SAP HANA Backup: Is Your Business Adequately Protected?

SAP HANA backup

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SAP HANA Backup: Is Your Business Adequately Protected?

SAP HANA backup

Will Your SAP HANA Backup Actually Protect You in a Disaster?

Your SAP HANA system just went down. What’s your first thought?

If you’re like many system administrators, you’re thinking, “It’s no big deal. We have a great SAP HANA backup solution in place. It will take some work, but we should have all our data restored in minutes.”

Yes, your backup software probably makes it easy to bring all your data back, exactly the way it was just minutes before the crash. But as important as data is to your business, it may be the least important consideration in the disaster recovery picture.

Most SAP HANA backup software can’t and won’t enable your business users to get fully back up and running within a timeframe that’s acceptable to your business. Here’s why.

What it Really Takes to Restore SAP HANA

Restoring your data is easy enough, whether you install a new box or simply swap out the hard drive on the down box. It’s what comes next that exposes the shortcomings of the typical SAP HANA backup solution.

We’ve all seen that dreaded error message at some point:

“No Operating System Installed.”

 

You can’t restore your data until you reinstall SUSE Linux. And you can’t do that without reinstalling not just the original OS from DVDs, but also the litany of security patches and updates you’ve installed over the past couple of years.

This isn’t challenging work for you, of course. But it’s time consuming. And every minute your business stays down will cost you money. How much money? That depends on your line of business—but most estimates start at several thousand dollars per minute.

The main problem in this scenario is that your SAP HANA backup software didn’t back up your OS—it only backed up your data.

This, of course, is why many sysadmins run high-availability (HA) systems that automatically fail over to a mirrored SAP HANA server in another location. HA systems do have a lot of advantages. But they also have a critical shortcoming—and we’re not just talking about the high cost.

Why High-Availability Isn’t a Foolproof Solution

The advantage of HA systems is that they’ll replicate everything on your IBM Power System server. It’s like SAP HANA backup on steroids.

That advantage is also a disadvantage. HA systems will replicate everything on your IBM Power System server. Even malware.

Cyber crime is on the rise. Criminals want your business data—even if your organization isn’t Fortune 500. They have an increasingly sophisticated array of techniques for attacking your network and evading detection. If their malicious code gets onto your main SAP HANA server, and that server is automatically replicated onto other servers….well, we don’t need to tell you the rest.

One cyber attack can easily knock out your entire HA system. But fortunately, there’s a practical, cost-effective solution for SAP HANA disaster recovery.

How to Get True SAP HANA Disaster Recovery

As you seek to protect your business from extended downtime, you’re thinking hard about balancing your recovery time objective (RTO) against your budget. Sure, every sysadmin would love to have a solution that ensures everything will be back up and running within seconds—but not every sys admin has the budget of a high-profile stock trading website. A more sensible solution is to pursue a bare-metal recovery solution.

With a bare-metal solution that backs up your entire system, you can get more than just SAP HANA backup—you’ll get true SAP HANA disaster recovery. And you’ll probably be surprised at how much bang it delivers for your buck.

Get the full story by downloading our free white paper, Why Your SAP HANA Backup System Isn’t a Disaster Recovery Solution—and What to Do About It.

Drovorub Linux Malware: A serious rootkit threat to Linux servers

rootkit attack

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Drovorub Linux Malware: A serious rootkit threat to Linux servers

rootkit attack

You’ve probably read about the SolarWinds hack. It’s been all over the news the past couple weeks. The same group suspected of that hack is also behind a new rootkit called Drovorub. This attack specifically targets the Linux kernel versions 3.7 or lower due to a lack of adequate kernel signing enforcement. This would include a lot of Red Hat and SUSE Linux Enterprise servers currently in production environments.

How serious a threat is the Drovorub rootkit attack? It’s bad enough to compel the NSA and FBI to issue a joint security advisory.

If your Linux servers were to suffer this kind of attack, could you ever get back to where you were before it happened? Before you answer, consider that when you suffer that magnitude of attack, you’ll be doing more than just scanning files to see which ones have been corrupted. Your entire operating system will no longer be trustworthy because these serious hackers who have set their sights on Linux systems are using a rootkit to get the data they crave.

What is a rootkit? A rootkit will enable a hacker to gain unauthorized access to some part of your hardware or software. And once rootkits are in your network, they have various means of evading detection.

Some cyber security companies claim they can remove a rootkit, but in most cases the only remedy is to re-install the operating system. In extreme cases, when there’s a rootkit in your firmware, you’ll need to replace your hardware, too.

Why Rootkit Attacks Are So Hard to Fight

Your malware detection program may be top-notch. But even if it manages to identify and remove a rootkit, you’ll have a very hard time determining which other files were affected by it. For one thing, rootkits can simply prevent you from seeing all the contents of a directory. Other malicious files can then hide in plain view.

For another thing, rootkits can also change the dates of files to make them look older. As you’re cleaning up after a malware attack, you may simply decide to delete all files that were edited after the exact time of the attack. But rootkits can roll back the dates of your files to make them look as if they were untouched by the attack.

