Backup has been evolving steadily for over 60 years. And
just when we think we’ve solved every problem, new technology comes along to
present us with new challenges.
Tape was first developed in the 1950s to solve the storage
problems of punch-card systems. This new technology provided a convenient and
robust way to store large amounts of data very densely. And this technology has
been improving ever since.
The problem with tape, however, is that it could only access
data in a linear fashion. This made the process of reading and writing data
very slow. Disk storage was created to solve this problem. Now, computers could
get “random access” to their data at lightning-fast speeds.
However, disk was much more expensive... and its storage was
also more volatile & vulnerable to data loss. Even with technological
advances such as RAID, disk drives still aren’t as practical as tape when it
comes to many storage tasks.
So the great debate began. Should IT administrators choose
the cost-savings and durability of tape or the speed and convenience of disk? The
answer came in for form of Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape technology, or D2D2T.
Now, IT administrators could:
Keep a disk-based backup on-site for fast
recovery in an emergency
Take inactive or older data off of expensive
production equipment and move it to archival tape
Create off-site copies of daily backups in case
of a major disaster
This worked fine for a while. But just as technology
changes, so did the challenges faced by IT administrators.
Companies are now requiring 24/7 uptime for
their critical business systems. And restore times must be kept to a minimum.
Data storage requirements are growing very fast.
In some cases as much as 30%-50% per year.
New laws and regulations are requiring
administrators to store data for longer periods of time.
IT budgets are shrinking due to economic
pressures to keep operating costs down. This means IT departments need to do
more work without hiring new staff.
Of these, maintaining uptime in a cost-effective manner was
probably the biggest challenge.
Larger enterprises could afford to set up mirrored emergency
failover facilities or set up virtualized environments that operate critical
systems resiliently across many locations. But these were all too expensive for
In order to minimize downtime in a cost-effective manner,
companies would have to keep local hard drive backups in such a way that
critical systems can be brought back online within minutes.
The next major challenge is how manage with rapidly growing
data without significantly increasing IT spending or increasing the amount of
IT time devoted to maintenance. In order to minimize off-site storage and
archiving costs, the solution would need to be completely automated while also
reducing/eliminating the need for hardware.
This is where the cloud can help.
Online backup is already very popular with consumers and
smaller business users. It’s completely automated, and there is no hardware to
manage. You just set it and forget it. It’s also a very stable, secure,
long-term storage method for older or inactive data.
But recovery speeds were always limited by bandwidth. This
made it unsuitable for companies with high uptime requirements. When downtime
is costing you thousands per hour, you can’t wait for a download. You need to
take the servers live NOW!
The next generation for small business backup software is “Disk-To-Disk-To-Cloud”
With D2D2C, critical data backups are first stored on local
disk drives so they can be quickly accessed in an emergency. Then, a copy of
your backup is transferred to an off-site storage facility for disaster
recovery purposes. This is a fully-scalable solution that reduces the workload
on your IT staff while eliminating many of the maintenance, software and
hardware costs associated with tape.
For smaller companies looking to maintain fast recovery times
while simplifying the management of rapidly growing data storage, D2D2T offers
a lot of convenience and cost-savings benefits.
About The Author:
Storagepipe is an online data
protection company that offers D2D2C solutions.
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