Data Protection InfographicIn previous posts (see below), we analyzed the results from our recent data protection survey, in which we polled more than 1,600 IT professionals. Here’s what we learned:

  • Most IT pros believe that data must be aggressively protected.
  • They want recovery point and recovery time objectives of 6 hours or less.
  • Disk is the media of choice for aggressive data protection, and will be for the foreseeable future.

In this post, we’ll look at how IT pros protect data, and the challenges they face in doing so.

Storage Snapshots and Replication

Fifty-three percent of businesses rely on storage snapshots to protect data. That number varies depending on the size of the business: Sixty percent of large businesses use storage snapshots compared to 40 percent of small organizations.

Not surprising. Traditional data protection techniques place a heavy load on IT infrastructure – data must be read from its source, moved across the network, and written onto a target backup device, a process that won’t doesn’t scale. As CommVault’s Peter Eicher noted in a recent blog, “The only reasonable way to meet these needs is by using disk array snapshot technology.”

Snapshots stored on cost-effective, high-capacity hard disks allow businesses to protect data with instant point-in-time copies. The process is contained within the storage system so it has no impact to the rest of the IT infrastructure, and allows recovery point and recovery time objectives of 6 hours or less.

What happens in the case of a site outage? To protect against site outages, businesses use replication, transferring data from a primary storage site to a disaster recovery (DR) site. Fifty percent of all respondents use storage replication, again with large enterprises relying on it most. Fifty-nine percent of large businesses use replication versus 42 percent of smaller ones. Replication use is on the rise: Fifty-seven percent of large businesses say it is the fastest growing data protection scheme in their environments. This is because snapshots and replication offer the kind of flexibility that is ideal for multi-site deployments. Consider some of the common use cases Nimble Storage supports (illustrated in the figure below):

Data Protection Use Cases - Nimble Storage

Backup Software

Backup software has long served as the backbone for data protection. Eighty-four percent of large businesses, and 77 percent of smaller ones, use some form of backup software for data protection. The role that backup software plays in IT is evolving from its roots as a data mover that transfers data from primary storage systems to backup targets. As noted earlier, snapshots are increasingly being used for data protection – software can manage snapshots to make them a more effective method for data protection and recovery. For example, software can index snapshots for easy searching, or recover granular application items like email attachments. CommVault’s Simpana software used with Nimble Storage snapshots is a good example of a highly effective data protection and recovery combination.

Meeting the Challenge of Aggressive Data Protection

We ended our survey by asking respondents to list their top data protection challenges. They included:

  • Meeting recovery time objectives
  • Meeting backup windows
  • Meeting recovery point objectives

Challenges like these can be addressed by storage snapshots. Nimble Storage delivers efficient snapshot-based data protection that’s seamlessly built into every array, enabling customers to meet their aggressive data protection requirements.


Previous posts in this series:

Part 1: It’s Time To Get Aggressive About Data Protection

Part 2: Where Are Your Backups Going?