Guest Column | June 9, 2014

A Holistic Approach To Backup And Data Availability

Managed Services, Backup and Recovery, And Networking News From September 2014

By Sheldon D’Paiva, Product and Solutions Marketing, Nimble Storage

Storage silos have long ruled the traditional datacenter.  Businesses have been purchasing separate primary and secondary storage systems — and for good reason. The end users of business critical applications such as email and databases demand the performance that primary storage systems deliver. When backing up those applications, however, the backup data does not need to be accessed in real time, and the decision point often shifts back to cost, at which secondary storage systems excel. But there is an unrelenting tide eroding those dividing walls between silos. Nimble Storage recently conducted a survey on data protection with 1,600 participants, which found the majority of enterprises believe they cannot afford to lose more than six-hours-worth of data (recovery point objective, or RPO), and that they must be able to recover protected data in less than six hours (recovery time objective, or RTO).  Using separate primary and secondary storage systems mandates that data be read from the primary system, moved across the network, and then written to the secondary storage system — making six-hour RPOs and RTOs all but impossible. 

Meeting strict data protection requirements at scale requires a different approach — one that doesn’t require the traditional read-move-write methodology that impacts production infrastructure. To meet strict requirements, businesses are increasingly turning to integrated storage systems — that is, storage systems that can serve as primary storage systems, but that also have integrated data protection. This integrated data protection is achieved through the use of very efficient storage snapshots. In fact, Gartner estimates that by 2016, 20 percent of large enterprises will transition from traditional backup and recovery solutions to employ only snapshot and replication techniques, up from 7 percent in 2013 (“Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery Software,” published June5, 2013). And a survey from the Enterprise Strategy Group shows that 55 percent of customers plan to augment their traditional backup with snapshots or replication or both (“Trends in Data Protection Modernization,” published August 16, 2012).  Three key underpinnings — a fault tolerant architecture, modern storage snapshots, and data analytics — can work together to deliver a foundation for both high data availability, as well as an effective data protection platform.

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