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Fast Guide: Disk-based backup

Whether you're just considering your disk-based backup options, evaluating products or right in the middle of an implementation, this guide will help you make disk work.

Andrew Burton, Associate EditorAffordable ATA-based RAID has paved the way for more and more organizations to reap the performance benefits of disk-based backup. Disk can improve backup and recovery performance and help you save money at the same time, but it's not necessarily right for everyone. However, from mirroring to virtual tape libraries, it is certain that disk is changing the way that backups are performed.

Whether you're just considering your disk-based backup options, evaluating products or right in the middle of an implementation, this guide will help you figure out how to make disk work for you. Check it out now!

   Pros and cons of disk-based backup
   Architecting disk-based backup
   Case studies
   Additional information

  Pros and cons of disk-based backup  Return to Table of Contents
  • Wake up, smell the disk, and discover CO technologies
    Check out capacity optimization (CO) through the eyes of storage expert Arun Taneja and learn why he feels CO will change the way you do business -- for the better.

  • Disk-based backup and recovery: Is it right for my organization?
    This webcast is designed to clarify your disk-based backup and recovery choices. As backup and recovery challenges continue to mount, many organizations realize that relying solely on tape-based solutions may not be enough.

  • Best practices for protecting Oracle databases with Disk-based Backup solutions from EMC
    Industry experts will discuss the challenges of moving data on tape and the benefits of disk-based data protection for your remote offices and laptop users in this webcast.

  • D2D2T a nice compromise in disk vs. tape debate
    It used to be that backup automatically equaled tape. But with the falling price of disk drives, new disk-based products and shrinking backup windows, the choice isn't automatic anymore. This tip discusses supplementing existing tape systems with disks that serve as partial backup.

  • Managing Exchange backups: Tape vs. CDP
    Depending on your environment, traditional tape backup products may not be sufficient to achieve your overall messaging service objectives. Learn about the limitations of tape backup for Exchange 2000 and 2003, and future trends for Exchange data management.

  • Are SATA drives ready for the enterprise?
    The need for inexpensive, high-capacity storage media is growing. SATA hard disk drives are quickly becoming alternatives to higher-cost FC and SCSI drives, but are they ready for prime time?

  • Think before you invest in disk-to-disk backup
    Disk-to-disk backup is a very attractive solution, especially with the introduction of several new inexpensive disk options like ATA and Serial ATA (SATA). But sometimes the older, less glamorous approach is better. Jon William Toigo explains why disk-to-disk backup might not be ready for prime time.

  • CTOs weigh in on disk-based backup
    Disk-based backup has been making a name for itself over the past year, yet the majority of users are still combining disk and tape in their backup environments. But as the cost of disk continues to drop and its benefits as a backup medium become more well-known, will tape soon be used only for archival purposes?

  • Users say disk-based backup products aren't ready
    Disk-to-disk backup is one of the hottest technologies in storage right now, but as it makes its way into production environments, some users are discovering problems.

  • Why use disk-based backup?
    There are a number of compelling arguments in favor of disk-based backups. Performance is one, considering some 2 GB FC hard drives offer performance exceeding 200 MBps versus 40 MBps for some of the fastest tape devices. However, data access mode is where disk-based backup appeals to many.

  • Disk-based backup vs. tape
    Is your shop thinking of going the tape route for data backup? Well, before you make a move, backup expert Curtis Preston says take a look a disks first. He's been "tape" burned too many times and believes disk-based backup is the way to go, all the way.

  Trends  Return to Table of Contents
  • HP steps up its game in data protection
    This article covers Hewlett Packard products built around Microsoft's Data Protection Manager (DPM) and Windows Storage Server 2003 products. Microsoft DPM takes a volume-level snapshot every hour.
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  • Overstock saves millions on database replication tool
    This article discusses why software from GoldenGate Software Inc., which replicates structured data between databases, might be a better choice than traditional backup software in certain environments.

  • Hospital ditches Veritas, tape
    Learn why a hospital in New York researched several tape options to replace its system, until they came across a disk-based product from Avamar Technologies Inc., called Axion.

  • Microsoft's customers will get their back up
    This article discusses Microsoft's entry into the disc-based storage market, and how it has drawn attention to the storage industry's move in that direction.

  • Backup predictions for 2005: Disk-based backup gains steam, but tape is far from dead
    Back in December, 2004, business continuity expert Pierre Dorion predicted an increased interest in old storage management and backup issues as well as an increased interest in disk-based backup.

