StorageShort: Copies Aren’t Bad but Managing Copies Is Critical

Organizations need to make copies of data for a lot of excellent reasons, and it’s better to make a copy than to impact production performance. The challenge is managing those copies. Organizations without proper control over copy data find that it consumes secondary storage capacities far too quickly and that the processes that need access to data copies aren’t supplied with the copies as quickly as they need them. As we discuss in this StorageShort, the management of copy data is critical to an organization.

Most organizations make copies by manually copying data from production and assigning it to the task that needs that copy. The process isn’t automated and almost always requires that an IT person stops what they are doing and create the copy for the given application. Another problem is getting a “clean” copy, which requires that before each copy is made, IT needs to shut down the primary application or at least put it into a quiesced mode. Finally, the manual process does not automate cleanup of old copies. IT needs to delete them manually, which means the deletion is only done when out of disk space warning messages start to appear.

Copy Data management promises to change all that. The copy data management solution manages the creation of copies, automatically assigns the latest copy to the task that needs it and removes the old copies when the solution creates a new copy. Additionally, the copy data management solution can assign multiple tasks to each copy, but each copy can maintain its unique view into the copy. The copy data management solution creates virtual copies and tracks changes made specific to each application.

There are several ways that vendors implement copy data management solutions. We discuss the pros and cons of each method and provide a live demo of a copy data management solution in our on demand webinar “Evolving Data Protection from Backup to Copy Data Management.”

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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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