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How much do backup, archiving and DR overlap these days?

How much do backup, archiving and DR overlap these days? Aren't they separate functions? And how important is replication for modern data protection?

Well, I've seen backup convergence in the different capabilities. For example, in backup, we're seeing it provides the ability to do an archive function. So, the indexes -- the database that tracks backup data -- are getting richer. For some larger businesses, maybe not enterprises but larger environments, for example, backup could be used for archive. Some of the backup tools also have the ability to do instant recoveries, and so they could be used as an alternative to replication. So, we are seeing some convergence. But in general, especially in the enterprise, those would be separate components for each of those functions.

Replication is critical for a number of reasons. Number one, it allows you to establish a working dataset on a second array inside a primary datacenter or at a DR site. Today, replication can be delivered by a number of different means. For example, many backup applications have replication built into them. It can also be performed at the hypervisor level. And then, of course, there's the standalone, you know, kind of purpose-built replication software applications. Most those guys are going to become very application-specific, so they'll have a module just for SQL or just for Oracle or just for Exchange or just for SharePoint. Those products provide a higher level of intelligence as far as failover and things like that.

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