We’ve seen how new technology innovations have transformed almost everything in the business realm. They have certainly played a vital role in protecting the rapid growth of data, such as in the emerging backup technology field.
The Proliferation of Backup Technologies
The classic approach to keeping things simple – deploying only one data backup solution across an IT environment – no longer holds true. Companies today are often deploying new backup technologies such as Veeam and Actifio in addition to their existing backup software platforms such as Netbackup and TSM. The reasons are clear; the new backup technologies:
- are easier to operate
- have quicker restore times (think one click restores vs. progressive incremental restores)
- are less expensive (lower total cost of ownership, or TCO)
Plus, newer backup technologies allow for different capabilities beyond data protection. They can include business continuity disaster recovery, data archive, development/test, and additional production data uses such as business intelligence – all without impacting performance of the production applications.
What about Legacy Backup Systems?
Some people might hesitate about adopting new backup technologies, equating new technology with being too complicated. Sometimes that’s true. But when it comes to backup technologies, legacy backup systems are the ones that tend to be more complicated and cumbersome to use.
For instance, companies are finding that the legacy systems just aren’t working with the new virtualized platforms, especially as the number of servers has increased. In the old days, there might have been five physical servers requiring backup. Now there might be 500 virtual servers, with software that has to be added to every one of those virtual incidents. This can be done at the host level with new backup technologies, taking away a lot of the complexity we once saw with legacy systems.
This isn’t to say that legacy systems don’t have their place in the IT department. Companies that already have an investment in a legacy system may not want to move older but vital data to a new system. Also, the newer technologies only work in a virtualized environment. If the company’s network isn’t totally virtual, then there has to be a plan in place to protect data that is not generated in a virtual environment.
A Helpful Analogy for Understanding Backup Technologies
If you are still on the fence over whether or not to move from legacy backup technologies to the new, virtualized technologies, I like to use this analogy: think of your backup system as a kitchen that needs to be remodeled. In one type of remodeling project, you replace the appliances and cupboards and maybe lay down new flooring. The kitchen looks very different, but the functionality is exactly the same, and any of the old frustrations (like a lack of cooking prep space or no room for a table) go unaddressed. That’s your legacy backup system.
The other type of remodeling project is a gut renovation. Not only do you add new appliances and furnishings, but you redesign the entire space to work better for your needs. That’s what I think these new backup technologies have done. They provide a totally different and better way to approach backup protection, with the added benefit of using the same technology for a lot of other things.
If you need to justify the spending, you can use the backup technology to, say, help with archiving. It stretches the dollars out and makes better use of the budget.
What IT department doesn’t want to do more with less? With the new backup technologies, that’s what you can do: spend less money and get as good or better feature function performance. For those who are familiar with virtual platforms, there isn’t that much of a learning curve to move to the newer technology, either. So if you want to keep it simple, check out the new backup technologies. They are a simple yet effective way to keep your data safe and available when you need it.
Related Business Solution: Managed Database Services