A big challenge for IT administrators today is the growth of the backup window due to the increasing volume of data creation. At the same time, due to server virtualization and a global workforce, systems have less and less slow periods, and downtime is anathema to business. We can’t continue to operate with a big open backup window – we need to eliminate this altogether.
The goal of reducing/eliminating the backup window is not new. When Fibre Channel fabrics were first rolling out ten years ago, they promised to take the bandwidth hog of backup off of the shared LAN and onto the SAN. It takes more than new infrastructure to conquer this issue.
Using the storage capabilities of snapshots and replication (with de-duplication) allows the backup challenge to be removed from the server and centrally managed by storage. Previous attempts to fix backup used the same processes over faster and more efficient technologies. There is a limit to how far the old ways can go, instead of trying to continue to make incremental changes, backup needs a revolutionary approach which eliminates the backup window entirely. The challenges of data growth and 24x7x365 business will become more demanding the longer you put off transforming your backup process.
Action Item: Organizations need to eliminate the backup window. How? By transforming the old method of backing up the host into taking snapshots that are efficient and redirected to the SAN vs. the server infrastructure, so that copies of the data are used instead of the primary copy. Alternatively, instead of using a batch backup job, use continuous replication to create a backup job that is not as heavy on the primary workload as the entire batch.