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Granular File Restore and Ransomware Protection for Micro Focus OES Backups

Catalogic DPX and Micro Focus OES 

Catalogic Software is not one of those data protection vendors that have abandoned Micro Focus Open Enterprise Server (OES). 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 the upcoming Micro Focus OES 2023 release. 

Unitrends and Micro Focus OES 

For decades, Novell and more recently Micro Focus OES customers have relied on Unitrends for backup and recovery of their OES data. 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 backups. 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 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 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 Make a Change 

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 backup and recovery for all aspects of the Micro Focus OES environment. 

Regarding ransomware protection, if your 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

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

Show Your Appreciation to All SysAdmins Today and Everyday

Great work to all the System Administrators in the world! These hard working, dedicated men and women play a huge role in all our lives. From our desks to our home offices, they are the backbone of the technology that integrates into our daily routines. They jump in when needed and often necessary, will work 24-hour days and thru the weekend to troubleshoot outages, increase capacity, fight ransomware, or answer questions from us. One of their major responsibilities is to make sure they have a data protection insurance policy if data is lost, a final backstop to protect our business data, our system configurations, and our corporate histories.

We’d like to take the time now to show our appreciation to all System Administrators, from our team to yours!

For Catalogic Software, we would like to thank our IT Manager, Dawuan Myers, for continuous help on all ends of our business. Please check out Dawuan’s Q&A and learn from his experiences:

 

Dawuan Myers – Q&A

  1. What keeps you up at night?
    Not what many will say. Being part of a backup company where I know I have robust recovery processes and products allows me to sleep pretty well at night.

    These days, my nightmares often have to do with waking up to a $100k cloud bill from a runaway workload or a code change deployment. It has happened once before and hopefully never again!

  2. What do you see as the biggest emerging threat?
    People taking advantage of your weaknesses is a profession. Recent Ransomware and cybersecurity trends are maddening, and it’s hard to fathom that there is an industry built to make your life miserable. The thought of going through a major attack over a long weekend when I am looking forward to spending time with family is just sickening to me.
  3. What would be your advice to management to make a sysadmin’s job easier?
    Our management team has been great and incredibly supportive. They allow us to keep our systems up to date with patches which helps us fight any known cyber threats before reaching our network. If I had to give any advice; it would be to continue to be supportive and patch your systems.
  4. What would be your request to your users that would make your job easier?
    Be safe and continue to communicate.

    With all that is going on with malware and ransomware threats, I always advise our users to take a safe approach and communicate anything that looks suspicious. Being proactive is always better than being reactive.

  5. What would you want to do more of? Or learn more of?

    The Linux OS is something I would like to continue to learn more about. Coming into Catalogic Software 7 years ago with a Windows OS background, I needed to learn Linux OS and commands quickly. We do have a mixed environment, however a lot of what we do is based around Linux. I would like to take the next step up from being an Intermediate Linux administrator.

  6. We know you just got promoted to be an IT Manager. Congratulations! What are you most looking forward to, in your new role?
    Thanks! I look forward to continuing to improve our network and help support and manage the cloud infrastructure costs for CloudCasa, our new cloud native, Kubernetes backup-as-a-service.

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07/30/2021 0 Comments

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