Data de-duplication technology changes the role of disk in backup by giving users a cost effective way to retain backup data on disk for weeks or months, file restores are fast and easy and increases the number of available recovery points.
Including disk in the backup strategy makes sense for many companies, but most can’t afford to keep more than a few days of their backup data on fast recovery media – the cost of conventional RAID arrays is simply too high. The result is that users either have to keep moving data off their backup devices or let their backup data expire – in either case, the value of disk in the backup process is compromised.
Data de-duplication technology fundamentally changes the role of disk in backup. It gives users a cost effective way to retain their backup data on disk for weeks or months, making their file restores fast and easy and increasing the number of available recovery points. Disk-based backup appliances that utilize data de-duplication technology can offer an IT professional a combination of advantages – including ease of use, extended retention, fast restores and cost savings. They can also make replication of backup data over WANs a practical tool for providing offsite protection for backup data.
THE DATA DE-DUPLICATION ADVANTAGE
How does data de-duplication work? It operates at a block level to find and eliminate redundant data. When a storage device that uses data de-duplication technology sees a repeated block of data, it stores a pointer instead of storing the block again. Because it works at a block level, it’s much more powerful than single-instance store technology that looks for duplicate files. Data de-duplication is especially powerful when it’s applied to backup, since most backup data sets have a great deal of redundancy. It’s common to see a backup appliance with data de-duplication technology holding 10 to 50 times more backup data than a conventional disk storage product. The advantage depends on the data being backed up, the backup methodology, and the length of time data is retained. Part of the value of data de-duplication is a significant cost advantage. Quantum’s DXi-Series delivers data de-duplication technology and other enhanced functionality, providing best-in-class performance of up to 800 GB/hour and the flexibility to combine NAS and virtual tape library (VTL) presentations. With Quantum’s disk-based backup appliances, users no longer have to compromise on performance to take advantage of extended retention capability.
SUPPORTING YOUR EXISTING ENVIRONMENT
A disk-based backup appliance with data de-duplication technology provides many advantages in today’s IT world. When selecting a solution it is important that the appliance is easy to install, share and manage in your existing environment, and that it is offered as part of a complete backup strategy that can also include other technologies. Disk and replication solutions that leverage data de-duplication will become an important part of many users’ backup processes, and they will work along with other technologies and approaches to enhance users’ overall data protection strategy.
COMBINING DISK BACKUP AND DR PROTECTION
When organizations consider adding disk to their backup process, one of the issues they need to address directly is the fact that conventional disk backup makes it difficult to protect data against site loss or other local threats. No matter how much RAID protection and system-level redundancy is put in place, without sound disaster recovery processes, viruses, natural disasters, malicious destruction, or a variety of other site-based events can create critical data loss that can be disastrous for businesses and their customers. Remote replication of backup data has been proposed as a solution in the past, but in fact the amount of backup data and the cost of bandwidth have prevented it from being a viable solution – that is until now. Data de-duplication technology is changing the equation by applying the same kind of power to replication that it provides for storing backup data on disk. When de-duplication is applied to remote replication, the power of WANs to move backup data is increased by 10 to 50 times. The result is that replication, and disk backup, can dramatically increase their roles in the data protection process.
When a backup device that uses data de-duplication technology sees a repeated block of data, it stores a pointer instead of storing the block again. A backup appliance with remote replication software capabilities extends the same approach to data transmission – once users have moved a copy of a block to a second site and stored it on a data de-duplication appliance, they never have to send another copy of the block again. Since a large percentage of backup data is made up of redundant blocks, the amount of bandwidth needed to replicate data sets is dramatically reduced. Now users can replicate backup data sets easily, quickly, and securely over existing WANs to create disaster recovery copies of backup data in different locations. The result is better protection, more recovery points, reduced media handling, and lower management costs.
QUANTUM DXi-SERIES DATA DE-DUPLICATION DISK BACKUP AND REPLICATION SOLUTIONS
The benefits of data de-duplication, both dramatically increased capacity and WAN-based DR, are available in Quantum’s DXi-Series disk backup and remote replication solutions. The DXi-Series represents the industry’s broadest range of de-duplication solutions, and they can be added quickly to existing backup environments without requiring changes in infrastructure or backup applications. For midrange environments and remote offices – sites that need to protect from 100 GB to 11 TB – the DXi-Series family offers easy-to-install appliances with an intuitive, GUI-based management system. For enterprise environments, the DXi7500 offers up to 240 TB of raw capacity, up to 8TB/hour performance, full system redundancy with active-active failover, along with a choice of de-duplication methodology and tape support. All DXi-Series systems share the same software layer and management approach, allowing them to replicate data between any DXi-Series units to create a comprehensive data protection system.
SUPPORTING YOUR INVESTMENT
As the leading global supplier of backup, recovery, and archive solutions, Quantum offers a full line of backup solutions, and a team of technical advisors to help users make the right choice for their environment. All of our solutions – whether they are based on disk, replication, tape or a combination of technologies – are supported by Quantum’s innovative StorageCare™ Guardian technology and the industry’s premier global service organization dedicated to backup, recovery, and archive.
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