One of the major advantages data duplication brings to going tapeless for backup is the ability to use your existing network links to replicate your backup data to a second site.
This in theory is all very well, but as a backup administrator do you have the visibility and / or management of these links. How can you be sure that all your data has been replicated off site?
During a recent EMC sponsored survey in South Africa we found 44% of the respondents were still using tape to recover from a disaster. However it appears that this is not their ideal method as a staggering 82% of the companies want to completely stop using tape for backup. This is a trend we have seen across Europe in similar surveys EMC have conducted. So although South Africa is not unique by having nearly half the respondent’s still using tape for DR, it is a country which continues to struggle with good network connectivity.
The current trend is to use data deduplication for backup which in turn enables the backup data to pass over existing links for DR. However if these links are unreliable, visibility of these links is imperative, to ensure backup data is in fact replicated off site. For a backup admin a tool such as Data Protection Advisor will help with monitoring a large number of backup jobs to report on status, but perhaps more importantly in this example is that it will also monitor the infrastructure that supports the backup. So any network links that fail will be reported not only to the network team but also the backup admin.
DPA has just undergone a major update to afford customers complete visibility into the backup process. A key part of this update is real-time monitoring and analytics, designed to give better predictability and assurance that mission-critical applications are protected. This includes the monitoring and reporting of the network the backup data flows over. Predictability when all of your data will not fit down your link is a useful tool. DPA will monitor the growth in your backups and analyse the amount of capacity needed to replicate this data, producing a flag, that in a given number of weeks the replication process may not complete. In addition as backup is often a process that happens overnight, understanding any data loss and providing reports detailing such errors would allow the backup admin to have confidence in knowing when backups are not replicated.
This type of information is often not in view to the backup admin, so to achieve a tapeless environment and the trust that you have all of your backup data off site, you not only need a Purpose Built Backup Appliance, but also a set of tools to give you maximum visibility into the complete process.
During Backup Game Day II we discussed this very subject, take 30 minutes to understand how tools from EMC can give you back your evenings and weekends from monitoring your backups and relying on the network team to tell you when there is an issue with capacity or connectivity.
The webcast can be viewed here.