News
2/25/2009
06:40 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

Better Storage Practices To Improve Backup

Backup is the thorn in the side of many otherwise smoothly running IT operations. There is probably little coincidence that the newest hire is almost always assigned the backup process or the ramification for missing the assignments meeting. The truth is that backup should be simple -- all you're doing is copying data to tape. The problem in general has nothing to do with the backup process, it has more to do with how primary storage is managed and optimized.

Backup is the thorn in the side of many otherwise smoothly running IT operations. There is probably little coincidence that the newest hire is almost always assigned the backup process or the ramification for missing the assignments meeting. The truth is that backup should be simple -- all you're doing is copying data to tape. The problem in general has nothing to do with the backup process, it has more to do with how primary storage is managed and optimized.The primary problem is size; there is too much data, too much that is stagnant and unchanging. All of this unchanged data has to traverse most often the standard IP network or, best case, a SAN. While disk backup targets, especially those with data deduplication, help to optimally store this backup data, it really doesn't fix the problem at its source.

Fixing problems at the source is where you can derive the most improvement for the least investment. For example, look at real-time compression products like those from Storwize. These solutions compress file-based data in place and, in most cases, achieve better than 60% reduction of data. For user access, data is compressed and decompressed on the fly transparently, with little, if any, performance impacts. The backup application can access the compressed data in its compressed format, effectively cutting in half the amount of data to transport across the network and subsequently stored on backup disk and/or backup tape. Interesting that these inline compression appliances are compatible with deduplication appliances and actually improve their effective reduction rates.

The next step is to look into software that will reduce the amount of data sent across the network in the first place. The source-side reduction backup applications can either perform deduplication like EMC's Avamar or block-level incremental backups like SyncSort's Backup Express. While deduplication has the advantage of maximum backup disk storage optimization, block-level incremental technology (BLI) creates a backup volume that can be utilized for other purposes because it itself is a readable file system. Also, BLI has less impact on the server being protected, making more frequent backups more practical.

Finally, it makes sense to archive all this stagnant data off primary storage. Most studies indicate that more than 80% of this data can be archived and moved out of the backup process in its entirety. Using disk archive products like those from Permabit, NexSAN, or Copan Systems can be more aggressive than with tape-based systems, causing a dramatic reduction in your investment in primary storage and power costs.

Getting data to this archive can be as simple as using an operating systems move command to get the data to it. In our next entry we will look at a new technique, an optimized move.

View our Webcast on Primary Storage Optimization to learn more.

Track us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/storageswiss.

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is founder of Storage Switzerland, an analyst firm focused on the virtualization and storage marketplaces. It provides strategic consulting and analysis to storage users, suppliers, and integrators. An industry veteran of more than 25 years, Crump has held engineering and sales positions at various IT industry manufacturers and integrators. Prior to Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one of the nation's largest integrators.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
Enterprises today have a wide range of third-party options to help improve their defenses, including MSSPs, auditing and penetration testing, and DDoS protection. But are there situations in which a service provider might actually increase risk?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2011-4403
Published: 2015-04-24
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in Zen Cart 1.3.9h allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) delete a product via a delete_product_confirm action to product.php or (2) disable a product via a setflag action to categories.ph...

CVE-2012-2930
Published: 2015-04-24
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in TinyWebGallery (TWG) before 1.8.8 allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) add a user via an adduser action to admin/index.php or (2) conduct static PHP code injection attacks in .htusers...

CVE-2012-2932
Published: 2015-04-24
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in TinyWebGallery (TWG) before 1.8.8 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) selitems[] parameter in a copy, (2) chmod, or (3) arch action to admin/index.php or (4) searchitem parameter in a search action to admin/...

CVE-2012-5451
Published: 2015-04-24
Multiple stack-based buffer overflows in HttpUtils.dll in TVMOBiLi before 2.1.0.3974 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (tvMobiliService service crash) via a long string in a (1) GET or (2) HEAD request to TCP port 30888.

CVE-2015-0297
Published: 2015-04-24
Red Hat JBoss Operations Network 3.3.1 does not properly restrict access to certain APIs, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary Java methos via the (1) ServerInvokerServlet or (2) SchedulerService or (3) cause a denial of service (disk consumption) via the ContentManager.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.