Snapshots: Your Data Protection Budget Killer

The modern business relies on copy data for a number of mission-critical functions. As a result, more copies must be created, and they must be stored for a longer amount of time. In the event of an outage, data loss must be mitigated (and ideally, avoided entirely). The business is leaning on copy data for a growing number of important secondary processes, including analytics and test and development. At the same time, new data privacy regulations require that more data be quickly available for a longer period of time. Additionally, backups are also often being used to enable the business to get back online quickly in the event that a system or database goes down.

The problem is that many enterprises have not overhauled the way that they store and manage copy data to meet these requirements. They continue to lean heavily on primary storage and more traditional snapshot backup technologies.

The vast majority of restores come from a snapshot that resides on primary storage, so that the recovery can occur as quickly as possible. The problem is that many enterprises also use snapshots for longer-term data archive and retention purposes – which quickly become unnecessarily expensive. The vast majority of recoveries – and especially recoveries that are urgent and time-sensitive – come from the most recent snapshot. This means that the business is incurring the cost of storing snapshot copies, which are not actively used to run the business, on their most expensive tier of production storage. Storage Switzerland’s audits of data centers consistently reveal that two-thirds or more of data that is stored on primary storage infrastructure is inactive data that could be archived.

Another cost burden is incurred when the business uses snapshots to create copies of data for non-production processes, like business intelligence. Although this removes the load of creating the copy itself from production storage, a second copy is still typically created (adding to capacity requirements) that is, again, never migrated to a lower-cost storage media or deleted. It is unclear who created or “owns” that copy, and if that copy is still actively being used – or it may be forgotten about entirely.

Backup technologies are sticky and can be difficult to migrate off of, considering the typical enterprise’s heavy investment in existing technologies and their inability to tolerate risk of downtime or data loss. Watch Storage Switzerland’s on demand webinar with Hitachi Vantara to learn about how to use copy data management strategically, to more cost-effectively meet data protection requirements.

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Senior Analyst, Krista Macomber produces analyst commentary and contributes to a range of client deliverables including white papers, webinars and videos for Storage Switzerland. She has a decade of experience covering all things storage, data center and cloud infrastructure, including: technology and vendor portfolio developments; customer buying behavior trends; and vendor ecosystems, go-to-market positioning, and business models. Her previous experience includes leading the IT infrastructure practice of analyst firm Technology Business Research, and leading market intelligence initiatives for media company TechTarget.

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