Backup challenges: Slow backup and recovery, growing capacity demands

Slow recovery times plague backup admins

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Slow recovery times

While 35% of respondents said that slow recovery time is a frequent problem, there are a wide variety of technologies and techniques available that can address this issue.

For example, if an organization is using tape as their primary backup medium, it could speed recovery time by first staging recent backups to disk for faster recovery. The same could be said for anyone relying on the cloud as a backup target. Also, newer tape libraries have indexing capabilities and sophisticated robotics that also speed recovery times. LTFS is another development in the tape world that is aimed at speeding recovery time -- it applies a file system to tape, allowing data on tape to be searched as if it were on disk. Restores from deduplication systems may be slow because data has to be "rehydrated" before it can be restored. However, not all dedupe systems are created equal in this regard. Dedupe system vendors use a variety of approaches to mitigate this "dedupe tax."

Even with these new technologies available, it's not particularly surprising that respondents say they are dealing with slow restores. It is common for organizations to rely on older technology because it can be a challenge to switch backup software or hardware since most rely on proprietary formats. Users frequently have to perform large data migrations or maintain older versions of software or hardware in order to access older backups.

One of the most important things an organization can do to speed backup times for tape or disk backup systems is not a technology but a discipline. Archiving and data deletion takes older unused or unnecessary data out of the backup infrastructure entirely: Less data to restore = faster restore time.

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