Will your backup infrastructure look the same today as it will next year or the year after that? Or are you anticipating that due to the pressures brought on by growing virtualized server environments and its associated data growth, that you will be subject to a continual cycle of backup architecture refresh initiatives? While data growth may be an inevitability, backup infrastructure obsolescence doesn’t have to be.
The fact is, most organizations don’t have the time, money or inclination to constantly re-architect their backup infrastructure. IT organizations need to move beyond the traditional role of the break-fix repairman to a more strategic, business enablement arm of the organization. In short, backup solutions implemented today need to have a functional life well beyond the typical 3-year window. For proof look at your own backup architecture, the disk and tape that are part of it are probably well over five years. This means planning and not plugging holes.
Scale-out storage architectures have become widely adopted for primary storage environments. They enable organizations to start with a small deployment and grow out to large storage configurations to meet the needs of the business “just-in-time”.
These independent nodes of compute, memory and storage are weaved together via software to allow businesses to achieve incremental improvements in performance and storage capacity without requiring a forklift upgrade.
Traditional scale-up storage architectures, on the other hand, require an up-front investment in the maximum CPU, memory and controller resources of the storage unit. As these systems approach maximum storage capacity, performance often degrades, requiring a swap out of the existing platform to a larger box with faster processors, additional memory and storage capacity.
Backup infrastructure planners are faced with the same choice in the backup disk appliance market. Scale-out or Scale-up? In addition, they also need to consider how to best implement data deduplication to improve backup storage efficiencies without negatively impacting backup windows and the speed of data recoveries. Moreover, with some virtualization backup applications now supporting the ability to perform virtual machine recoveries directly off of backup images, the design of the back-end storage architecture becomes even more relevant for maximizing the value in backup investments.
Scale-out backup systems are inherently designed to ensure that today’s investments in backup infrastructure will not be obsoleted in 3 years or less.
When implemented as a GRID, these systems are capable of supporting multiple generations of nodes or appliances without ever requiring a hardware swap-out.
As importantly, some scale-out, GRID backup architectures incorporate data deduplication to enable multiple weeks or months worth of backup images on disk, while also providing a separate native (non-deduplicated) disk partition for enabling rapid backup and recoveries.
Furthermore, by storing the most recent versions of backup images on native disk, organizations can now take advantage of the virtual machine data “in-place” recovery features offered by various backup application providers.
To learn more about how you can design a backup infrastructure to meet the needs of your virtualized server environment today and well into the future, join us for a webinar with founder and lead analyst from Storage Switzerland, George Crump and Kevin Russell, VP of Systems Engineering, from ExaGrid.
All pre-registrants will receive an advanced copy of Storage Switzerland’s latest white paper “Disk Backup Is About More Than Deduplication”.