Cloud storage and compute services, hyperconverged infrastructure and software defined platforms are driving innovation in the datacenter, bringing agility and webscale to the enterprise, but it's being restricted by a legacy approach to data backup and protection.
Backup is an area that's seen scarce development over the past decade. For most organisations it's one of the most rigid and cumbersome elements of their infrastructure. Speaking with a colleague recently they explained how they'd been to see a prospect that they used to work at as a support engineer some 12 years go, he remembered an incident where he'd had to drive in to the office after an outage, find the tape backups and kick off the restore process, which took 48 hours to bring their systems back online. When he went to visit them 12 years later that process and the technology is the same.
In most datacenters, in between all of the racks of new technology platforms, you'll still find the same expanding layers of backup and media servers with D2D and D2T platforms - not to mention the expanding set of expensive licensing and an annual bill from Sunguard or someone similar. It's an expanding, costly and complex environment with IT having to deal with shortening backup windows, faster RTO's and shorter RPO's. It's also often a major bottleneck to delivering new, agile infrastructure platforms, slowing project delivery times and putting overhead on IT operations. An area of neglect as far as innovation goes.
BUT... after probably a decade of limited development in this space, recent times have seen a number of new converged data protection platforms enter the market.
These new platforms provide a single integrated hardware and software platform for data protection and backup. They have some key characteristics that make them fit for purpose for the next generation of datacenter:
- Cloud Integrated: The ability to archive aged backups through the same platform to both public and private Cloud infrastructure
- Searchable: The content should be searchable, easy to find and retrieve regardless of where it's stored
- API Driven: A key pillar for the next generation of datacenter is the use of API's to interconnect app's, orchestrate infrastructure and automate deployments - these new platforms need to have this capability
- Webscale: The ability to grow in a modular, predictable way and to scale horizontally.
- Software Defined: These platforms, like most modern technologies, are software defined and hardware agnostic, reducing the cost of proprietary hardware
- Open: Ultimately these systems should be open rather than proprietary, working across hypervisors/containers, operating systems, hardware and storage
Not only do converged backup systems have these characteristics but they also present the opportunity to make huge financial savings. In general they have a different commercial model - not licensed on capacity or cores - that is more akin to a security or network appliance with a fixed CAPEX cost for an appliance and annual support / maintenance fee. If you want to expand you buy another box under the same model, with no complicated pricing structure or unpredictable license costs to contend with.
In our experience customers can realise at least 30% cost savings year on year from a backup perspective alone, when you consider the potential to replace other infrastructure components in favour of data copy management techniques, that cost reduction grows further, whilst at the same time removing the bottleneck to deploy new services.
It's been a long time coming but at last change is upon us. When we think about protecting our infrastructure, converged backup solutions are enabling businesses to apply the same techniques that they are considering for their storage, virtualisation and compute infrastructure to their backup environment. It reduces cost, complexity and enables you to scale.
If you'd like to find out more about how Nephos Technologies are helping organisations make use of this technology or see a demo of Rubriks converged backup offering, visit us online here: http://rubrik.nephostechnologies.com