Ask the Expert

2004 Backup/Recovery predictions: Disk-to-disk-to-tape making it big, the need for automated backup

We asked our Backup/Recovery expert W. Curtis Preston a few questions to give us some insight into what he sees happening in the backup/recovery scene for 2004. Looks like disk-to-disk-to-tape is going to be a big winner for a lot of people, integrating disk with tape and the need for automated backup solutions.
Do you see a dramatic rise in disk adoption rates rise in 2004?

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Not at all. Most of my current clients have been getting by. The one exception is disk-to-disk-to-tape.

What is it about disk-to-disk-to-tape?

I see a LOT of people getting on this bandwagon. I think it's a really good one to get on and there don't seem to be any downsides if you do it right. It's such a win-win that a lot of people are doing it.

What tape advances do you see in 2004?

Frankly? Integrating disk with tape such as what's happening with ADIC. Other than that, it's the same ol' bigger faster. The funny thing is that most people can't stream the tape drives at their current speed. The ONLY way they're going to stream the faster drives is to do local disk-to-tape copies from disk-to-disk backups.

Is 2004 the year of serverless backup?

Depends on how you define it, but probably not. It's still so complicated and requires so much software and possible scripting that it's too complex for anything but the most sophisticated environments or those that absolutely must have it.

Do you see any vendor consolidation in backup?

None that I know of right now.

What backup issues are in need of the most attention by vendors in 2004?

Automated backup of multi-terabyte filesystems. Almost all backup products (except Backup Express, as far as I know) create multiple backup streams at the filesystem/drive level. What do you do when your filesystem is 5TB? You have to manually split it up yourself, that's what. This has to be dealt with NOW.

W. Curtis Preston

From the editor: For more information on backup/recovery issues, CLICK HERE to check out our Fast Guide to backup/recovery and CLICK HERE for more from Curtis on backup and recovery issues and technology.

This was first published in December 2003

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