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Crump: Data protection challenges with virtualization and unstructured data

George Crump , president and founder of Storage Switzerland, told a recent Storage Decisions audience that virtualization presents unique data protection challenges.

"Guess what: Your backup appliance wasn't designed to host virtual machines," said Crump. "Nobody ever thought of it … and if that backup device is using very high-capacity hard drives, doing deduplication, doing compression, and then you try to launch a virtual machine on it, what's the performance going to look like?"

He said that an increasing number of customers now place a bare-bones tier in front of their deduplication to help with performance when conducting an in-place recovery.

The rapid growth of unstructured data is creating a backup challenge as well. "The problem is growing a lot, and the reason it's growing has nothing to do with what we used to blame it on -- those darn users. Well, now it's machines," said Crump.

He noted that some organizations are constantly generating large amounts of data for analytics, and expect all that data to be available for later review. That means backup administrators are not just dealing with user data, but data that was initially never meant to be kept.

"All of a sudden this machine data that was supposed to have this short life span now has this incredibly long life span," he said.

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