Imagine you’re driving down the highway rocking out to Kelly Clarkson (don’t worry, I won’t tell) and all of a sudden the person in front of you hits their brakes and you quickly slam yours to try not to hit them. Your heart is now racing, but unfortunately you weren’t able to brake fast enough and you end up getting into an accident. Fortunately for you, you have a seatbelt on, so you didn’t lose anything more than your bumper. The key point here is that you were protected because you bought a car with a seatbelt – but who wouldn’t?
Certainly your life is precious and needs to be protected, but isn’t your company’s data as well? So just like you wouldn’t buy a car without a seatbelt, why would you buy protection storage without data integrity checking? When something goes wrong with your primary data like a corrupted database (the equivalent of an accident on a highway), you want to ensure your data can be quickly and reliably recovered, right?
Unfortunately, since the standard backup and archive storage medium for decades was tape, your standards may be significantly lower than necessary. The good news is they don’t have to be – protection storage should be built as the storage of last resort and put the integrity of your data above all else. The bad news is that not all disk systems are created equal – just because its disk doesn’t mean it’s better than tape. For example, standard NAS systems were built for primary storage – not for protection and do not ensure recovery.
So how can you tell your backup and archive storage is built for protection? Ask how the storage platform verifies the integrity of data as it’s written to disk. Ask how it will continuously ensure data stays correct and how it corrects errors before they become a problem. Finally, ask how the system will ensure data that’s recovered is identical to the data that was originally stored. To save you some time, we’ve done some of the homework for you. Check out this paper and video that explore how Data Domain systems meet these requirements with the Data Domain Data Invulnerability Architecture.