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Backup trends surrounding open systems

Bits & Bytes: What are the backup/recovery trends surrounding open systems environments? Backup expert W. Curtis Preston looks at the future of backups. See what he thinks about disk-based backup, networked backup and offsite backups.

A reader recently asked our expert the following question:

What are the trends with regards to open systems backup and recovery environments? What is the market saying? How will backups be taking place in the future?

Here's what expert Curtis Preston had to say about it:

That's a pretty big question! Let me see if I can provide a somewhat concise answer.

Perhaps the biggest trend I see is the move towards disk as a backup target. While not everything is moving in this direction, it is clear that more and more people are starting to use disk as a backup target. Perhaps the biggest reason for this is the advent of Fibre and SCSI-based ATA disk arrays. It just makes disk backup so stinking cheap. Then, of course, there are many vendors that are capitalizing on this change. These include anything from tape virtualization products to backup products written specifically to backup to disk.

Another trend I see is that people are putting more and more backup SANs in place. More and more hosts are being backed up "locally" to tape drives that are connected via Fibre Channel. We saw this trend begin around 1999 and it has become almost commonplace now.

People are also starting to worry a LITTLE bit more about getting their backups offsite. While 9/11 didn't cause everyone to rush out and buy stock in Iron Mountain, a lot of people are spending money in this area where they previously had not.

Editor's note: Do you agree with this expert's response? If you have more to share, post it in one of our .bphAaR2qhqA^0@/searchstorage>discussion forums.

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