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Backup best practices are always evolving

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Backup best practices are always evolving


Backup technology doesn't stand still, so the preferred methods for running an efficient backup environment must also adapt.


After four years of writing this column, I'm struck by how much has changed--and how much has remained the same--in backup and recovery. The first column I wrote discussed the do's and don'ts of tape library selection, which is still a relevant topic but not necessarily the kind of material a topical publication would focus on. Since then, new technologies have emerged and backup seems to have been examined from every conceivable angle.

The foundation for the most important changes in backup technology can be summed up in a single word: disk. Low-cost, high-capacity disk storage has become the enabler for a variety of technologies that are redefining backup operations. Some of these advances, such as virtual tape libraries (VTLs), represent evolutionary enhancements to the traditional backup process, while others like continuous data protection and single-instance storage are potentially far more transformational.

Nondisk technologies have also had an impact on how we architect backup solutions. These include dramatic increases in tape capacity and speed, more widespread availability of low-cost network bandwidth, and server technologies such as virtualization.

Backup and recovery best practices continue to evolve. Data

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capacity demands, recovery expectations, and new application and business requirements all have a bearing on how we manage data protection. Toss in the new technology options, and it's worth re-examining some of our considerations for best practices.

This was first published in September 2006

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