Recovering an immutable snapshot is important after a ransomware attack; Infinidat recently launched a guarantee that claims it can restore a snapshot in less than a minute.
Available to all Infinidat customers, the InfiniSafe Cyber Storage guarantee builds off an existing 100% availability service-level agreement, which other storage vendors offer. What is unique here is that Infinidat is the first storage vendor to guarantee a recovery and restore of an immutable snapshot for primary storage use cases in a certain time. The vendor is also making guarantees around capacity and performance on its InfiniBox primary storage arrays.
Four vendors offer 100% availability. Infinidat is the only storage vendor that offers a fast guarantee on recovery times, according to Eric Burgener, analyst at IDC.
"Customers want fast recovery times, and this is something that many of them absolutely will pay for," Burgener said.
In a recent paper, Burgener looked at the value of different guarantees like the ones Infinidat is now offering and laid out the best course for customers to decide on using them. Guarantees can be meaningful and add value, he said, if customers understand them.
"[The] customers that get the most value out of these programs are the ones that come to understand them the best, so they can work them to their benefit," Burgener wrote.
Primary storage and the need to guarantee
Cyber resiliency is getting more attention as more companies are preparing to deal with ransomware attacks, according to Eric Herzog, chief marketing officer at Infinidat.
Introduced earlier this year, InfiniSafe software added layers of data protection both to the vendor's purpose-built backup appliance, InfiniGuard, and then later to its new all-flash primary storage appliance, InfiniBox SSA II. Infinidat is now adding guarantees into the mix to better protect the data, Herzog said.
Infinidat guarantees the snapshot is immutable and that it can recover and restore a snapshot in less than 60 seconds regardless of the size, whether it is 2 TB or 200 TB, Herzog said. The restore happens after a "clean," or uncompromised, snapshot is found. The time it takes to find the clean copy can vary, he said.
Restoring from a snapshot on primary storage is much faster than from external backup appliances. In terms of recovery and restore, it is all about speed, IDC's Burgener said. While other vendors offer immutable snapshots in primary storage, they don't provide any kind of recovery time objective guarantee.
That's what sets this guarantee apart, according to Burgener. "Recovery times impact overall data availability," he said.
What if ...
Not hitting a guarantee is always a possibility, Burgener said. Infinidat makes the claim around the quick recovery because its infrastructure supports it; having three controllers, as opposed to only two, gives the vendor a lot of internal bandwidth to hit the time frame laid out. Missing the guarantee means not recovering in less than a minute, he said -- not that data was lost.
While pointing out that Infinidat has been able to hit the guarantees thus far, Herzog also said that if the guarantee wasn't met for some reason, the vendor would give the customer some remuneration.
This is the same as other vendors, he added. Each varies in response to the type of attack or what was compromised, but it is some form of "free" services or other options if the time isn't met.
Performance and availability
Infinidat now guarantees a certain performance by working with customers on given workloads for what they need -- IOPS, bandwidth and latency -- and then the vendor will guarantee to hit those numbers. This is more tailor-made for given use cases and workloads, Herzog said, and less general like the other guarantees announced.
Infinidat is one of only four companies that offer a 100% availability guarantee, first announced in 2019. The others are Hitachi Vantara, NetApp and HPE.
Aside from showing Infinidat standing behind its products, these guarantees are a nice thing for customers looking at similar storage devices, Burgener said.
"It may not be the deciding factor between an InfiniBox and an IBM FlashSystem, but it could help tip the balance in Infinidat's favor," he said.