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Disk backup validated
In our March 2004 survey, we said disk-based backup was beginning to get serious traction, which was confirmed by our latest survey. Only 31% of respondents are increasing their use of tape for backup (see Question 6), while 53% are increasing spending on disk-to-disk backup (see Question 7). Only 24% are cutting disk-to-disk backup spending or have no spending plans.

Question 6

Question 7

But the trend toward disk-based backup may be up against the uncertainty of new products, unproven technologies and the difficulty of integrating within existing environments. The number of respondents who haven't selected any disk-to-disk technology rose from 15% in March to 33% in August, suggesting that once storage managers dig into the options, enthusiasm wanes a bit (see Question

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8). Nonetheless, 41% are employing a disk-to-disk-to-tape approach, and 28% are backing up to disk and then archiving to tape. Virtual tape scores a surprisingly low 10%, while more sophisticated (and space-saving) approaches such as content-addressable storage and single-instance storage are almost off the radar.

Question 8

If disk is an increasingly popular backup choice, tape is still the No. 1 choice for a more archive-oriented application like compliance. For compliance, 54% will rely on tape, compared to 33% for conventional disk and 11% for disk configured as virtual tape, to build their archives. With all the fuss about write once, read many (WORM) requirements for compliance, only 11% tapped WORM disk and 12% optical WORM for compliance.

If you're among those who haven't made a serious investment in compliance products, you're not alone. Only 39% of respondents say they'll increase their spending on data retention to meet compliance requirements. That position is reversed in specific industries, however, with healthcare leading the way with 61% of respondents saying they will increase spending (see Question 9); insurance and financial services aren't far behind.

Question 9

As for disaster recovery (DR) choices, the picture is again a mosaic. For 48% of respondents, off-site tape storage is their primary DR-related expenditure. Yet 40% cite remote copy/replication (normally disk-based) as their primary expenditure, and the trend toward online DR facilities is buttressed by the 56% of respondents who are increasing or maintaining spending on remote mirroring.

One arena where diversity seems to be waning in data protection is in the choice of tape formats. LTO surged to a large lead as the primary choice for tape format, significantly outpacing DLT/Super DLTfor the first time.

This was first published in November 2004

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