The Future of Backups is here

19 Jul

Before the world turned towards consolidation of infrastructures, and IT was still considered a necessary business expense instead of the revenue generating department it is today, data was stored on dumb disc with zero optimization connected to its’ host server.  Then, as storage demands grew, technologists became smarter and found ways to optimize the way retain our data.  The adoption of the SAN has been universal.  A system specifically built to put provide your data the right tier of storage for the right performance and price while adding in efficiencies and value.

Just as we saw a major shift in storage from DAS and JBODs to SAN’s we are starting to see this major shift in backups from dumb tapes to purpose built backup appliances (PBBA).  PBBAs provide the same benefits to consumers and businesses as the SAN did.  Efficiencies, performance and cost savings.  With backup environments growing to around 20X the size of a company’s primary data storage and often exceeding business SLAs, it is no wonder IT managers are looking for new ways to manage their backup environments more efficiently.

In a 2011 IDC Market Analysis it was found that the PBBA market grew by over 43% y/y with a total market of $4.3 billion.  Additionally, analysts were all in agreement that they expected to see this amount of growth over the next couple of years as customers continue to take advantage of these feature sets, specifically, the ability to manage businesses SLAs for backups more effectively and to reduce the overall costs and footprints of their backup environment.

There are a couple of key features that PBBAs are taking advantage of to outshine JBODs and tape:

  1. Smaller Footprint and Cost.  By taking advantage of inline de-duplication customers can reduce their overall backup footprint by as much as 30:1 resulting in much fewer hard drives/tapes being cut, and inline means the deduplication occurs before it ever hits the backend so the data doesn’t need the original larger footprint.
  2. Reduced backup windows.  Just by migrating backups from tapes to discs the average backup window can be cut from days (think your full over a weekend) to hours, and when de-duplication can me moved to the server layer every full now looks like an incremental.  Therefore, many customers are now able to take a full backup every night. 
  3. Reduced Recovery windows.  As businesses are now able to backup full’s every night, recoveries occur from a single batch job.
  4. Increased data integrity.  Tapes are known to fail 20% of the time, migrating to disc reduces risks around physical corruption.  Additionally, many PBBAs have built in integrity algorithms insuring the data being backed up isn’t already corrupted so that when you do need to recover, you know the data is good.

As primary data continues to grow at staggering paces, it is no wonder the industry is creating ways to manage growing backup environments more efficiently.

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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


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