods; it instead acts as an additional measure. You must be sure that you have considered evaluating your backup needs and requirements as well as options or alternative solutions, then decide if serverless backup fits you in particular. I do hope this post will shed some light on server backup and why and how it works. Kindly leave your opinions and inquiries here.