How Immutable Network-Attached Storage Delivers Ransomware Protection

MAY 10TH, 2022

April 29th marked the first anniversary of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack that led to gas shortages and long lines at the pumps up and down the East Coast. While the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) continually improves its support for critical infrastructure owners—like Colonial—the agency also offers tools to help everyone fight back against ransomware, including its Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET).

While you should do everything you can to prevent ransomware from getting in—including using these and other available tools and technologies—there’s one specific weapon you can add to your ransomware ramparts that can make all the difference: immutable network-attached storage (NAS) for your unstructured data and backups.

Non-traditional NAS: Scale-Out Storage That Delivers Flexibility

OneXafe's scale-out architecture provides a highly scalable, plug-and-play disk-based backup target for your virtual and physical server environments, delivering scalability for your ever-growing backup data with minimal configuration required for storage management tasks.

Unlike traditional NAS, Arcserve OneXafe uses an object-based store that gives you a seamless pool of available capacity through a single namespace. OneXafe lets you seamlessly add storage—one drive at a time or multiple nodes in a cluster—as your organization grows. That dynamic scalability contains your storage costs because you don’t have to allocate wasted storage capacity to meet potential usage spikes, as with inflexible scale-up storage.

Built-in enterprise-grade features further reduce your storage requirements. Those include deep data reduction, combining inline variable and fixed-length deduplication with inline compression, and dedupe ratios of up to 20:1 that can decrease your storage requirements by up to 95 percent. OneXafe also offers customized data reduction based on application type. For example, an inline variable-length dedupe algorithm—compared to a fixed-length algorithm—is a better fit for backup copies. A single OneXafe cluster backup share can use variable-length dedupe, while a primary store can use fixed-length dedupe for data reduction.

Why an Immutable Object Store Matters

We frequently refer to the 3-2-1-1 backup strategy in our posts because it gives you an absolute last line of defense against ransomware—the last “1” in 3-2-1-1 stands for immutable storage. OneXafe is a native immutable store for your unstructured data and backup copies, providing you with a logical air gap so you can retrieve an unaltered copy of your data even if ransomware makes its way into your organization.

This logical air gapping aptly puts the last ‘1’ in the ‘3-2-1-1’ strategy in place, giving you object-level and snapshot-level immutability and snapshot granularity as low as 90 seconds. Add in OneXafe’s point-in-time recovery, and you can bring back an entire file system within minutes.

The Perfect Backup Target

OneXafe makes an excellent backup target for data protection solutions like Arcserve UDP. OneXafe’s native immutability ensures that you always have a ‘golden’ copy of your backup that is available for restore. And OneXafe’s WAN-optimized replication lets you store secondary or tertiary backup copies offsite for added security.

OneXafe meets the performance and manageability requirements of unstructured data, so you can seamlessly create NFS or SMB shares to meet various accessibility requirements via commonly used protocols. OneXafe’s storage architecture frees up virtual server resources, including expensive virtual storage infrastructure, so that you can use these resources elsewhere. OneXafe also helps eliminate NAS silos by consolidating storage and offering scale-out storage for expanding environments with extended capabilities to support disaster recovery (DR) use cases.

One Appliance Does It All

Arcserve OneXafe gives you a single solution that you can deploy across many use cases, so you don’t need multiple point products anymore. To dig deeper into the benefits OneXafe can bring to your organization, talk to an expert Arcserve technology partner or contact us for more product information or check out our on-demand OneXafe demo.

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