Hot Spots: The case for unified data management platforms


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Consolidating your data protection platforms and practices should be at the top of your 2008 to-do list.

Organizations spend a lot of time making copies of data to minimize risk and improve business continuity. Considering the amount of data retained on primary storage in addition to backup copies, offsite replicas and archived content, management of an organization's data repositories can be a daunting task. This is especially true if every copy is initiated through different processes, applications or management interfaces. Fortunately, many vendors are now offering unified data management platforms aimed at relieving the capacity and management headaches prevalent when point solutions are deployed in the data center. A unified data management and recovery platform can improve performance, decrease complexity and reduce costs, in addition to making all copies of data more useful and accessible for electronic discovery purposes.

Factors driving convergence
In the past, data protection was backup-centric. Snapshot and replication--usually array based--was used only for critical applications. Backup was executed on a schedule, which meant that 24 hours' worth of data could be lost on recovery (recovery point objective or RPO) and it could take anywhere from several hours to a few days to perform a recovery from tape (recovery

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time objective or RTO).

Today, the financial viability of leveraging disk within a data protection schema is driving change. Disk alleviates the burden on the backup/recovery window by creating performance and reliability efficiencies in backup and, more importantly, recovery. Recovery-centric strategies that offer combinations of backup, replication, snapshot and continuous-capture technologies are emerging. The lower cost of disk, coupled with legal discovery and regulatory mandates, has helped to increase the interest in disk-based digital archiving, data classification, index and search. Bandwidth has also become more affordable for many organizations, so moving data between sites--whether for consolidating backups from remote sites or storing replicas at secondary locations for disaster recovery (DR)--has become more practical.

This was first published in December 2007

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