We back up data to protect against storage system failures and data corruption. We replicate data to protect against site-wide disasters and to enable high availability. But backup and replication have a significant impact on capacity planning, procurement, facilities management, electrical and cooling costs, networking, and staffing. What if we could eliminate the need for backup? What if we could eliminate the need for replication? That is precisely the promise of erasure coding and data dispersal found in the Cleversafe solution.
In the January 22, 2013 Peer Incite, Cleversafe VP Russ Kennedy discussed the breaking point of traditional approaches to protecting large object stores. The breaking point, he said, will differ by organization and will depend on budgets, facilities, available networks, and staffing. But one thing is clear; most organizations are on a collision course with the breaking point, as they build ever-larger repositories of digital images, video objects, and files.
Update-intensive applications such as active transactional databases are not the target for this new approach to data storage. Those will continue to be housed in traditional storage systems using well-known and well-tested backup and replication techniques. But backing up and replicating the petabytes of data found in some of today’s largest object stores, is, for most, neither affordable nor possible.
Action Item: Organizations with large repositories of digital images, videos, and files should pay close attention to the growth rate and remain mindful of the impending breaking point. The investment in erasure coding and data dispersal solutions will probably be more than offset by returns from reduced hardware, facility, electrical, cooling, networking, and staffing cost. The time to evaluate is now.