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Capacity still biggest backup bugaboo

Storage managers are making headway with backup pain points, but rising capacities are still a headache. How are storage pros dealing with these challenges? More disk.

Storage managers are making headway in dealing with their backup pain points, but the ongoing struggle with rising capacities is still headache No. 1, according to our Snapshot survey. How are storage pros dealing with these challenges? More disk, of course.

Backup is hard and, despite the numerous products that are supposed to help, it's not getting a lot easier, at least according to our latest Storage magazine survey. Asked what their biggest backup issue was, 65% of respondents said just keeping up with growing capacity. But that was an improvement over last year when 73% cited capacity as the main sticking point. Backup windows are another source of pain, as 58% said the time it takes to complete a backup is their most vexing backup problem, just nudging out backing up redundant data (55%). Fifty-six percent said they added more disk to address their backup woes vs. last year's 61%. Data deduplication might have helped reduce that number, as 42% are now using or have definite plans to use dedupe to pare their backup data, a 5 point increase from the 2008 survey. And an even bigger segment (47%) will give implementing dedupe serious consideration to see if it can streamline their backups.

"We need to migrate to disk-based backups, but even with deduplication, finding a solution that backs up 100-plus TB of data within our budget is a real challenge." -- Survey respondent

BIO: Rich Castagna ( is editorial director of the Storage Media Group.

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