Category: DPX

Ensuring the Data Integrity of your Backups with GuardMode

The Case for Ensuring Data Integrity 

While writing a long term paper, I accidentally overwrote and replaced a long passage with a single character – the unintended consequence of a Select All and an accidental keyboard press.  I didn’t realize that a good portion of my paper was gone until I went back to proofread it, and I had to go back through multiple versions only to discover that the error had been saved in those versions as well.  While it took me another couple of hours to rewrite the section, it taught a valuable of lesson in that just because you have a saved copy, the data contained within it may not be the data you expect or want.  

Such is true in today’s environment where unscrupulous actors encrypt data for ransom and even your backup copies may not spare you from the fallout when those copies were affected with ransomware as well. Data protection has always been multi-faceted by concerns regarding recovery point objective (how often to backup, how long to retain the backup) and recovery time objective (how quick to recover in the event of data loss). There are very few solutions that look at the data integrity and data validity −  is the data that is being restored the data that I want?  

GuardMode is an add-on feature set to DPX that was built to address this concern and help ensure the data integrity of your backups.  

What does GuardMode do?  

DPX GuardMode actively monitors filesystem activity on the backup clients that you are protecting within DPX and identifies data that may have been compromised.  From an architectural perspective, there is a GuardMode agent that needs to be installed on the client server that will be monitored.   

As users interact with the filesystem on the server, the GuardMode agent will detect this activity and alert administrators on violations to configurable rulesets defined by the system administrator.  

Early Detection Strategies 

In addition to default behaviors that alert based on file properties like file entropy, the value associated with randomness of a file where higher entropy values could signify encrypted data. Backup admins are able to customize what they classify as violations via:  

Blocklist– The blocklist  is a list of file types/extensions that a user does not want on their filesystem.  It can be automatically updated and populated directly from the Catalogic support webserver and exceptions can defined within the DPX user interface.  By using a blocklist, administrators can receive alerts when these files (most of them are known ransomware file types) land on the filesystem. 

Honey Pots – A honey pot is like a booby trap, put in place to alert an administrator when users are making modifications to a folder location that has been designated as a honey pot.  When a file modification occurs to a honey pot, the trap is sprung and an administrator is notified that someone is making changes to files that should not change.

GuardMode Proactive Detection Strategies 

Threshold Monitoring

Threshold violations occur when I/O operations exceed a limit. Users can configure these limits based on frequency, interval scanning, and other parameters that sum to a weighted value. For example, a server which typically doesn’t have much activity in terms of filesystem changes suddenly has over 100K file writes in 30 secs should raise an alarm that something outside of the ordinary is occurring. This type of monitoring can raise a flag and allow an administrator to investigate more deeply and follow-up with the appropriate user making those changes.

Restoring the Data You Need 

Data protection is more than just backup and restore. It needs to be multi-faceted to address the many ways in which data can be backed up and how quickly that data can be restored and reused.  DPX addressed these concerns by providing a block level incremental backup and a disk to disk to tape/cloud (3-2-1) backup strategy as well as multiple options for restoring data like Instant Access, Bare Metal Recovery, and Instant Virtualization.  Now with GuardMode, DPX can help ensure the integrity of the data that is being protected so that the data you restore is the data you want.  

Come check out some videos on the YouTube page for an overview and demonstration of GuardMode. 

GuardMode is continually evolving and becoming even more tightly integrated with DPX. In the future, we will tie early detection and recovery capabilities even further by using analytics and metadata from GuardMode to help with guided restore capabilities in DPX.  Then you too can hopefully avoid having to put on another pot of coffee at 2AM trying to finish a project due the next morning. 

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02/01/2023 0 Comments

DPX 4.9 Adds Proactive Ransomware Shield for Linux and Improves Quality of Alerts for Backup Admins

We are pleased to announce the release of Catalogic DPX 4.9, where we continue to build upon our commitment to providing one of the most cyber resilient data protection and backup coverage matrices for private, public, and hybrid-cloud environments. This release adds to our industry leading ransomware recovery and cyber resilience features by building on the DPX GuardMode for Windows capability made available in DPX 4.8.1.

GuardMode provides proactive monitoring for early detection and notification of suspicious activity along with identifying and enabling the recovery of any affected data. Before DPX 4.9, this feature was limited to Windows, but DPX 4.9 now offers GuardMode for Linux servers and Samba shares.  In addition, backup administrators can now benefit from increased quality of alerts, where GuardMode measures the level of file entropy and compares known magic signatures on files suspected to be impacted. GuardMode uses active, live forensic techniques instead of analyzing backup data that lags security incidents by several hours, days, and even weeks.

