Data immutability: how to protect backups with QNAP NAS

The concept of immutability of the data refers to a modern approach that looks at protecting corporate information. The approach in question ensures that the data, once written to a storage medium, cannot be modified or deleted. The saved information becomes “immutable” and does not undergo any changes over time.

This type of solution is of crucial importance for the purposes of data protection. Think about the professional or company they create on a regular basis data backup: This type of activity is completely useless if the backups are not adequately protected. If a malware, a ransomware, an attacker or an unfaithful employee have the possibility of accessing the system that hosts the backup copies and tampering with them, the company’s business can suffer serious damage. So much so that i workflows and the company’s operational activities may be directly affected.

The use of a NAS which supports data immutability solutions, for example through features such as WORM (Write Once, Read Many), creating snapshots, backing up information off-site in secure locations, it can help protect data from unauthorized changes and ensure its integrity over time.

The QNAP Webinar in Europen scheduled for September 28, 2023 is focused precisely on these aspects: the online event is free and is open to all, upon registration.

Storage professionals with QNAP

This article continues with the events dedicated to those who wish to benefit from useful advice for renewing their home corporate infrastructure choosing the right mix of hardware devices, software solutions and technologies. All in order to make the workflows that require the management of company and customer data efficient, reliable and safe.

The entire editorial project developed in collaboration with QNAP is focused onimportance of the data and on the activities that must be implemented to preserve its value. The videos that we offer as a corollary to each article are “pills” that in about 5 minutes describe the main needs of professionals and SMEs in the field of data management suggesting the best strategies to face today’s challenges and become “Storage professionals with QNAP“.

The goal is to help professionals and companies promote digital transition increasing the productivity and competitiveness of the company.

QNAP QuTS hero: maximum reliability on data integrity and protection

To address the issue of data immutability, which is increasingly critical today, we examine the QuTS hero operating system that QNAP pre-installs on the highest-end NAS. QTS hero ensures a wide range of professional applications, completely free for those who purchase the QNAP NAS, which help guarantee maximum reliability in terms of data integrity and protection. We have dedicated another article to the best new features introduced in QuTS hero.

Activation of WORM technology

The WORM technology It is a key feature in QNAP QuTS hero NAS and is essential in all those environments where data must remain immutable for specific periods of time for security reasons as well as for legal, regulatory or compliance purposes. By activating WORM, the data can be written only once on the storage medium while they can be read an indefinite number of times.

Contracts, financial reports, emails, employee information, photos and other important documents they must not be modified once archived. In some professional fields it is necessary to analyze enormously amount of data recording and monitoring huge volumes of information in real time. WORM technology is ideal for protecting these data sets, so that they cannot be overwritten and represent a certain point of reference for the future.

To create a shared folder protected with WORM technology, just select Shared folders from QuTS hero then check the box WORM in the wizard.

WORM data immutability with QNAP

The WORM functionality setting screen allows you to specify the Postpone block i.e. the amount of time that must pass before the files saved in the folder become “read-only”.

The fields to the right of storageinstead, allow you to indicate the retention period of the contents of the folder. Upon expiration of the specified period, the restrictions of WORM folder they become removable.

SnapSync and RealTime SnapSync: Synchronize snapshots and backup copy to remote devices

SnapSync It is another key feature of QNAP QuTS hero NAS. It is a technology of advanced synchronization which allows you to create copies of snapshots (a sort of photograph of the state of the storage system that captures all the files and folders present on the device at a certain moment) and upload them to a second NAS.

This is a particularly useful solution for creating backup offsite (do you remember what 3-2-1 backup involves?) and guarantee data resilience in the event of failures or accidents. A feature like SnapSync allows you to keep your data in one place according to NAS ensuring that they are consistent with what is contained in the main NAS.

The SnapSync feature backs up blocks of data via snapshot, an agile and lightweight method that saves bandwidth and therefore facilitates the management of backups on remote locations. Carrying out a incremental replicationthe same data is never sent twice, and SnapSync restore times are faster than other solutions because the restore process only requires using a full backup and the latest differential backup.

RealTime SnapSync is an extension of SnapSync that offers an even higher level of data protection. This feature allows real-time synchronization of data between the main NAS and the remote NAS by taking advantage of the intrinsic characteristics of the file system ZFS. Any changes made to the data on the primary NAS are immediately replicated to the remote NAS, ensuring consistency data consistency in real time. In other words, the primary and secondary NAS always remain constantly synchronized.

How to create a RealTime SnapSync job

Configuring a real-time synchronization process with SnapSync is achieved by accessing the section Archiviazione e snapshot, Backup snapshot, SnapSync. After enabling the SnapSync serviceyou can click the button Create a SnapSync job.

At this point you have to choose Sync to remoteselect the storage source pool then the remote NAS to which the data will be automatically transferred.

RealTime SnapSync with QuTS hero

By selecting In real timeonce the connection with the second NAS is established, you can select the storage target pool specifying the same folder name as the shared directory on the first NAS. A confirmation message indicates that the target NAS consists of one or more storage pools with sufficient space to manage real-time synchronization.

RealTime SnapSync: configurazione storage pool

The QNAP system constantly monitors the latency value in milliseconds, which is essential when transferring data in real time from one storage system to another. If the latency of the SnapSync process exceeds threshold 6 times in a minute, the system generates a warning notification.

Although SnapSync is capable of replicate a shared folder from the source NAS to the destination NAS, it cannot duplicate the user permissions associated with the shared folder. This is true even if both the source and destination NAS devices belong to the same domain. It is therefore necessary to take action to configure same users e permissions in the case of shared folders on the two NAS.

Immutable backup with QNAP QuObjects from Veeam

I backup S3 (Simple Storage Service) involve the creation of backup copies from local servers and workstations to the Amazon S3 cloud platform. One of the most interesting aspects is that the platform underlying S3 is open: this has favored the birth of services developed by third parties which are, in turn, S3-compatible.

QNAP QuObjects

With the free QNAP QuObjects application, which can be installed on both QTS and QuTS hero operating systems, you can configurare un repository S3 for immutable backup. QuObjects in fact, it allows you to remotely access and manage shared folders, subfolders and files on the NAS. The application offers a dashboard dynamic for monitoring various statistics, including data transfer and counting API calls as they are made. You can set up QuObjects as a service on standalone servers or…


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