Eliminating RPO/RTO With Affordable Secondary Storage

Backup 2.0 Workshop On The Way To London

Register for the Backup 2.0 Road Tour

Register for the Backup 2.0 Road Tour

We completed Backup 2.0 Dallas and we will be in London on October 22nd. A popular session during the workshop discusses leveraging secondary storage and creating a usable copy of data that is only a few minutes old, to some extent, eliminating backups all together. We call this Protected Primary Storage. If a storage system fails applications can mount data on this secondary device and resume serving users in minutes. Having a second storage system is nothing new but it was typically out of financial reach of most data centers. In the workshop we explain how now many, if not all data centers can afford a secondary storage system and what that can mean to their business.

Protection for Real World Budgets

We know that it is tough to get funds allocated to improving the backup process so all of our designs we discuss in the workshop focus on meeting the recovery expectation of users and applications owners while keeping costs down. Through the course of the day we detail three designs, for different classes of application criticality and budgets. Protected Primary is for the most critical of applications.

The Problem with Protected Primary Storage

Having a secondary storage system act as a stand in for production meant buying the same system as the primary storage. Two systems from the same vendor allowed us to leverage the snapshot and replication capabilities of their production storage to get data to secondary storage. Leveraging snapshots makes sense because it allows us to get clean copies of data. The storage system’s replication function allows us to get snapshots to the second system rapidly since it is in the same data center and we are only moving changed blocks. And the second system protects us from a primary storage system failure, protecting our snapshot from primary storage system failure.

The problem is that buying two of the same storage system is very expensive because, in this case, the secondary storage system isn’t secondary at all, it is really another primary. What we need is a true secondary storage system that is still reliable and performs well, but doesn’t have all the tier 1 capabilities of a primary storage system. Then we need a mechanism to get the data to that system. The good news is the storage industry is finally coming around to this line of thinking.

Software To Create Secondary Copies

There are many ways to get data to a secondary storage system, including:

  • Storage Vendor Snapshot/Replication
  • Software Defined Storage
  • Third Party Replication Tool
  • Copy Data Management Solution

The latter three options open the possibility to use almost any vendor as the secondary storage tier. In the workshop we go into detail about each technique and help you decide which is best for you.

Secondary Storage Hardware

Also in the workshop we will also talk about a new breed of storage systems coming from vendors that are competing to be the secondary storage system. These new cost-effective, data efficient solutions are reliable and deliver reasonable performance. We’ll discuss how these solutions are coming from backup and archive vendors that are moving into secondary storage, from traditional storage vendors offering less expensive alternatives and a new breed of storage startups that are designing storage systems specifically for the secondary storage purpose.

Come on Out

If you are in the London area I hope that you’ll join us. Our vendor neutral presentation is full of deep dive details. You can take our designs and processes and start implementing them the day after the event. We’ll feed you lunch, give out some great prizes and more importantly give you plenty tools, techniques and processes that you can use to meet increasingly strict RPOs and RTOs.

Want to know more about what we cover during the workshop? Click the links below:

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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