Recently, we experienced a fairly catastrophic SAN failure: we lost two drives of a RAID-5 array. Needless to say, recovery was time-consuming, but it also pointed out some general issues with many disaster recovery, business continuity, and general architectures involved with virtual environments. Luckily, we were able to start one of the drives, let the hot-spare take over for the second failure, and recover the vast majority of our data. Yes, there was corruption, so that is where our backups came in and the ultimate dependencies for restoration. How do you recover from a catastrophic failure? Do you fail over automatically to a hot-site or cloud environment? Even if you fail over, how do you recover from a catastrophic failure?
Data Protection is much more than verifying that you have a valid backup. While the recovery of your data is important, Data Protection also encompasses data life cycle management, business continuity, disaster recovery, and continuous data protection as they pertain to virtualized and cloud environments. This topic also examines how to secure and monitor the passing of data between disparate environments and how to increase the scale of data to be protected in shorter periods of time. (Read More)
How to manage the security and protection of your environment in order to safeguard your crown jewels has always been important. However, it has never been more so than today, when data-breach announcements are common and everyone from nation-states to teenagers in their bedrooms have access to powerful tools for breaking in.
VMware has been aggressively building and executing its hybrid cloud vision, extending the cloud outside of the data center. In line with this vision, VMware recently announced an expansion of its VMware vCloud Hybrid Service by adding disaster recovery as one of its offered services. This expansion will put VMware in direct competition with companies like IBM, Sungard AS, Amazon, Rackspace, Zerto, and others in the Recovery as a Service space.
Recently at Dell World, I was part of a conversation about what would be utopian disaster recovery and where we are today in the state of the industry. But where we are today is transforming, with a new name that encompasses many technologies. We are now using the term “data protection” (DP) to mean much more than just disaster recovery (DR), backup, business continuity (BC), replication, data loss prevention, and replication, but also the basic functions of confidentiality, such as encryption. The main goal of data protection is to provide a way to use your data as quickly as possible wherever it is needed and with minimal or no loss.
Data protection of the future: What will it look like? Will we have huge amounts of storage in just one place, or will we have myriad data everywhere? The more copies the better, for example? Or are we moving toward a combination of the two? Can what we are doing today actually be used for data protection in the future? Think about how hybrid clouds are used today: do they grant us new forms of data protection?
On October 17, the Wall Street Journal reported that IBM revenues have now declined for six straight quarters. IBM has told financial analysts that the company is capable of generating revenue growth in the low to mid single digits, but the fact is that IBM has not achieved that kind of growth since 2011. According to the report, IBM’s hardware revenue has fallen by 17%, with the hardware unit losing $167M, and the growth in the software business has gone from 4% to -1% (in other words, the software business has shrunk).
Is the backup licensing model about to change? While I was at VMworld in San Francisco, I took notice of all the different Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) options that are available, and I believe this service has reached its maturity. The number of options and services available seems to have taken a solid leap forward in the last few years. Most of the companies follow the same type of licensing model, in that the software is licensed by the number of agents that are deployed in the environment, the number of hosts, or the amount of data being backed up. Most of the companies, except for one particular company I talked to, followed this model.