DPX 4.9 also delivered improvements to the web-based HTML UI, including support for Block Backup, Restore, and support for archival of those block-based backups. We also added several improvements to different DPX services, including reporting and event service monitoring.

We have also added several improvements to the use of DPX vStor in this release. This includes the ability to archive backup copies from a replicated vStor, multi-factor authentication, and an easier way to install vStor on a physical server.

And finally, DPX 4.9 includes many general improvements to existing DPX features. All new features of our DPX 4.9 product are listed below:

DPX Cyber Resilience

  • GuardMode for Linux

Adds a Linux ransomware detection agent with the ability to detect and notify an administrator of possible suspicious activity on the host. This is an upgrade to the already present Windows agent that adds a layer of ransomware detection and alerting to the DPX enterprise.

  • Encrypted Files Detection and Encryption Tracking

Adds an agent feature that detects encrypted files and tracks the encryption process to provide a list of affected files through a REST API. This allows administrators to improve their understanding of the infection scope as well as provides a list of affected files to restore.

  • Syslog Support

Adds syslog as a notification target for notifications.  This allows administrators to plug in GuardMode agent notifications into their existing security event collection workflows (for example, into a SIEM solution.)

DPX Services

  • Support for Block Backup and Restore in HTML UI

Adds the option of scheduling Block Backups and all corresponding restore options (File Restore, Instant Access Mapping, Backup Virtualization, Application) to HTML UI.  Now, the user can run block backup and restore workloads without relying on the Java GUI by using the HTML UI or REST API, which is faster and opens up new automation or integrations possibility.

  • Support for Double Protection for Block Backup

Adds option of Double Protection in the HTML UI. The Administrator can now configure Double Protection (Archiving) via the HTML UI more responsively and intuitively. REST APIs are available for this feature as well.

  • Reporting Improvements

Adds the ability to generate PDF versions of the reports, scheduling of reports, and the option to send them via email. Also introduces a new report for 24-hour job status overview.

  • Event Service Improvements

Adds more Master Server events to be received by the DPX event service. This allows an administrator to configure granular email notifications for more types of events from DPX services, including backup jobs, status changes and more.

  • Appliance Operating System Update to Alma Linux 8.7

Migrated the appliance operating system to a downstream Linux distribution from Red Hat and upgraded to a current release.

DPX Core 

  • Archive from Alternate/Replicated DPX vStor

Adds the ability to archive from a replicated vStor.  This allows the Administrator the flexibility to configure backup to a primary DPX vStor at a branch office then replicate to a central site vStor, and to also archive data from the secondary vStor to Cloud/Tape/DiskDirectory, and then restore to any location.

  • Microsoft Azure Blob and Alibaba Object Storage support

Adds Microsoft Azure Blob and Alibaba Object Storage support as Archive/NDMP cloud targets.

  • Catalog Condense Improvements

Catalog Condense now cleans up Cloud and DiskDirectory storage.

  • Integrating DPX Core Services to Linux systemd Service Manager

Uses systemd to manage cmagent/nibbler services on RedHat/CentOS 7.6+ and SUSE 12+.

  • Adding New Platforms for Agentless VMware Backup Proxies

Support RHEL, CentOS, OEL, and AlmaLinux 8.0~8.3 as proxy nodes for Agentless VMware backup.

  • New BMR ISO for Linux kernel v4.18

New Linux BMR ISO to support Linux kernel v4.18.

DPX vStor – Software-Defined Backup Appliance

  • Addition of MFA

Adds a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to both UI and console access.

  • Password Reset Improvements

Adds the ability to reset password on HTML UI.

  • Physical Installation ISO

Creates ISO installation image that can be used to install vStor on physical appliances.

Summary

For further information on DPX 4.9, see the What’s New in DPX 4.9.0 document and other resources on the DPX products page. Customers with support can access more detailed information in the release notes on the Support page.  For more information on Microsoft 365 and Open VM backups, please see DPX vPlus.

Whether it is ransomware attacks, human error or IT outages, every business needs an affordable and reliable data protection solution like Catalogic DPX to backup and instantly recover data to ensure business continuity. Have a question or want a live demo? Contact us today!

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12/14/2022 0 Comments

Active Ransomware Protection for Your Backup and Recovery Team

Catalogic DPX GuardMode, a new free capability announced in July 2022, provides early detection of ransomware. Combined with the comprehensive workload coverage of DPX and instant recoveries, backup and storage teams using DPX GuardMode will be among the best prepared to recover from a cyberattack. DPX GuardMode is complementary to endpoint and edge protection, monitoring file shares and file system behavior, even over the network, instead of relying on a specific binary fingerprint. GuardMode maintains, and regularly updates over 4000 known ransomware threat patterns, and assesses affected files. Backing up this extensive forensic layer of protection are honeypots as a deception layer to catch ever-evolving types of ransomware strains. GuardMode increases confidence in ransomware detection while identifying and enabling recovery of only the affected data.

