What’s Your Biggest Backup Hardware Challenge?

The euphoria over disk backup appliances seams to be fading. It used to be that IT professionals were so happy to replace or augment tape that they didn’t look very deep into what the disk appliance was actually doing for them. Give them disk’s low latency (compared to tape) and some data efficiency and they were happy. Times have changed. In a recent survey respondents were expressing frustration with the technology, equally split between, performance, scalability and cost.


Increasing performance is as much about software as it is about hardware. IT professionals need to look for backup software applications that can efficiently backup their environment via either source side deduplication or block level incremental backups. The result thins the amount of data that needs to be transferred but it also ironically means less need for data efficiency on the appliance.

Increasing scalability is all about scale-out storage systems but disk backup appliances, with few exceptions, have been lacking in this area. The systems typically either don’t scale out at all or if they do they don’t actually stripe data across all the nodes in the cluster.

The cost of the backup appliance is the number 1 concern of IT professionals. Lowering costs is all about leveraging commodity off the shelf hardware. That means though that backup appliances need to become much more about software than they are about the hardware. Also if commodity hardware is used then the ability for the backup appliance to sustain operations even through a node failure is critical.

While disk backup appliances may have some catching up to do to meet these customer demands, object storage meets them all right now. Object storage systems can provide reasonable performance, without dedupe overhead, a feature they may not need anymore anyway. Object storage systems can also meet the scale challenge with true scale out storage clusters designed to support hundreds of nodes or more. Finally they can meet the cost demand since most object storage systems are already software based and leverage commodity hardware responsibly.

To learn more about what is breaking disk backup hardware and why object storage is worthy of consideration as a backup target watch our webinar “Four Reasons Why Your Backup & Recovery Hardware will Break by 2020” now available on-demand. Then come back here and leave comments or questions from the webinar and we will answer them right away.

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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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