Alternatives for organizations struggling with a slow data restore

Alternatives for organizations struggling with a slow data restore

Date: Oct 24, 2013

Restoring large amounts of data can be very time-consuming. In some cases, organizations need to look beyond traditional backup and restore techniques to ensure that data will be available in a reasonable amount of time following an outage. In this Storage Decisions video, W. Curtis Preston, founder of Truth in IT and BackupCentral.com, offers some other backup approaches that can make restores more manageable.

"One of the other things is to get stuff off your storage that you don't need to have on your storage," said Preston. "And by storage, I mean spinning disk or solid state. And this is the idea of a tape-backed object-based storage system."

Another option, according to Preston, is continuous data protection (CDP), or as he calls it, "replication with a log." He said CDP can potentially meet the needs of recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) goals. However, he said, using replication alone for backup could cause problems if faulty or corrupt data is replicated to a backup system.

"If you have a system you don't have time to back up, and you don't have time to restore, either CDP or near-CDP is what you want. It's continuous block-level incremental backup system. Think replication, but with a back button."

Describing the near-CDP process as "replication with snapshots," the snapshots are made on the source system and replicated to the target system.

"Most of the time, this is done once an hour. So the RTO is [comparable to] CDP, because I have a system over here -- it's a backup -- but it's a production, ready-to-go, native copy of the data that I can load as soon as I need it. And the RPO is however often I choose to make a snapshot," said Preston. "However, if you're using replication, and you got System A and System B, and System A gets a virus, the replication just makes the virus more effective. You cannot use replication [alone] as a backup medium."

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