The gold standard for data protection keeps evolving

Yes, of course, data protection has to evolve to keep up with how production platforms are evolving, but I would offer that the presumptive ‘gold standard’ for what is the norm for those on the front lines of proactive data protection is evolving in at least three different directions at the same time. 

Here is a 3-minute video on what we are seeing and what you should be thinking about as the evolutions continue.

Topics: Snapshots Replication Data Protection SaaS Virtualization backup-to-cloud backup-to-tape

The 5 Cs of data protection

Data management — not data protection — is the future.

We are already seeing the shift in many organizations where there are fewer dedicated ‘backup administrators’ and more diversified workload/platform owners (DBAs, vAdmins, File/Storage admins, IT operations, etc.) defining backup jobs or invoking restores, coupled with infrastructure that truly has data protection “built in.”

With so much revolution (not just evolution) happening in data protection, it is easy to imagine a future where folks care less about which repositories or data protection methods (backups, snapshots, replicas) are in use – and more about:

  1. How many copies do I need?
  2. How long do I need which versions?
  3. Where do they need to be to satisfy my SLAs?
Topics: Backup Snapshots Replication Data Protection BCDR CDM Copy Data Management

The first thing to agree on in data protection modernization

There are many fundamental debates in data protection:

  • Disk vs. tape vs. cloud
  • Backups vs. snapshots vs. replication
  • Centralized backup of ROBO’s vs. autonomous backups vs. cloud-BaaS solutions
  • Unified data protection vs. workload-specific (e.g. VM/database) methods

On any given day, I could argue on either side of any one of them (for fun) in which I adamantly insist that these choices are not mutually exclusive nor definitively decidable with a unilateral best choice. Candidly, every one of those choices is best resolved somewhere with, “it depends”, and usually the right answer is, “and, not or.”

Topics: Snapshots Data Protection Backups Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS)

Better Catalogs Make for Better Data Restores (video)

It really is just that simple: backup products without robust catalogs are just that, backup products – not restore products.

There are lots of reasons that just maintaining a browse-able file list is not enough today, including not only a lack of search-ability but also because the catalog is the key to really leveraging primary storage snapshots and replication capabilities with traditional backup for a modern recovery capability.


Topics: Snapshots Replication

Backup Alone Just Isn't Enough! (vBlog)

If you haven’t already checked them out, ESG recently started delivering ESG “Video Capsules” – video wisdom in 140 seconds or less –

One of the more recent ESG Video Capsules, “Backup Is No Longer Enough,” discusses the fact that IT organizations of all sizes struggle to achieve the SLAs that their business units require, if their only recovery solution is a traditional backup solution. In fact, when looking at core platforms like server virtualization systems (VMware & Hyper-V), less than 10% of folks are only protecting their VMs with backups; the rest are using a combination of snapshots and replication to supplement their backup mechanisms – a strategy which is consistent with the Data Protection Spectrum that I often discuss.

Topics: Storage Backup Snapshots Replication Data Protection JBuff Information and Risk Management

vBlog: How to Ensure the Availability of the Modern Data Center

When you really boil down the core of IT -- it's to deliver the services and access to data that the business requires. That includes understanding the needs of the business, its dependencies on things like its data, and then ensuring the availability of that data.

Topics: Backup Snapshots Replication Data Protection JBuff VMware Information and Risk Management Jason Buffington Virtualization BCDR HyperV

Snapshots vs. Backups - a great debate, no longer

It wasn’t that many years ago that “snapshotting vs. backup” had the same kind of fervor in IT debates that some American political discussions have today, or religion, or any other media-infused divisive issue. Sidenote: my favorite of these incite-ful battlegrounds is still to enter a filled room and shout “Tape is Dead” (which it isn’t, but the ensuing conversations are worth the fisticuffs).

Imagine a dialog between two ardent IT experts, each trying to convince an application owner to use their data protection capability:

Topics: Backup Snapshots Data Protection Information and Risk Management Jason Buffington