BlogData Backup Problems? Why Software-Defined Storage Might Be the Way to Go

Data Storage - Advanced Systems Group -

451 Research, a preeminent IT research and advisory company, recently named backups, backup windows, and tape media management among the top 10 problems for most organizations.

With data growing at a faster rate than ever before, organizations simply don’t have the time or resources to delete old data. As a result, traditional backup systems today are typically storing 10 times more data than organizations actually use.

As a case in point, we recently discovered that one of our customers had 13PB of data, which amounted to 146PB of backup data on tape. This system was costing the company approximately one million dollars in tape and another one million in storage costs per year.

Traditional backup systems are especially wasteful when you consider that 92% of data today becomes cold immediately—meaning the data is accessed infrequently, if ever. Migrating petabytes of data from old storage to new storage is also expensive, particularly when some portion of the data has little or no value.

Software-Defined Storage

Software-defined storage, also known as object store technology, helps organizations address their growing data needs while reducing costs and complexity. Instead of using expensive hardware storage to provide five 9s uptime, object storage uses software and inexpensive disk to protect your organization’s data.

Object stores act as data archives, allowing users access to cold data without higher tiered disk and backups. Many organizations use object stores located in different geographic areas to eliminate the need for data backups.

Object stores function by keeping multiple copies of data on cheap and deep storage. Unlike high-end storage, object storage assumes there will be failures, and the software is designed to protect the data. The object store software continually runs checksums on objects and repairs them whenever it finds an issue.

Since the data is read/write at all locations, no disaster recovery failover activities are required—the object store continues to deliver data without interruption to the end users.

Most object stores are policy driven and can move data to the cloud or delete it after a certain amount of time, for example. Object stores also save data from crypto-locking software through versioning. (This functionality also makes object stores great for legal hold data.)

By creating policies around how long data is kept and how many versions are saved, object store owners no longer need to store 10 times their data on tape or multiple copies on tier-one disk. This substantially reduces the amount of data organizations manage while minimizing or eliminating operational and backup overhead.

About the Author

Dave Bratton

Dave Bratton, Vice President of Architectural Services

Throughout his 20-year career in IT operations, Dave Bratton has helped companies transform at key junctures using his extensive knowledge of enterprise infrastructure management and IT economics. As the Director of Service Delivery at ASG, Dave develops strategic, five-year plans that help companies develop operational and technological innovations.