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Idc paper on disaster recovery
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Idc paper on disaster recovery

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  • 1. I D C A N A L Y S T C O N N E C T I O N Robert Amatruda Research Director, Data Protection and RecoveryDisaster Recovery: Improving Time toReadinessMarch 2011For many organizations, the volume of data continues to increase even as they experience demandsfor increasingly faster disaster recovery (DR) responses. To manage data volumes and disasterrecovery requirements, many enterprises are deploying disk systems in conjunction with datadeduplication technologies. Using deduplication storage for data protection can help organizationsachieve two goals: efficiently manage the growing data volumes and be prepared to handle the mostpressing disaster recovery scenarios. Most customers are challenged with recovery of their backupdata in a timely and efficient manner. Recovery of backup data can pose many challenges because itis generally not replicated like data written to tier 1 disk for rapid recovery. In many instances,customers must restore their backup data from removable media such as tape. Restoring backupdata from tape can be time consuming, cumbersome, and costly. In essence, disaster recoveryreadiness is never fully realized when one is restoring backups from tape.The following questions were posed by EMC to Robert Amatruda, research director of IDCs DataProtection and Recovery service, on behalf of EMCs customers.Q. What is the most common disaster recovery architecture you see in the market today, and what are some of the challenges associated with this architecture?A. Currently, the most common disaster recovery architecture in place still relies on shipping tapes via truck to a DR site where data is stored offsite in case the primary site is unavailable for recovery. There are significant challenges with this tape-based approach, including the costs of tape management and the risk of tapes being lost or stolen. Moreover, rapid and reliable recovery of data can be very problematic if the data resides on physical tape cartridges. To restore a data volume from physical tape, a customer needs to locate the tape cartridge. In some cases, that may mean recalling a tape cartridge from an offsite location. This adds countless hours to the restore time and requires numerous personnel. In addition, once the tape is recalled, there is a possibility that the data will no longer be readable because of tape corruption.Q. How has technology evolved to the benefit of customers in terms of improving disaster recovery and the ability to meet service-level agreements (SLAs)?A. Disaster recovery solutions continue to evolve to meet ever-challenging SLAs. Customers are utilizing more disk-based systems with deduplication for faster and more efficient backup and recovery. Deduplication allows customers to remove redundant backup data and move only unique data to the DR site. In addition, with proper design, these systems allow users to concurrently back up, deduplicate, and replicate for the fastest time to DR readiness. As aIDC 1106
  • 2. result of these advantages, large customers are increasingly forgoing tape for backup and disaster recovery functions in favor of disk-based solutions with data deduplication and network-efficient replication capabilities. Disk-based storage systems with these capabilities provide more effective SLAs for disaster recovery and preparedness.Q. Deduplication is the hottest topic in backup and recovery as well as storage in general. What value can deduplication technologies bring to disaster recovery planning?A. Deduplication technology addresses many of the long-standing backup and disaster recovery challenges that large firms have been grappling with for well over a decade. These challenges include keeping up with rapid data growth and shorter backup windows, as well as enabling more efficient replication and faster recovery from operational and disaster- related failures. These challenges can be overcome by eliminating redundant data from backups and sending only unique data to the DR site. Firms can easily integrate deduplication technology into existing infrastructures and can significantly improve their disaster recovery preparedness and more effectively control their capital and operational expenditures. Data deduplication provides much more efficient storage and management of backup data volumes. Customers can take advantage of replication to a DR site or for remote site consolidation with greatly reduced backup data volumes. This allows customers to more effectively utilize their WAN infrastructure for centralized management of backups and realize significantly improved disaster recovery. Furthermore, deduplication eliminates the need to ship physical tape cartridges to offsite repositories.Q. There are numerous different approaches to deduplication in the marketplace. What is the most important thing to examine when evaluating deduplication solutions and their ability to provide more effective disaster recovery readiness?A. Data deduplication continues to dramatically improve the economics of IT by minimizing storage footprint requirements, backup windows, and network bandwidth consumption in distributed environments and datacenters. IDC data shows that deduplication is accelerating backup and recovery efficiencies and helping companies of all sizes control their capital and operational costs. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are two different approaches to deduplication available today: inline and postprocess. Organizations must evaluate each approach carefully with regard to backup requirements, disk capacity, and disaster recovery objectives. Inline deduplication provides organizations with an efficient and economical method of deduplication because it eliminates redundant data before it is written to disk so that a disk staging area is not needed. In comparison, postprocess deduplication analyzes and reduces data after it has been written to disk; thus, additional disk capacity is needed to store data before the deduplication process. Postprocess deduplication causes significantly slower time to DR readiness because replication cannot begin until data has been deduplicated. Given these two different deduplication approaches, customers must clearly understand their desired time to DR readiness. In todays ever-changing and dynamic environment, organizations must invest in technology that improves performance, optimizes existing resources, and measurably lowers costs. Systems with inline deduplication allow efficient replication and improved time to DR readiness. Organizations no longer have to rely solely on a tape-based disaster recovery methodology that falls woefully short for disaster preparedness. 2 ©2011 IDC
  • 3. Q. If an organization is looking at rearchitecting its disaster recovery strategy, what are the keys to a successful implementation?A. Any organization, especially one with large data and application requirements, needs to be very judicious when considering rearchitecting its disaster recovery strategy. An organization needs to evaluate the pros and cons of each vendor and solution and also must consider the maturity of the disaster recovery solutions. An organization must take a holistic approach to this evaluation and must consider its environment and application needs, including staff resources. Another factor that must be weighed is the need for single-point or multipoint replication or remote site disaster recovery and backup. Disaster recovery covers numerous components such as disk systems, application software, and people and practices. Any potential group of solutions needed for disaster recovery must easily integrate into the existing infrastructure and application environment and operate with any leading backup or archive application. More importantly, any disaster recovery implementation must have a high level of resiliency and be customer proven. A B O U T T H I S A N A L Y S T Robert Amatruda is a research director of IDCs Data Protection and Recovery service, covering hardware and software solutions that enable business continuity. He is responsible for analyzing and forecasting data protection and recovery solutions on a worldwide basis. This augments his coverage of the tape hardware, removable magnetic storage, and virtual tape library markets.A B O U T T H I S P U B L I C A T I O NThis publication was produced by IDC Go-to-Market Services. The opinion, analysis, and research results presented hereinare drawn from more detailed research and analysis independently conducted and published by IDC, unless specific vendorsponsorship is noted. IDC Go-to-Market Services makes IDC content available in a wide range of formats for distribution byvarious companies. A license to distribute IDC content does not imply endorsement of or opinion about the licensee.C O P Y R I G H T A N D R E S T R I C T I O N SAny IDC information or reference to IDC that is to be used in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requiresprior written approval from IDC. For permission requests, contact the GMS information line at 508-988-7610 or gms@idc.com.Translation and/or localization of this document requires an additional license from IDC.For more information on IDC, visit www.idc.com. For more information on IDC GMS, visit www.idc.com/gms.Global Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA 01701 USA P.508.872.8200 F.508.935.4015 www.idc.com©2011 IDC 3

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