The following diagram summarises the Recovery Lifecycle Management data protection strategy, and shows how it may be enacted through a suitably-aligned product portfolio: hot data is protected by CDP, delta snapshots provide protection for warm data and VTL storage takes care of cold data. Ultimately, after a process of Redundant Data Elimination (RDE), a ‘single instance store’ may also be created for long term retention.
Although many IT vendors actively promote ‘return on investment’ on storage and data protection purchases, many disk platforms for data protection have been purchased over the last three years in order to guarantee the backup and restore process, with return on investment considered a secondary issue – certainly secondary to ensuring business continuity. However now those platforms are in and operational, IT departments are looking to see a return on investment for these purchases as they would for any other major IT purchase.
As a result, return on investment has become a requirement of installed data protection solutions as much as it has for new purchases. The Taneja Group believes that 2006 and 2007 will be all about businesses trying “to assemble reliable recovery infrastructures that make their disk backup investments worthwhile”, and envisions “recovery tiers [taking up] residence alongside storage tiers in the industry vernacular.” It’s a vision that we at FalconStor share – as might be expected having developed a comprehensive family of products that enable recovery lifecycle management.
It could easily be argued that, a few short years ago, it was vendors that set the agenda for data protection: customer requirements were more than likely to be constrained by the solutions available. But the advent of disk-based backup and recovery and the market penetration of disk-based platforms have led to a more symbiotic relationship than usually exists between IT vendors and business customers: today, solutions and customer requirements seemingly advance together to provide far more than data protection solutions. In fact, today, the right solution portfolio and the right recovery schema performs far more than just the age-old function of data protection: it provides real business advantage and return on investment. And that’s probably actually more than customers expect of data protection.
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