GuardMode can:

  • Proactively monitor file shares and file system behavior, even over the network.
  • Notify backup and storage teams of suspicious activity and pinpoint the extent of potential damage caused by cyber incidents.
  • Identify and enable recovery of only the affected data.

Watch this 3-minute demonstration to learn how DPX GuardMode works.

If you would like to learn more about DPX GuardMode, you can request a live demo or contact us.

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09/29/2022 0 Comments

Hyperscalers and Catalogic Partner for Data Protection and Migration

We are excited to announce our partnership with Hyperscalers for delivering a pre-engineered, out-of-the-box appliance for data protection, migration and recovery.

We have been working together for the past 6 months to form this partnership, with Hyperscalers hard at work discovering and testing the extensive capabilities of DPX. Out of this effort Hyperscalers has developed a detailed data protection and migration whitepaper on how to utilise Hyperscalers Storage Servers with Catalogic DPX to deliver an enterprise data protection and migration solution.

Hyperscalers

Data protection and recovery has for a long time been the Achilles heel of enterprise business continuity. Stories abound of well-known brand names unable to recover from data loss or damage in a timely manner. Exacerbating this problem is the new era of rapid infrastructure flexibility across multi-cloud operations, and the accelerated functional responsiveness made possible via DevOps.

Catalogic and Hyperscalers have observed the increasing overlap of protection and migration activities generally within the industry and have understood that a critical relationship exists between the two.  Consequently, we have partnered to develop the DPX Enterprise Data Protection and Migration Appliance.  This is a pre-engineered, out-of-the-box solution for protection, migration and recovery that provides a unified range of data management, infrastructure management and risk mitigation capabilities that is unmatched by any other product in the marketplace.

By partnering with Hyperscalers we can offered pre-engineered appliances for data protection, migration and recovery. The data protection appliances scale from 78TB (1U) to 1.4PB (4U) and they are readily available with customers consuming these as building blocks. These building blocks with DPX and vStor integrated deliver next-gen data protection and migration capabilities such as flexible backup and recovery, instant access recovery to meet the most stringent RTOs and built-in ransomware protection.

Working with the team at Hyperscalers has been a pleasure.  Just like ourselves they clearly pride themselves on delivering continuous innovation, an awesome customer experience and delivering IT solutions that deliver the best total cost of ownership and value.  If you want to learn more about what Catalogic and Hyperscalers can do for your data protection, migration and recovery capabilities? Get in contact with us via info@catalogicsoftware.com

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08/25/2022 0 Comments

DPX 4.8.1 Builds on Cyber Resilience with Proactive Early Detection

We are pleased to announce the release of Catalogic DPX 4.8.1, where we have taken a major step forward to enable our DPX customers to be amongst the best prepared to recovery from a cyberattack. This release builds on our foundational ransomware recovery and cyber resilience features to add a ground breaking new capability called DPX GuardMode, that provides proactive monitoring for early detection and notification of suspicious activity along with identifying and enabling the recovery of any affected data.

We also added many customer-driven enhancements including to DPX vStor, and we continued our theme of adding more foundational product resilience to enhance reliability and ability to respond rapidly to any vulnerabilities discovered at a later stage in the lifecycle.

We also announced DPX vPlus for Microsoft 365, a powerful data protection solution for Microsoft 365 and each of its components – Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Teams – and DPX vPlus for Open VMs supports platforms such as Citrix Hypervisors, KVM, Nutanix Acropolis or AHV, Oracle VM, Proxmox, RHEV/oVirt, Scale Computing HyperCore/HC3, and XenServer, along with Amazon EC2. DPX vPlus delivers greater workload coverage for an organization’s edge and cloud data.

Let’s review the major new features of our DPX 4.8.1 product.  We’ll cover DPX vPlus in a future blog.

DPX GuardMode

With the new DPX GuardMode agent, we added the ability to change your security posture to be more proactive against ransomware posture by providing the ability to detect and get notified of suspicious behavior in your file systems and what files are potentially affected. Initially, this is for Windows only, and we’ll be adding Linux soon. To learn more, please watch this on-demand webinar, Adding Cyber Resilience to your Data Protection Strategy with Early Detection, with industry analyst Evaluator Group and Sathya Sankaran, COO of Catalogic Software.

Foundational Cyber Resilience

We migrated the DPX appliances to a different Linux distribution called AlmaLinux OS, an open-source, community-driven distribution that fills the gap left by CentOS when it discontinued stable releases. We updated the version of the distribution to the 8.5 release, which is 1:1 binary compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

All the JREs and Java stacks DPX uses have updated to OpenJDK 17.

