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Application restore needs often require new backup processes

As storage administrators grapple with growth of unstructured data in their environments, another challenge has set in -- the number of applications and systems that can be put to work in a single data center.

"I'll be honest with you. It's not perfect yet. There's not a single interface that'll sit on top of anybody's application and everything's going to be hunky-dory," George Crump, president and founder of Storage Switzerland, said to his Storage Decisions audience about the challenge of having adequate backup processes in place to handle these application restore needs.

"What this has led to is an unbelievable growth in the number of backup solutions available to you," said Crump, who noted he listens to about 15 briefings per week from vendors of backup and storage products.

"The reality is, diversity in primary storage is going to lead to a lot of diversity in backup storage and applications," said Crump.

When he used to walk into a data center, "typically, there was one big array … and then there was, maybe, a NAS. I walk into a data center today, a [midsize] organization, I'd say they have seven different storage systems," said Crump.

Now with so many products at use in a single environment, backup processes become more complex.

"When you get to that point, all of a sudden you have all of these data sets coming at you, and what we tend to see is each one of those spawn at least one backup application or new backup process," said Crump.

While streamlining these backup processes could be helpful, administrators shouldn't see it as a likely goal.

"I am not a purist. I am not a guy [who] will sit up here and say, 'You must enforce one backup software for your entire enterprise.' If you can get there, awesome. I don't think most people can get there," said Crump.

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