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JHC Technology is a Service Disabled, Veteran-Owned, Small Business based in the Washington, DC Metro area. Our primary focus is to offer customized solutions and IT consulting to our Commercial and Government clients. Our experts have a broad experience delivering and managing Microsoft Enterprise applications and Cloud and Virtualization Solutions, as well as mobilizing Enterprise data.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Storage Issues….

Helpdesk:  Hello, this is the helpdesk may I help you?
Caller:  Yes, I deleted all of my files.  Can you restore      them for me immediately?
Helpdesk:  Possibly.  Do you know when the files were deleted?
Caller:  Yes, about a month ago.
Helpdesk:  The storage tapes containing those files are offsite. It will take at least a day to bring them back. 
Caller:  But I need the files today.  I have presentation to do in an hour.  Is there any way around this process?
Helpdesk:  Unfortunately no, but we will work as quickly as possible to retrieve your data.
Caller:  Well, how long do you think this process will take?
Helpdesk:  At the least a day or two.  At the most maybe one week.  It all depends on how fast we can have the media containing the data returned to us and placed inside the storage device that needs to retrieve the data.
Caller:  Gosh, I may as well just recreate them.  Still, do what you can.  That’s an awful lot of data to attempt to recreate in a day.
Helpdesk:  Alright.  I will open a ticket to have the process to restore your files started.

As an IT professional, it pains my heart when I am unable to assist a customer in a timely fashion due to restraints. 

In this scenario, a user had deleted files sometime ago and only recently noticed that the files were gone.  Due to policies and procedures, the media containing the information was stored offsite, thus hindering the ability to assist the customer immediately.

Well, these days will soon be a thing of the past.  Amazon Web Services (AWS) now offers a plethora of storage options that can provide on-demand access at a minimal cost to almost any type of data that you can think of.  AWS storage services include:

1.     Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) Volumes which provide block level storage for Amazon Instances from 1GB to 1TB.  This means that you will have access to physical hard drives containing your data ready to use after a simple attachment to a running EC2 instance.

2.     Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) which is an object store service that stores mission-critical and primary data with an easy to use web interface.  It is highly scalable, highly durable and the number of objects that can be stored in an Amazon S3 bucket is unlimited (whoa!). 

3.     Relational Database Service (RDS) which is a fully functional MySQL relational database.  It automatically backups your database and maintains your database software.  It is ideal for any application that relies on MySQL and its repository information.  It provides a highly scalable, durable, low maintenance database that does not require the need for very much code change.

With AWS storage options, the list goes on.  AWS has found a way to take the physical aspects out of network backups and storage options.  The cost to run any of the above mentioned storage options is pennies on the dollar compared to what it would cost to maintain a physical library and its peripherals, warranties along with other items  such as space issues and support for faulty equipment.  One of my current administrative tasks is to move current infrastructure backup operations into the cloud environment.  Check in with me next month to see how I will go about accomplishing this task.

Jeronna Freeman  is the Cloud Administrator for JHC Technology.  She can be reached at jfreeman(at)jhctechnology.com or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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