These changes provide us with the ability to respond more rapidly to any future vulnerabilities discovered at a later stage in the lifecycle.

DPX vStor Management Updates

vStor Updater

This new feature adds the ability to update the appliance from within the vStor UI to new versions without having to interact with the underlying operating system CLI.

Relationship Grouping

One of the areas in which our customers are often commenting is the need to configure synchronization to a secondary vStor on a per-volume basis and not having a clear overview of the health of these individual synchronization sessions.

With this release of vStor, we have added a replication applet on the vStor Dashboard, which provides a graphical of the session status. We have also added the ability to group volumes in replication groups, where each volume will inherit the groups’ replication settings and schedule.

Virtualization Proxy

We released a pre-configured VMware Proxy virtual appliance to ease the deployment of a proxy server in the correct locations for optimized data transfer of the backup data. This is for VMware environments where DPX agentless for VMware is in use.

Deploying DPX and vStor Virtual Appliances in Hyper-V

The DPX and vStor appliances can now be deployed from a mounted ISO on the Hyper-V host and are completely installer driven.

Legal Hold for Amazon S3 Object Lock

You can now add a legal hold on your data on Amazon S3 to protect this data from being overwritten, even after the associated backup job has expired.

Report Enhancements

All reports visible in the HTML5 GUI of DPX have been enhanced and now report on the full dataset of DPX.

Summary

The DPX 4.8.1 release also contains other enhancements and bug fixes of course. For further information on DPX 4.8 and earlier releases, see the What’s New in DPX 4.8 and What’s New in DPX 4.8.1 document and other resources on the DPX products page. Customers with support can access more detailed information on release notes on the Support page.  For more information on Microsoft 365 backup and Open VM backups, please see DPX vPlus.

Whether it is ransomware attacks, human error or IT outages, every business needs an affordable and reliable data protection solution like Catalogic DPX to backup and instantly recover data to ensure business continuity. Have a question or want a live demo? Contact us today!

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07/13/2022 0 Comments

Granular File Restore and Ransomware Protection for Micro Focus OES Backups

Catalogic DPX and Micro Focus OES Backup

Catalogic Software is not one of those data protection vendors that have abandoned Micro Focus Open Enterprise Server (OES) backups. Catalogic DPX has provided industry-leading backup and recovery for Novell products since 1997, and we even pioneered many data protection features such as OES cluster-support and deep GroupWise integration. And unlike many other backup vendors, we are still committed to the Micro Focus OES, including full support for Micro Focus OES 2018 SP3 and the upcoming OES 2023 release.

Unitrends and Micro Focus OES Backup

For decades, Novell and more recently Micro Focus OES customers have relied on Unitrends for OES backup and granular recovery. Using its OES agent, Unitrends allowed users to protect all aspects of their OES environment, including files, directories, and web-application management tools like eDirectory, iFolder and iManager. It also offered the ability to granularly restore individual files and folders, which is extremely important for OES customers since applications like eDirectory are responsible for identity-based management, networked storage, and file directories for employees, clients, and/or students. Though recovery of an entire OES server due to corruption or a disaster is necessary at times, the majority of recovery jobs are lost or accidently deleted files from these directories.

Disappointed and Surprised Unitrends Customers

Unitrends customers have recently been discovering some upsetting news – oftentimes receiving this surprise after they notice their backup jobs have been failing and have opened a support ticket. Post its acquisition by Kaseya, Unitrends has published a list of unsupported operating system agents, including the agent that supports OES backup. Unitrends is treating OES servers like any other virtual or physical machine. It provides server-level backups and restores but without an agent, it has lost the file and object-level granularity that is needed for OES data protection.

What this means for legacy Unitrends customers is that when an administrator receives a request from an employee who accidently deleted an important file, they can no longer recover the individual file. Instead, they need to restore the entire virtual machine and then figure out how to migrate or copy the specific OES object like eDirectory to its original location. This is difficult enough for those customer using OES in a virtual environment and it is near impossibility for those who run their OES on physical machines.

This change in direction by Unitrends is forcing hundreds of customers to either seek alternative backup solutions, or to move away from Micro Focus OES and other operation systems altogether. In fact per their unsupported agent notice: “Unitrends strongly recommends pursuing alternate methods of protecting data residing on these Operating Systems.”

DPX is That Alternative Micro Focus OES Backup Solution

If you are one of those Micro Focus OES or GroupWise customers searching to find that replacement for Unitrends, look no further than Catalogic DPX. DPX has provided industry leading backup and recovery for Novell products since 1997. We have even pioneered many data protection features such as OES cluster-support and deep GroupWise integration. And unlike Unitrends and many other vendors, we have never backed away from our commitment to the Novell family of products, even after the acquisition by Micro Focus.

