News
10/18/2010
11:51 AM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Disk Backup Challenges

In most enterprises, disk is looked to as a cure for all your backup woes. The goal of adding disk to the process is to reduce backup windows, improve recovery windows and make the whole process more reliable. Reality is though that while it does help the situation it seldom cures the backup problem and fails to fully address any of these problems.

In most enterprises, disk is looked to as a cure for all your backup woes. The goal of adding disk to the process is to reduce backup windows, improve recovery windows and make the whole process more reliable. Reality is though that while it does help the situation it seldom cures the backup problem and fails to fully address any of these problems.There are conflicting needs within the backup process that has lead to a proliferation of disk backup devices in many enterprises. There is one of rapid initial copy time vs. one of long term storage need. This in many environments has lead to not one but multiple disk to disk backup solutions being deployed. A high speed cache for quick ingest, a medium term storage repository for file and system recoveries and a long term archive pool for retention. Increasingly data centers have two or three of each of these options as they try to decide which one is best or need to address scaling limitations which leads to buying multiple units. Each has to be independently managed and monitored. This is an area where backup virtualization can help as we discuss in our recent article "Backup Virtualization Brings Flexibility To Disk Backup" by consolidating the various disk backup targets behind a single backup virtualization appliance.

Consolidating the various disk and tape resources is merely step one and brings a powerful band-aide to the problem. The next step is to just get better control of the protection process. This can be done in one of two ways. Fundamentally changing how the backup process works or insert specific policies and procedures to better manage and maintain service levels within the current process.

Fundamental change is going to have to come from the current move away from traditional file by file copy method and more to the disk based image level backups. While these have become especially popular in virtualized environments, stand alone systems are now being included either by temporarily treating that stand alone system as a virtualized server or by direct block level backup support of the stand alone system. In a way, these systems can be thought of as the ultimate use of disk because they depend on a device that is random access in nature. This does not mean tape is dead though. Several of these solutions are supporting tape, or you can again use backup virtualization to perform that integration.

Better control is going to come from the increased use of tools that can provide a realtime view into the goings on of the backup process. These solutions allow for service levels to be set and maintained as well as data to be managed. Gaining control of the process and the data that process is designed to protect is really the long term solution.

Disk backups can help and may be the most viable quick fix to a backup problem. Looking further down the road though by consolidating backup targets and instituting backup SLAs and processes may have a greater return on investment.

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

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is lead analyst of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments. Find Storage Switzerland's disclosure statement here.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Considering how prevalent third-party attacks are, we need to ask hard questions about how partners and suppliers are safeguarding systems and data.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0993
Published: 2014-09-15
Buffer overflow in the Vcl.Graphics.TPicture.Bitmap implementation in the Visual Component Library (VCL) in Embarcadero Delphi XE6 20.0.15596.9843 and C++ Builder XE6 20.0.15596.9843 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted BMP file.

CVE-2014-2375
Published: 2014-09-15
Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files, and obtain sensitive information or cause a denial of service (disk consumption), via the CSV export feature.

CVE-2014-2376
Published: 2014-09-15
SQL injection vulnerability in Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-2377
Published: 2014-09-15
Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to discover full pathnames via an application tag.

CVE-2014-3077
Published: 2014-09-15
IBM SONAS and System Storage Storwize V7000 Unified (aka V7000U) 1.3.x and 1.4.x before 1.4.3.4 store the chkauth password in the audit log, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading this log file.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
CISO Insider: An Interview with James Christiansen, Vice President, Information Risk Management, Office of the CISO, Accuvant