Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) Innovation of the Year
Nexus Cloud Connect
Nexus identified that, in both technical and commercial respects, the backup and disaster recovery managed service marketplace did not currently offer customers completeness of service and simple, predictable pricing. Having reviewed competitor offers, Nexus began a process to build, from the ground up, a solution that would not just leverage the latest technology but innovate by providing no-compromise, enterprise-level functionality for smaller organisations, giving best-practice but at much keener price points. Working closely with a market-leading vendor, Nexus developed, tested and refined the offering, and the end result was Nexus Cloud Connect (NCC).
NCC is the umbrella term for the Nexus portfolio of backup, business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) offerings. Nexus Cloud Connect offers customers, large and small, a managed backup and continuity solution, aligned with managed services consumption models.
Nexus Cloud Connect: Backup (NCC: B)
At the entry tier NCC: B offers customers the ability to protect any supported Windows or Linux machine, physical or virtual, by creating a storage-efficient and encrypted copy within the Nexus resilient private cloud. Customers can perform granular file-level recovery and integrate into most common Microsoft products such as Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server. Customers are simply billed for a storage quota and can archive data indefinitely within their agreed storage limit.
Protect against threats, even from the inside – NCC: B protects against both malicious and insider threats by the inclusion of a cloud-based recycle bin. In the event that production data and all backups are deleted, NCC: B has a built-in retention period enabling recovery even after deletion. As no users within the customer environment have access to the underlying cloud storage, they can’t tamper with the cloud copy, ensuring business continuity, without archaic reliance on tape libraries or rotated USB drives.
Nexus Cloud Connect: Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery (NCC: BC&DR)
To meet aggressive Recovery Time Objectives (RTO), NCC: BC&DR enables customers to replicate any number of virtual servers to the Nexus private cloud and have them on ‘hot standby’ for immediate execution of workloads. NCC: BC&DR includes all the backup features of NCC: B as well.
Fixed cost, not consumption driven - One of the unique selling points of this product offering is the consumption model. Most competitors that offer the ability to run private cloud workloads charge based on multiple metrics, e.g. CPU & RAM consumed, bandwidth and storage. With NCC: BC&DR, you only pay for storage.
Speed without the fines - Most competitors charge dependent on the speed of the storage (Solid State Drives (SSD) or Hard Disk Drives (HDD)), forcing customers into a pained conversation of spending significant money on mainly idle storage or risking a poor-performing disaster recovery. NCC: BC&DR gives the best of both worlds, with a hybrid approach through the implementation of SSD across the storage tier as cache. In the event that a customer requires invoke a disaster recovery scenario, the workload is promoted automatically into SSD, delivering an amazing, and in some cases superior, performance to their usual working environment, without the price tag.
Hybrid approach to uptime - Sometimes an outage for a customer can be a single server or application. Most cloud providers have ways of enabling a ‘stretched network’ (making the cloud appear as part of your own network), but mainly they rely on manual network intervention and configuration. NCC: BC&DR has a different approach. By creating and maintaining its own connection to the cloud, it enables a zero-configuration approach to partial failover, so customers no longer need to worry about port and DNS reconfiguration or manual intervention to swiftly recover from an outage.
The private cloud advantage - Running our customers’ on-premise workloads within public cloud solutions such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) normally means testing and validation of products, with some vendors simply refusing to support deployment within a public cloud environment. By running customer workloads on native VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V product families, Nexus can ensure that production workloads remain in a supported configuration during disaster, meaning less worry for the customer.
Nexus Cloud Connect: Office 365 (NCC: O365)
Customer workloads are increasingly migrating to the cloud, with productivity suites such as Microsoft Office 365 leading the way. Microsoft have focused efforts into ensuring that Office 365 as a service remains available, but this doesn’t match the level of availability that customers expect of their data.
Policy, not best effort - Microsoft offer Office 365 data recoverability as a best effort, not with a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Microsoft offer data retention mechanisms, but these are optional and can be disabled, either accidentally or maliciously. NCC: O365 ensures that an organisation-wide retention policy is defined and adhered to, delivering peace of mind and the resiliency of cloud-to-cloud backup.
Protected everywhere, restored anywhere - Customer environments aren’t all categorised into on-premise or cloud, many are hybrid users too, or on a transformation from one platform to another. By leveraging NCC: O365 alongside NCC: B or NCC: BC&DR, it is possible to protect both cloud and on-premise worlds with a single vendor. NCC: O365 facilitates these hybrid and transformational customers by enabling workloads such as restoration from SharePoint Online or Exchange Online to their on-premise variants, natively within the same tool.
How is Nexus Cloud Connect changing the industry?
Nexus Cloud Connect delivers organisations, who had previously deemed the cloud too complex or cost-prohibitive, the ability to use a fully-featured and competent private cloud solution to safeguard their business. Our NCC products address two key customer pain points; these are:
Cost - The cloud is a great fit for operating expense (OPEX) orientated users, but the hidden costs soon turn the experience sour. Charges for CPU, RAM, bandwidth and storage performance tiers all eat into the cost savings. This can create very expensive bills when disaster scenarios occur. NCC: BC&DR completely changes this, focusing on a single measurement of consumption: storage. Customers pay no extra for invoking a DR event and running their environment within NCC. When they do this, they’ll be utilising rapid SSD-backed caches to accelerate their environments, without an increase in expense, ensuring a great customer experience that can even surpass their live environment’s performance.
Service - Enhancing the product offering is the included engineer time and best-practice management of the NCC solution, which assures customers of success in the use of the service. Certified Nexus engineers carry out the initial onboarding. Remediation requirements ensure best-practice, and on-going engineer time supports test runs and manages recovery procedures.
As part of the onboarding process for NCC: BC&DR, Nexus completes a detailed review of the desired disaster recovery requirements for the customer. The requirements are then assessed to provide a performance forecast to make sure the customer’s systems would work as expected during an outage, as well as other requirements the customer may not have considered. Ground work is carried out to ensure that when the worst happens, the customer is prepared and has a plan ready to execute.