Catalogic DPX support for OES includes cluster configuration, GroupWise environments, and backup of standalone and shared volumes, eDirectory, etc. It provides the ability to perform full, incremental, and differential backups, and these backups, unlike with Unitrends, can be at the volume, directory, and even individual file level. Then, more importantly, files can be restored with security, metadata, and file-attributes/trustee rights still intact. For more information on OES cluster and GroupWise support, please see Catalogic DPX is the Smart Choice for Micro Focus OES Customers.

DPX even has its own software-defined storage repository called DPX vStor that can act as a flexible and scalable disk directory for your OES backups. Built on open source components, vStor can use any block storage without restrictions, freeing you from expensive Unitrends backup appliances and vendor lock-in. vStor supports data reduction in the form of both deduplication and compression for efficiency and provides point-to-point replication for DR or remote office support.

Protecting your Micro Focus OES Backups from Ransomware

Data Protection is often the last line of defense when it comes to ransomware attacks. DPX delivers a secure data protection solution with instant recoverability to help ensure you can protect your backup data set from ransomware and recover data in an instant when you need it.

 

With DPX, you have integrated ransomware protection:

  • Support for the 3-2-1-1 rule provides a robust data protection solution with verified scheduled recoveries for automated recovery testing.
  • 3 copies of your data
  • 2 copies stored on different storage media types
  • 1 of the copies offsite or in the cloud on immutable media
  • 1 copy verified as recoverable
  • Encryption of backup data in transit over the network and at rest via DPX vStor volume encryption

To learn more, please see Recommendations From FBI Cyber Division on How to Reduce Risk from Ransomware Attacks and watch this free webinar: Protect and Recover Micro Focus OES from Ransomware Attacks.

Now is the Time to Change Your OES Backup Vendor

Just because Unitrends and others are no longer providing the backup and recovery capabilities that you need, it does not mean OES customers are out of options. Catalogic DPX is a proven, cost-effective and reliable alternative, and Catalogic is committed to providing effective, granular Micro Focus OES backup and recovery for all aspects of their environment.

Regarding ransomware protection, if your OES backup solution is not hardened against recent vulnerabilities with all the required patches and updates (remember log4j?), or if it does not provide you with immutable backups with granular recovery, now is the time to make a change.

If you would like to learn more about Catalogic DPX, you can request a live demo or even get a 30-day trial copy to try it for yourself. We’ll be happy to provide a review of your data protection environment and help you set up a proof of concept.

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06/29/2022 0 Comments

vStor – The Ever Beating Heart of a Data Protection Solution

At the heart of every data protection solution is the backup repository where the backup data that the protection solution is protecting resides. The ever beating heart of Catalogic DPX is vStor, a virtual storage appliance. The vStor backup repository is a software-defined, flexible and scalable backup target that frees you from expensive backup appliances and vendor lock-in, unlike many of the current market players.

DPX vStor Backup Repository Architecture

Built on open source components, vStor can use any block storage without restrictions. It supports data reduction in the form of both deduplication and compression for efficiency and provides point-to-point replication for DR or remote office support.

Data Protection Solution

DPX-vStor-Architecture
Figure 1. DPX vStor Architecture

vStor can be configured to meet your needs – your choice of physical or virtual servers, any form of block storage and all the leading cloud storage providers, as shown in Figure 2.

Backup Repository

DPX-vStor-Provides-Choice-of-Server-and-Storage
Figure 2. DPX vStor Provides Choice of Server and Storage

With DPX vStor, you can build different backup targets to meet your performance needs. For example, a single vStor virtual appliance to support a ROBO or small environment, or a high-performance vStor built on all-flash storage for your most critical workloads. For backups to and recoveries from a vStor server, both block backups and agentless backups are fully supported.

Once your backup data is safe and sound in the vStor, you then have a choice of options for enabling DR and archive. You can replicate the content to a secondary vStor, and offload to tape or to cloud storage providers such as Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure Blob storage, Backblaze B2, Cloudian, Scality, and MinIO.

Ransomware Protection with vStor and S3 Object Lock

We are all aware ransomware is a growing industry with it being nearly impossible to go a day without seeing an attack impact a business and hit the news headlines. So what can you do?
Please review and follow these recommendations on how to reduce risk from ransomware attacks for ensuring you have integrated ransomware protection and recovery via Catalogic DPX.

