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Tape Drive to Disk: A Better Way for Better Business [EMC]

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on March 30, 2012 by Lesley Morris

The best data in the world isn’t much use if it’s hard to access or difficult to recover. And if you are spending a lot of time managing data resources, then it’s hard to deliver the innovation, agility and flexibility organizations require to thrive today.

Did you know that the first tape drive was created in 1951 for Remington Rand? Flash forward 61 years and here we are today with many of us still using various offsprings of that original tape drive to store our irreplaceable corporate data assets.

The difference, of course, is that the volume of data is staggering today, unimaginable to the creators of those original tapes drives and pretty hard to believe for us as well. It is predicted that in this decade, growth of data will be 44x what it is today.

Breaking down the infrastructure silos for a stronger backup strategy

Tape has served you well for years. It’s simple, reliable and relatively cheap. It is, however, an underlying barrier to achieving a fully unified infrastructure focused on unique service catalogue requirements. As server, storage and networking collapse into a single point of delivery; your backup windows become even more difficult to manage due to interdependencies created by the new virtualized environment. So, now it’s time to break down the barriers, starting by segmenting your infrastructure by business demands for recoverability and not by technical silos.

The fit of tape in your architecture could pose the biggest risk to business buy-in for your virtualization strategy. It relates back to the technology roadmap you’re trying to bring to life and new promises you’re making to the business. It starts with a focus on service profiles and responsiveness which shape your strategy and likely point to a need, in some scenarios for a highly agile back up business requirement. As you, break the barriers between applications and technologies and it layers with virtualization, the complexity in backing up data increases.

Taking the First Steps

A good first step on your roadmap might be to consider the availability and integrity of your mission critical applications and data resources. Reliable, secure backup and recovery systems must be able to integrate easily into a virtualized environment while still being able to accommodate future requirements and changes as well.

Re-evaluating the Old System

If you are using tape as your primary backup recovery tool now, it may be time to reevaluate its capabilities to manage future transitions to advanced technologies. Issues that may be a challenge in the future include:

  • Slow backup and restore times
  • Back up process failures
  • Increasing physical interventions as tape requires frequent loading/unloading and transporting to off-site locations
  • Data exclusion – many IT departments must choose what to back-up as there just isn’t time to back-up everything.

Next Generation Backup for Virtualization

As we discuss in our ebook: Next Generation Backup there are better ways to manage all the data growth, the inevitable virtualization and consolidation of your environment and aging tape infrastructures.
EMC’s disk based Backup and Recovery Solutions are designed to strengthen your data protection, streamline back-up and recovery and meet a wide range of service levels. Best of all the ROI on EMC’s disk based systems are substantial – payback over a period of 3 years has been calculated at over 450%.
Some advantages of disk-based back-ups include:

  • Restoring data in minutes
  • De-duplication reducing data storage by 10-30x, reducing storage capacity requirements
  • Improved reliability with end-to-end data verification, automated fault detection and self-healing resulting in less risk and improved productivity.

Softchoice’s Director of IT,Hugh Forest knows the value of EMC’s Disk based back-up and recovery solutions first-hand as he recently transitioned the company to the newer technology. Watch as he discusses the inefficiencies of tape and the inherent advantages of making the switch to EMC.

Download a copy of our ebook: Next Generation Backup for more details or contact us today to find out more about how EMC disk based storage and backup can make a difference in the delivery of secure, reliable data to your organization.

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