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STORServer: 2013 Predictions for Backup of the Virtual Vapor

VMblog Predictions

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2013.  Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed article by Jarrett Potts, director of strategic marketing for STORServer

STORServer: 2013 Predictions for Backup of the Virtual Vapor

Data is vaporous

Data lives everywhere: phones, laptops, servers and much more. It is created by so many applications-from Twitter and Facebook to email and databases, and the list goes on. It also moves over so many operating systems, hardware types, network types and applications. We used to call it "edge" data and "core" data. Now we call it "structured" and "unstructured" data. 

The fact is that data lives and moves faster than a toddler on chocolate. We all accept that fact. We also accept the fact that data is growing. Are we really still asking how we are going to protect it?

In 2013, you will see a full-fledged shift to virtual backup devices. Not just virtual tape and virtual disk, but virtual backup servers and networks. As the data becomes increasingly virtual, the applications that manage and protect that data will also have to live in that virtual vapor. You will be able to move entire backup schemas from one virtual environment to another. 

That opens the door to some of the really exciting, cutting-edge functionality that VMware provides: snapshots for disaster recovery, failover for business continuity and BAM, you have full recovery of your VMware production environment in just a few minutes or seconds.

Data reduction is key

Earlier, we all agreed that data is exploding. Some say 20 percent, while others say 40 percent. Some others are even saying 200 percent. With this growth we have to start really thinking about front-end data management. 

The fact is that data is left on high-speed production environments for way to long. Data that is on the production system should never be more than 3 months old.

In 2013, we should see a push toward "archiving with delete" and hierarchical storage management technologies. This would offload the data from the production disk and the VMware environments. Gartner and Forrester both state that up to 40 percent of data in the production environment is more than 1 year old. Are you kidding me? If you have not touched the file/data in a year, why on earth is it taking up production time and space?

If you reduce the front-end data by 40 percent, your backup will be 40 percent faster. Even more importantly, the recovery is 40 percent faster and their production environment's life is extended 40 percent. If someone asked if you would like your car to go 40 percent faster and 40 percent farther for 40 percent less money, what would your answer be? Exactly. It's a no-brainer.

Reducing the data on the front end is very important, but so is reducing the back end data. Full plus incremental and full plus differential are so 2008. If data does not change, it should not have to be stored again. 

In 2013, you will see more customers and more vendors talking about and selling solutions that give the flexibility to manage the lifecycle of your ones and zeros to better manage the total amount of data that resides out there in the vapor that is your environment.

Dedupe everywhere

For years we have been talking about data deduplication. In other words, not keeping duplicate files or parts of files in the back-end of your storage infrastructure. Mainly we are talking about your backup/archive product. This technology allows environments to utilize 40-70 percent less disk or VTL. There are many vendors in the market that promise great dedupe rates, but they have not panned out. No one is really going to get 500 percent.

However, if you combine data dedupe and data reduction, you have a combination that really hits the sweet spot. If you do not run full backups every week and cut out the old stale data, you can reduce your load on a weekly basis by 70-80 percent. If you then dedupe your data, you can cut that in half again and shrink that weekly footprint down to 80-90 percent less than what you have today.

In 2013, you will see more press and more functionality around the "total package" of data reduction and data dedupe and how it can provide not only a boost in performance, but also a great ROI.

Complexity is the new simplicity

VMware and other virtual technologies have made many IT chores a lot simpler. Bringing up a new server or cloning a server can take seconds. But, let's not gloss over the fact that it makes things more complex in other ways. Managing the virtual disk, virtual tape, virtual servers, virtual applications and all of the interdependencies is not easy. Factor in the fact that VMware makes it easy for servers to come and go and you have a recipe for complexity and scope creep. 

That begs the question of how to manage all of those relationships and the data created by all the different parts of the virtual vapor. In 2013, you will see more vendors speaking of VMware management that is application, network and device aware. You will see products that help you manage the data and track the application and servers it belongs too.

Backup appliance of the future

With all of the items above, you have to wonder what the future looks like for backup and recovery. Well, the past is the past, but it is by no means dead. You will still see traditional backup and recovery of physical systems and virtual systems, but there will be a migration of functionality to include more of the flexibility that the virtual vapor supports. For example, managing the data reduction in the virtual environment, managing the data flow from physical server to virtual server and having production backup and recovery happen to a server that is just an image that can be moved from one environment to another.

You will be able to purchase backup and recovery as a virtual system. You will not need to purchase hardware, but have the ability to download an image that is pre-installed, pre-configured and ready to go. You download it, bring up the system and boom, it's ready to go.

You will no longer be married to the physical infrastructure. 

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About the Author

Jarrett Potts, director of strategic marketing for STORServer, a leading provider of proven data backup solutions for the mid-market. Before joining the STORServer team, Potts spent the past 15 years working in various capacities for IBM, including Tivoli Storage Manager marketing and technical sales. He has been the evangelist for the TSM family of products since 2000. His breadth of experience includes administering IT systems, including desktop support, small networks, backbone infrastructure, storage management and remote access for corporations and ISPs. www.storserver.com

Published Monday, November 05, 2012 6:37 AM by David Marshall
Comments
STORServer: 2013 Predictions for Backup of the Virtual Vapor « VT News - (Author's Link) - November 5, 2012 9:25 AM
2013 Predictions for Backup of the Virtual Vapor - STORServer Data Protection Appliances - #1 Backup Appliance Solution - STORServer Data Protection Appliances – #1 Backup Appliance Solution - (Author's Link) - January 2, 2013 8:11 PM
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