  • Big storage in small packages
    IT departments seem to have an unquenchable thirst for storage capacity. Learn why more storage is being crammed into less space, how new innovations allow for denser arrays and which manufacturers pushing in this direction.

  • Why you'll soon use disk for backup
    A lot has been made recently of disk's emergence as a viable option for backup and recovery. While many of the virtual tape systems, disk libraries and software based disk-to-disk technologies are in their infancy, they're drawing a hard look from many users and analysts in the industry.

  • Users tread lightly with disk-to-disk backup
    A recent survey conducted by Storage magazine provided evidence that disk-to-disk backup is gaining momentum, but there is still some confusion about which disk backup products to buy.

  • Most users planning to use disk-based backups
    Hundreds of users at the Storage Decisions conference are using disk-based backup technologies now or plan to implement them over the next 12 months.

  • Virtual tape offers first step toward disk-based backup
    Maxxan Systems Inc. wants to make disk-based virtual tape library (VTL) technology the de facto standard for backup and recovery -- and it's not alone. A growing number of storage vendors and industry experts believe that tape's days are numbered and that VTL technology may be a sign of things to come.

  • Cheap SATA spurs D2D
    Two vendors are capitalizing on falling disk prices to create disk-to-disk (D2D) backup appliances that complement -- and in some cases replace -- traditional tape backup.

  • Disk-to-disk-to-tape makes inroads
    The recoverability of disk, the cost-effectiveness of tape – seems like the two working together is a no-brainer. If you are looking for an effective way to back up remote offices -- a disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) setup might be an interesting way to go. This tip uncovers the limitations of D2D2T, who is offering D2D2T products and what the benefits are.

  Architecting disk-based backup  Return to Table of Contents
  • Understanding snapshots and point-in-time copies
    This tip explains how to perform time-based snapshots and point-in-time data protection, how these techniques differ, appropriate uses for each and some technology examples.

  • How to architect tiered backup using D2D2T
    To figure out the true capabilities and limitations of current disk-to-disk-to-tape strategies, we have to examine actual implementations of products and talk to the folks in the trenches about what works and what doesn't.

  • Backup School: Backup media
    What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different backup media? Lesson two of "Backup school" explores backup media and which may be right for you.

  • Making disk-based backup work
    Done properly, incorporating disk into a comprehensive data protection plan will improve the performance of backup and restore, reduce day-to-day management problems and provide an enhanced degree of data protection.

  • Integrating disk into backup for faster restores
    Backup expert W. Curtis Preston discusses the most effective way to perform backups -- send your data to disk first and then archive to tape. The end result will be a smaller backup window and the ability to perform faster restores. Read more about Preston's plan for faster backups.

  Case studies  Return to Table of Contents
  • Airline cuts sky high costs with VTL
    JetBlue Airways is keeping IT costs down by using a virtual tape library for disk-based backups.

  • Disk-based device helps firm cut backup window in half
    Chris Powers, IT supervisor at Palo Alto, Calif.-based financial services firm Mohler, Nixon and Williams was fed up with sleeping at the office to complete backups and tired of hauling piles of tapes home. Something had to change.

  • Ham radio group tunes in disk-to-disk backup
    A group representing ham radio operators now uses disk-to-disk backup. Not only is the new system more efficient, the organization's IT manager, a self-proclaimed "paranoid," sleeps a little easier at night.

  • Cut costs with tiered backups
    YP.Net, a leading online yellow pages company, the database literally is the business. Users visit the site millions of times a day to look up businesses in the United States and Canada. In the event of a problem, the company has to get the database back as quickly as possible.

  Additional information  Return to Table of Contents
  • Got system recovery? Maybe you should
    Learn about a number of products that can help make bare metal restores less of a headache for you and your company.

  • Resource guide to disk-based backup
    Disk-based backup has been making a name for itself this past year especially since costs continue to drop.'s readers have come to us seeking answers on the best way to implement disk-to-disk backup and even disk-to-disk-to-tape.

  • A directory of hot disk-to-disk backup products
    When thinking of disk backup products, it's probably a pretty safe bet that you've asked yourself "what's hot and what's not." Backup expert Curtis Preston says there is a lot out there and plenty that work well with Windows. For your convenience he provides a handy link to a list of current D2D backup products.

  • Backup/DR tips section
    Backing up your data is more critical than ever these days. These backup tips provide you much in the way of technical advice and shortcuts for ensuring effective backup/recovery operations. Sample tips have covered everything from backup routines to NDMP and NAS backup issues.

Do you see anything missing in this guide? E-mail us your comments and suggestions.

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