And remember, even the tools you’re using to detect rootkit attacks can be compromised by the very code they were designed to detect. We’re not talking about simple viruses here. We’re dealing with some of the most serious threats to Linux and Unix systems.

Two Safe Ways to Respond to a Rootkit Attack

As you can see, it’s virtually impossible to respond to a rootkit attack by removing the malware and all the files it affected. If you take that approach, you’ll likely discover that more and more of your files continue to get infected over time by installers that your detection tools can’t even see. Keep in mind that malware can even settle in at the kernel level, making your operating system unusable from that point on.

The only safe way forward is to start over on a clean system. To get there, you have two options. You could reinstall your operating system. This approach will also require you to reinstall all of your patches and updates, and to reapply all of your configurations. You’ll be in for many hours of work, and you may never get everything back to the satisfaction of your end users.

Your second option is to roll back to your last known good backup before the attack. If you’ve pinpointed the time of the attack, this should be no problem. But keep in mind that the all-too-common approach of backing up only applications and data isn’t enough. If your backups don’t include your operating system, they will be far too risky to rely on after a rootkit attack.

If you do back up your entire operating system, you’ll even have a reliable solution in the event of ransomware attacks. During these devastating attacks, cyber criminals encrypt your files and demand payment to unencrypt them. But if you can roll back your entire OS to before the attack, you’ll escape without paying a dime.

At Storix, we specialize in helping companies set up backups that empower them to restore their production Linux servers (including the operating system) after even the worst malware attack. We would love to provide you with a proof of concept for Storix SBAdmin. To get started, call us today at (877) 786-7491.

Storix® System Backup Administrator announces support for Linux distributions optimized for IBM POWER8

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Storix® System Backup Administrator announces support for Linux distributions optimized for IBM POWER8

San Diego – September 23, 2015– Storix, Inc., providers of disaster recovery solutions for Linux and Unix systems, today announced the general availability of System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin) version 8.2.4.0, which includes support for little endian configurations of Linux distributions optimized for IBM Power 8 processors.

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Storix® System Backup Administrator Announces Support for SUSE Linux Enterprise 12

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Storix® System Backup Administrator Announces Support for SUSE Linux Enterprise 12

San Diego – February 26, 2015 – Storix, Inc., providers of disaster recovery solutions for Linux and Unix systems, today announced the general availability of System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin) version 8.2.2.0, which includes support for the latest release of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 12.

“From an operating system perspective, SUSE has been working very hard to advance their solutions beyond other Linux vendors.”, stated Rich Turner, SBAdmin Product Manager.

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Linus Names Next Linux Release

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Linus Names Next Linux Release

Here is a comical article from The Register discussing Linus Tovalds decision to name the next major release of the Linux kernel. Linus deceided to ask the community for input regarding the naming. We are not sure if this is an example of disfunctional democracy or improper polling techniques.

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Linux “Ghost” Vulnerability

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Linux “Ghost” Vulnerability

In case you are not already aware, there has been a Linux vulnerability discovered commonly known as “GHOST” which is a ‘buffer overflow’ bug affecting the gethostbyname() and gethostbyname2() function calls in the glibc library. Remote attackers can use this flaw to execute arbitrary code with the permissions of the user running the application. It could also perform an out-of-bounds array access, causing the process to crash and in some scenarios, this could allow a remote attacker to cause a persistent denial of servers.

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Sony Pictures’ ‘wipeout’

alt

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Sony Pictures’ ‘wipeout’

alt
Last week Sony Pictures announced that they had been hit by a particularly nasty hacker attack¹, which among other things, stole payroll information, wiped computers clean, and taunted staff with a picture of a skull and a scrolling banner attributing responsibility. This comes in the wake of an attack on Sony’s Computer Entertainment subdivision in 2011 that left their entire online gaming infrastructure unreachable for 6 weeks and cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars.

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The One Backup Mistake that Can Shut You Down

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The One Backup Mistake that Can Shut You Down

Organizations, even ones who consider themselves to have solid backup and recovery plans, often make one critical mistake that can render all of their careful planning moot – they fail to back up their infrastructure.

Most companies are good at backing up critical data. Fewer are good at doing full system backups so they can perform a bare metal recovery instead of spending hours/days reinstalling and patching an OS. Only a handful are backing up infrastructure data like that held on routers and switches. If your company has a disaster this could be a real problem.

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Business Continuity Concepts – Part 1: planning

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Business Continuity Concepts – Part 1: planning

Learn the Language

When planning for Disaster Recovery*, there are 3 major concerns that need to be addressed: Maximum Tolerable Downtime, Recovery Time Objective, and Recovery Point Objective. Usually these areas need to be discussed by all major stakeholders rather than being unilaterally decided upon by a single person such as a CIO or IT director. Having input from the finance department as well as the CEO and other high level directors is crucial for proper planning.

A disaster, in this discussion, is defined as any event that significantly impedes the normal carrying-on of business. It could be something non-dramatic such as the phone system going down or something as serious as a tornado that wipes out the entire building.

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