Managing Snapshots as part of the Data Protection Process

In our recent webinar, “Three Steps to Backup and Recovery Success”, we discussed service level objectives (SLOs) and how to reduce recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO). Snapshots can play a key role in meeting tight RPOs and RTOs, but they have weaknesses that you need to be aware of. One of the biggest needs that data centers have is effective snapshot management. This capability can help ensure that snapshots are used correctly as part of the overall data protection process.

Snapshot Management

The first challenge with counting on snapshots as part of your data protection process is how to manage them. While a few vendors have integrated snapshot management into their application, in most cases the snapshot process is managed separately from the backup software.

As a general rule, there isn’t an issue running multiple data protection processes on the same data, as long as those processes have a clearly defined purpose. It is also important that each data protection job is used for recovery and there is a clearly defined plan outlining in what situation each job is to be used.

Ideally, the backup application can integrate with your storage system so that it can manage these snapshots. While again the range of abilities can vary here, ideally the backup application should be able to schedule snapshots, invoke snapshots and back the snapshot up to the backup storage device. The application should also be able to include the data held within these snapshots as part of the backup index. It should then have the intelligence to present the data within the snapshot as the “go to first recovery” option.

While few applications have this extensive level of snapshot management capabilities, several vendors are closing the gap. As the backup application’s ability to manage snapshots continues to improve, it makes the ability to meet SLOs significantly easier for a variety of disaster situations.

To learn more about an SLO driven data protection strategy, click here to watch our on-demand webinar. In a hurry? Watch our 3 minute video that will give you a quick overview of Service Level Objectives.

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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