With DPX vStor, backups are stored as immutable snapshots and can be offloaded as offline, air-gapped copies of backups. For copies going to cloud object storage, you can enable S3 Object Lock meaning you can store your backup data sets using a write-once-read-many (WORM) model.

S3 Object Lock can prevent your backup data from being deleted or overwritten for a fixed amount of time or indefinitely. You can use S3 Object Lock to help meet regulatory requirements that require WORM storage, or to simply add another layer of protection against unauthorized changes and deletion.

Support for S3 Object Lock is provided for leading cloud storage providers including Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, Backblaze B2, Wasabi, and more. It’s a really simple process to configure:

  • Run agentless or agent based backups to vStor
  • vStor offloads to S3 object storage
  • S3 Object lock configured within DPX prevents ransomware from tampering with your backup data

Immutable copies can then be restored from the cloud storage in the event of a cyber-attack.

DPX-vStor-Supports-S3-Object-Lock
Figure 3. DPX vStor Supports S3 Object Lock

DPX vStor Deployment and Management

Deploying DPX vStor is very slick and simple. Once your DPX data protection solution has been correctly architected and sized you can deploy your vStor in a few minutes and start backing up your data into the vStor.

Day to day management has been designed to be as easy as possible via the vStor user interface which shows the following via the interactive dashboard:

  • vStor health status
  • Capacity allocated and free
  • Compression ratio
  • Deduplication ratio
  • Backed up data history for the last day, week or month
  • Backup storage trend for the last day, week or month
  • Replication session details per source volume
  • Type of shared volumes
  • Disks in use
DPX vStor Day to Day Management
Figure 4. DPX vStor Day to Day Management

Your Next Data Protection Step

Want to learn more about DPX data protection and the vStor backup repository? Please contact us by form or email and we can quickly provide a product demonstration, our guaranteed low pricing, and a free proof of concept.

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05/31/2022 0 Comments

Catalogic DPX is the Smart Choice for Micro Focus OES Customers in Education

In 2014, Micro Focus acquired Novell, in a move that extended the mainframe software provider’s reach into Linux. This acquisition included Novell’s Open Enterprise Server (OES). Micro Focus OES is a server operating system that provides a virtual computing environment and shared network resources, giving it the functionality of an enterprise-scale server operating system. OES consists of multiple modules and components around files, storage, directory, and web application management which are essential for shared files, print networks, driver deployment, identity-based management, and network connectivity for Windows, Mac, and Linux client devices.

Protecting Micro Focus OES Data in an Education Environment

All these things make OES a very useful tool for school districts, universities, and colleges around the world. Having the ability to provide shared network resources to faculty and staff, as well as to students, provides benefits for school administrators. Due to the reliance on these shared resources, protecting the shared files is extremely important.

For a specific school district and an art university, having the need to recover lost or deleted files became an everyday occurrence. For years, they had relied on Unitrends to provide them with granular backup and recovery of their OES data. However, for both organizations, the administrators arrived to work one day and realized that their scheduled backup jobs had failed. As they usually would in these instances, they opened a support ticket with Unitrends. But this time, they were told that OES-specific backups are no longer supported.

Replacing Unitrends with Catalogic DPX for Micro Focus OES

Given Unitrends no longer supports their OES backup agent, these customers would have to instead utilize Unitrends virtual machine snapshots to protect their OES data. With this workaround, they would lose the ability to perform single-file recovery of an OES resource, something they previously did on a regular basis.

Luckily for them, Catalogic DPX provides a replacement for Unitrends that is fully committed to supporting Micro Focus OES. DPX has provided industry leading protection and recovery for Novell products since 1997, and we are committed to continuing that. We have even pioneered many data protection features such as OES cluster-support and deep GroupWise integration. And unlike Unitrends and other data protection vendors, Catalogic has never backed away from our commitment to the Novell family of products, even after the acquisition by Micro Focus. DPX customers will be able to continue to perform granular backup and restores of their Micro Focus OES data.

DPX Cluster-level and GroupWise Support for OES

In Figure 1, the virtual node is labeled as “cluster.” The item “V1” represents the shared resource. Objects oes-lx-c1, oes-lx-C2, and oes-lx-C3 are the server nodes in the cluster.DPX provides intelligent data protection for OES, which begins with being cluster-aware. This means that by using a virtual node concept, where all individual server nodes are represented together as a single entity, DPX is able to ensure that data is not backed up twice (from two different nodes in the cluster), and if a cluster node fails during backup of a shared resource, DPX continues to execute the backup by switching the task through the failover node. This ensures that critical infrastructure information is always protected.

Then, when it comes to recovery, restore of OES data is simplified. The user needs only to select the virtual node object and DPX is smart enough to restore the correct volume. The operator does not need to know the source of the data, or which node performed the backup. This avoids confusion and ensures a quicker, trouble-free recovery process.

