The Benefits of an Air-Gap Server


Most people have no idea what an air-gap server is and why it even matters. When it comes to cybercrime, businesses need to take proactive steps to protect their businesses and customers. By 2021, experts are forecasting that cybercrime will cost businesses more than $6 trillion. This staggering revelation is pushing companies to find solutions to address these risks.

Air-Gap Servers

The concept of air-gap technology was developed originally as a way to protect the government’s top-secret networks. With the rise in cybercrime, this type of technology moved its way into the mainstream arena. The concept of an air-gap server is straightforward and simple. If a company has data that cannot be accessed from outside sources, there’s no way it can be corrupted or infected.

Concerning IT, a duplicate copy of data is stored in secondary storage systems that are kept offline. There’s no connection to interoffice networks or public networks. As long as the air-gap is maintained, all data will be protected from any attacks. Businesses often rely on air-gap data copies as their last resort.

Data contained in air-gap servers are only used as backups and for recovery if a disaster happens. In the case of a massive attack on the mainframe system, air-gap systems can enable companies to implement the rapid recovery of their data. Many vendors of air-gap technology convince customers to buy more hardware than they need. Businesses need to stick with traditional air-gap strategies.

Using an air-gap server strategy comes with its own unique set of challenges. Even though the main benefit of the solution is having data offline in a safe place, the data cannot be updated easily when changes take place. To address this issue, most air-gap server solutions include a concept allowing a temporary connection to a network for updates only.

Common Air-Gap Server Solutions For Updates Include:

Array-Based Air-Gap

This type of air-gap server includes purchasing two separate disk arrays and configuring each to replicate the other. The replication process will be scheduled to run at a specific time and the network connection between both systems will only be open during that time frame. Outside of the window of the scheduled time, the air-gap array will be offline. The benefit of this method is that it allows for faster recoveries.

Backup-Based Air-Gap

With this server solution approach, you will create your backup data and then have it replicated between the first and second backup appliances. Just like with the array-based air-gap solution, the network will only be open during the specified time. Recovery time using this solution often takes much longer than the array-based solution.

Object Storage-Based Air-Gap

When this strategy is implemented, businesses will rely on the object storage to create replications for the air-gap. As with the other solutions, the network will only be available during specified periods. Using this approach benefits businesses because it is affordable and offers scalability of the object storage features. The challenge, however, is that the type of recovery this solution offers will be lengthy.

No matter which solution a business chooses to implement, an air-gap server is necessary to protect sensitive information and lower the risk of cybercrime attacks. There are many ways to get air-gap delivered, and companies should weigh the benefits and disadvantages of each before making their choice on a server.