So, What is a Backup? Hmmm, Let Me See

Posted by Mark Teter, Chief Technology Officer
February 17, 2011

Howard Marks raised an interesting question in his recent  blog post “So, What Is A Backup?” in Network Computing.  Backups as a Storage Tier?

We’ve been working on this concept with a lot of our clients. More than 95 percent of data loss happens at the local site. Fifty-six percent are soft errors, including patching to virus to hackers.* Why not just move the snapshot files that are candidates for being backed up to a separate tier of storage? You can keep these files in their native format and organize them in time-coherent views.

Users can restore files themselves from any point in time using a search engine. There’s no need for backup software, and it’s simpler to deduplicate and compress. You can also apply compliance and regulatory rules to it as policies, or use it as an archive. Data mining, replication, or other data moving requirements are more simply met, and indexing is easier.

Copy-based backup is now a default paradigm for consumers. Originally this method was cost-prohibitive, but not anymore. Solutions now cost the same as LTO4 media! Hence, disk is the new tape…


About Mark Teter Before he retired from ASG in 2013, Mark Teter was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the author of 'Paradigm Shift: Seven Keys of Highly successful Linux and Open Source Adoptions.' As CTO, Mark regularly advised IT organizations, vendors, and government agencies, and he frequently conducted seminars and training programs.

Filed Under: Data Archiving

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