DPX support for Open Enterprise Server includes cluster configuration, GroupWise environments, and backup of standalone and shared volumes, eDirectory, etc. It provides the ability to perform full, incremental, and differential backups, and these backups, unlike with Unitrends, can be targeted at the volume, directory, and even individual file level. Then, more importantly, files can be restored with security, metadata, and file-attributes/trustee rights still intact.

Figure 1. DPX OES Cluster

Figure 2. DPX GroupWise Environment

DPX-GroupWise-Environment-1

In Figure 2, you can see the layout for DPX GroupWise environment:

  • (Po) shows Post Office resources
  • (Dom) shows Domain Objects
  • (DMS) Document Management Systems Library
  • Other objects can include Binary Large Objects (Blb), and even (TMP) which are any other directories referenced by /HOME flags

DPX even has its own software-defined storage repository called vStor that can act as a disk directory for your OES backups. vStor will then perform deduplication and com-pression so that your storage is maximized.

DPX is Committed to Micro Focus OES Support

This school district and this art university are just two examples of the many Micro Focus OES customers who have been surprised by Unitrends dropping support for OES. By no longer supporting granular backup and recovery for OES, school administrators would have to resort to full VM restores, to recover a single lost or deleted file. This is simply inefficient and a waste of their time and resources. DPX, on the other hand, is committed to continuing to provide enterprise-level data protection, including the granularity needed for these school districts, universities, and colleges using Micro Focus OES.

If you are like many others and have been left out in the cold with no OES support by your backup vendor, give DPX a try. If you would like to learn more about DPX, you can request a live demo or even get a 30-day trial copy to try it for yourself. We’ll be happy to help you with the trial and provide our expertise to assess your backup environment for ransomware recovery.

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05/11/2022 0 Comments

Recommendations From FBI Cyber Division on How to Reduce Risk from Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware continues to be a growing threat in 2022 given cybercriminals are constantly innovating and wreaking havoc within businesses. Worryingly the fiscal impact of a ransomware attack has more than doubled, increasing from $761,106 in 2020 to $1.85 million in 2021. This is due, in part, to the move by attackers to more advanced and complex targeted attacks that are harder to recover from. And in mid-sized organizations in thirty countries across the globe, 37% of organizations experienced a ransomware attack in the last 12 months.

Ransomware attacks against local government entities and the subsequent impacts are especially significant due to the public’s dependency on critical utilities, emergency services, educational facilities, and other services overseen by local governments, making them attractive targets for cyber criminals. Due to this the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released a Private Industry Notification (PIN) to inform U.S. Government Facilities Sector partners of cyber actors conducting ransomware attacks on local government agencies that have resulted in disrupted operational services, risks to public safety, and financial losses.

We fully recommend local government officials, public service providers and IT professionals to review FBI PIN: Ransomware Attacks Straining Local US Governments.

From our perspective, the recommendations have some key takeaways, especially in relation to backups of data.

The two that jump off the page for me being:

  1. Maintain offline (i.e., physically disconnected) backups of data, and regularly test backup and restoration to safeguard continuity of operations or at least minimize potential downtime from an attack as well as protect against data losses. In cloud environments, consider leveraging native cloud service provider backup and restoration capabilities. To further secure cloud backups, consider separating account roles to prevent an account that manages the backups from being used to deny or degrade the backups should the account become compromised.
  2. Ensure all backup data is encrypted, immutable (i.e., cannot be altered or deleted), and covers the entire organization’s data infrastructure. Consider storing encryption keys outside the cloud. Cloud backups that are encrypted using a cloud key management service (KMS) could be affected should the cloud environment become compromised.

Catalogic DPX assists companies to deliver against these recommendations -, with DPX, you can have:

  • Integrated ransomware protection – Backups are stored as immutable snapshots and can be offloaded as offline, air-gapped copies. DPX also provides real-time reporting to provide awareness ransomware could be present. We have some exciting enhancements coming with pro-active ransomware detection as we continue to push the boundaries to protect your data from ransomware.
  • Support for the 3-2-1-1 rule – Provides a robust data protection solution with verified scheduled recoveries for automated recovery testing.
    • 3 copies of your data
    • 2 copies stored on different storage media types
    • 1 of the copies offsite or in the cloud on ideally immutable air-gapped or WORM media
    • 1 verified as recoverable
  • Encryption of backup data in transit and at rest – With DPX your data is encrypted over the network and at rest. DPX vStor volume encryption enables data at rest encryption on a volume in vStor Server, ensuring that if the underlying device is repurposed, returned, misplaced, or stolen the data cannot be accessed without the encryption key.
  • Object Lock Support – In DPX 4.8 we introduced support for S3 Object Lock to set compliance and governance modes for cloud object storage. Once data is archived to the cloud, it cannot be modified or deleted, even by an administrator, protecting cloud backups against early deletion and providing an extra layer of protection against ransomware and data loss.
  • Secure data protection for all your key systems – Quick, reliable backup for physical and virtual environments covering a wide range of enterprise applications.
  • Secure Cloud integration – Makes it simple to send backup data to secured cloud object storage and recover from this data when needed.
  • Rapid recovery and DR – Restore your systems in an instant with our patented instant virtualization technology. DPX delivers fast, reliable, granular point in time recovery with multiple recovery options.
  • Hardware independence – Because DPX is a fully software-defined backup solution, you get the choice in terms of the servers and storage used. Servers can be physical or virtual, and the storage just needs to be block storage.

