Beyond backup - protecting data through replication

Beyond backup - protecting data through replication

Dale Mescher

Tape backups are too useful to be eliminated from any IT protection strategy, but they have one serious flaw: data that is created or changed in-between backups is vulnerable to loss. This exposure is most extreme in environments with daily transactional data and short time windows for backups. Losing an entire day?s business can be traumatic, and in a case of catastrophic failure, the data could be irrecoverable.

Data replication can provide the following benefits that are not obtainable with tape backups:

  • Data is protected 24x7x365, if the replication is done in real-time.
  • Replicating data to an off-site location provides disaster recovery resources in case of geographic or site disaster.
  • An identical dataset provides for failover operations without loss of downtime, simply by transferring operations to the server holding the replicated data set.
  • Replicating data back to the repaired server or site, consumes far less time than restoring tape because there is no need to update the restored server to the current data set.
  • Replication can aid in storage consolidation if data is replicated to a dedicated backup server that serves as the centralized location for backups. The backup server can also be connected to a storage area network (SAN) to accommodate large amounts of data. Since there is no impact on the production servers or LAN, backups can be run as frequently as needed on the backup server without affecting production.

About the author: This tip was submitted and prepared by Dale Mescher from NSI Software, makers of data replication software Double-Take and GeoCluster based in Hoboken, NJ. To find out more about NSI Software go to their Web site at

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