Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: Top Priorities for IT Pros
Today’s IT leaders have a triple challenge: performance, capacity and cost
By: Darrell Riddle
Aug. 8, 2012 10:15 AM
There's a house on my block that is constantly under renovation. Last year, the owners added on an in-law suite. This spring, they expanded their kitchen. A neighbor told me there are in plans in the works to extend the deck before fall. All of this has me wondering are these folks really out of room in their house or are they just not making the best use of their space? This is a question many IT professionals are also asking these days as they face an ever-growing demand for storage space.
With the growth in data, enterprises see a need to acquire more storage. IDC noted this in a recent report, which showed that worldwide storage software revenue grew by 10.3 percent in 2010 alone. IT budgets are tight, but that doesn't seem to be affecting the shopping list when it comes to storage. What about the space that already exists? That needs to be evaluated as well, and the uptick in deduplication investment shows that the right storage solution is not just one of expansion but of better usage practices.
Deduplication Essential in Time of Great Data Growth
Those are particularly important capabilities at a moment when data is growing at a staggering pace. Much of that growth is not new data at all. Industry analysts estimate that nearly 75 percent of existing data is redundant. That creates a storage problem, and it also makes the job of performing daily backups needlessly cumbersome. The process of managing tape and restoring data can be time-consuming, expensive and unreliable. IT pros want to accelerate backup times, minimize failed backups, improve recovery time objectives (RTO), and reduce the cost and complexity of doing this work. Deduplication is the best way to realize those goals.
But duplicative data is not the only thing driving investment in DR and BC solutions. Data is more than doubling every year. This has been true for years and will likely remain true for many more. As those data stores rise, so do the costs of managing and protecting them, especially since businesses are saving information for longer periods of time to meet compliance requirements. But none of that means IT departments get bigger budgets. On the contrary, budgets and staff resources are shrinking. To do so much more with less, IT pros need to invest in efficient models and tools. That need is reflected in modern DR and BC innovation.
Higher Expectations for Data Protection
Alternatively, a shared global deduplication repository spans multiple application sources, environments and storage protocols. Through a capacity-optimized global deduplication repository, businesses can retain several months of backup data on a deduplication appliance. By combining backup optimization and deduplication, IT can scale capacity to the backup target disk pool, conduct remote replication of deduplicated data to protect against disaster, and build disk-to-disk-to-tape backup architectures around deduplication.
Such an approach is crucial to meeting performance expectations, which haven't changed just because the data load has increased. If anything, RTOs and service level agreements (SLA) have gotten tighter. For some, downtime has become so expensive that virtually any amount is unacceptable. Once the industry standard for server uptime, 99 percent is no longer enough. That standard translates into 87.6 hours of downtime per server, per year. Those numbers are too expensive for today's IT organizations, which want 99.9 percent or even 99.99 percent of availability and fewer than 8.76 hours of downtime per year.
Data Protection that Approaches 100 Percent Availability
IT can capture savings by focusing on easier infrastructure management, single-share global repositories and more efficient backup environments. By making the case for disaster recovery and business continuity technology that optimizes deduplication, scalability and efficiency, IT can cut costs while living up to rising RTO and SLA expectations.
Today's IT leaders have a triple challenge: performance, capacity and cost. They must confront those hurdles even as they struggle with the growing data burden. Luckily, the market has responded with DR and BC options that simplify deployment and leverage existing resources. These options can increase business revenue by five percent to 15 percent every year. That's a compelling return on investment (ROI) that is sweetened by near-perfect performance.
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