Catalogic or your favorite technology partner can deliver a secure data protection solution with instant recoverability to ensure you can protect your data from ransomware and recover in an instant when you need it.

On this topic we have recently published a detailed white paper: Ransomware – How to Protect and Recover Your Data from this Growing Threat, including a handy ransomware recovery checklist. Please do take a look at this handy resource.

With cyber-attacks proactively targeting local governments and public services, do not wait to further protect your organization’s backups from a ransomware attack. In all cases, it is not a matter of if, but when, an attack will occur. 

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04/04/2022 0 Comments

Get Ransomware Protection for Enterprise Backups with Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage 

The importance of cloud object storage is growing increasingly every day. It is critical to have a solution that you can rely on that is scalable, secure, and affordable. Now, with ransomware proactively targeting and removing backup data, cloud storage is even more important for providing protection from ransomware for critical datasets like your backups. 

Catalogic is pleased to partner with Backblaze to create a robust data protection solution that provides our DPX customers with the flexibility and comfort that their backup datasets are safe and secure from ransomware, and always accessible for recovery and compliance. So, what is DPX, Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage, and how do they work together? Below we will discuss those points, some of the benefits of the two solutions and we will also show you a high-level overview of the solution as well. 

Catalogic DPX is an efficient and flexible all-purpose enterprise data protection solution for physical and virtual environments. DPX now offers seamless integration via S3 APIs with Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage to provide low cost, cloud storage for archiving block level and VMware agentless backups from DPX or for direct backup of filer data via NDMP (Network Data Management Protocol). 

Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage is high performance, S3 compatible, cloud object storage. Backblaze B2 is simple, reliable, and affordable, at a 75%+ lower cost than competitors. You can easily sign up for Backblaze B2 and get started.  

Why Use Backblaze B2 

Whether your business uses offsite or cloud storage for disaster recovery or not, you should be using air-gapped cloud storage for ransomware protection, as part of a 3-2-1 backup strategy. Backblaze B2 acts as a remotely located S3 cloud storage target that compliments on-site disk or tape for backups. This also provides a cost-effective, long-term storage solution for data that must remain under your control for compliance or data governance reasons. With built-in connectivity via the S3 API, Backblaze integrates as easily as connecting to any public cloud, and without any additional software required. 

If you are currently using S3 cloud storage and are ready to make a switch, Backblaze’s cloud to cloud migration service has zero data migration and egress fees. If you are ready to migrate from using tape, see the LTO vs. B2 Cloud Storage calculator

How it Works 

DPX integrates seamlessly with Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage to provide a fast, secure, and virtually limitlessly scalable backup target. This is critical to accelerate and achieve recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTO and RPO) SLAs, from DPX agent-based server backups, agentless VM backups, or direct filer backups via NDMP. Instead of having to wait hours to days to recover data from a cloud, Backblaze guarantees no cold delays or speed premiums with a 99.9% uptime SLA. 

Catalogic DPX Archive to Backblaze B2 

To deliver immutability of the data being stored in Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage, DPX can enable S3 Object Lock on your S3 bucket to ensure your precious backup and archive data can never be deleted or overwritten, providing your business with a key extra layer of protection against ransomware and data loss. 

Your Next Steps   

To learn more, please join or watch on demand the Backblaze and Catalogic webinar entitled “Reduce Backup Costs and Increase Security with Catalogic and Backblaze” on Wednesday, March 23rd at 11 AM EDT. 

 
With cyber-attacks proactively targeting and removing backup data, do not wait to further protect your organization’s backups from a ransomware attack. In all cases, it is not a matter of if, but when, an attack will occur. Stay safe by getting started now with the free VMware and Hyper-V backup promotion for Catalogic DPX, or with the free service plan of CloudCasa for Kubernetes backup and cloud-native applications.  

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03/16/2022 0 Comments

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