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Traditional Approaches To Data Protection Being Overwhelmed, StorageTek Survey Finds

  • 21 October, 2003 12:07

<p>~ Cost Still Inhibits Disk-Based Data Protection At Six In Ten Australian Organisations, Although Its Use Has Increased in Last 12 Months ~</p>
<p>SYDNEY Australia, October 21, 2003 -- Traditional approaches to data protection are being overwhelmed, with backup window constraints and recovery time causing the most problems, according to a new survey conducted by StorageTek® (Storage Technology Corp., NYSE:STK), the storage services and solutions expert.</p>
<p>"With data volumes increasing by 70% per year, it's no wonder that protecting information assets has become a headache," said Philip Belcher, Managing Director for StorageTek Australia / New Zealand. "And the problem will only get worse unless organisations rethink the process."</p>
<p>When data storage management personnel from 127 large and medium sized Australian organisations were asked what issues were causing them the most problems with data protection, issues associated with traditional approaches dominated.</p>
<p>Over half (53.6%) experienced 'backup window constraints' or insufficient time to back up data. Nearly half (45.1%) cited 'recovery time' as an issue, with four in ten (39.9%) nominating 'backup system complexity' and a similar number (39.9%) indicating 'poor disaster recovery and backup strategies'. Interestingly, 'cost' (30.1%) and 'performance' (32.0%) were each issues at fewer than a third of organisations. Other issues were 'data integrity' (20.3%) or 'other' (4.6%).</p>
<p>"Organisations are telling us the problem is not so much the 'cost' of protecting data as the 'how'," said Mr Belcher. "The root cause of the problem is that all data gets protected the same way. It's an unsustainable strategy. As data volumes grow, systems are getting overwhelmed.</p>
<p>"StorageTek believes a new approach is required, based on Information Lifecycle Management™, a strategy which says that data should be treated differently, according to its business value," he said. "By segmenting and prioritising you can focus resources on the highest priority data, giving the best protection and fastest recovery to the most valuable data."</p>
<p>One way to address issues like backup window constraints and the need for faster recovery is to use disk replication as a data protection strategy. The survey found that organisations are strongly embracing disk replication with more than nine in ten (92.2%) using it in some way.</p>
<p>When asked how they were using disk in their data replication strategy, a majority (55.6%) of organisations used 'disk-to-disk-tape backup', that is, backing up to tape from a temporary disk copy to minimise disruptions to online data access. Nearly half (45.1%) performed 'mirror or volume replication onsite' and over a third (35.3%) used 'snapshot copies'. Nearly one third (32.0%) extended this to 'mirror or volume replication offsite'.</p>
<p>Fewer than one in seven (13.7%) organisations used 'disk emulating tape (virtual tape)'. Fewer than one in twelve (7.8%) are not using disk as part of their replication strategy -- presumably they are using tape as their only backup/replication option. Some 3.3% chose 'other'.</p>
<p>The survey also asked to what extent organisations used disk as their primary backup device, providing a basis for comparison with a survey StorageTek conducted 12 months ago.</p>
<p>Around two in ten (21.2% vs 9.6% a year ago) organisations used disk as their primary backup for all data; over one in ten (11.9% vs 14.4% a year ago) as their primary backup for all critical systems; four in ten (40.4% vs 45.2% a year ago) for some critical systems; and around a quarter (26.5% vs 30.8% a year ago) did not use disk for primary backups.</p>
<p>Nearly three quarters (73.5% vs 69.2% a year ago) used disk to back up some or all critical IT systems. But more than two thirds (66.9% vs 76.0% a year ago) still had some critical applications not backed up to disk.</p>
<p>The trend to use disk for primary backup is proceeding steadily but not rapidly, although the number of organisations using disk as primary backup for all their data has doubled off a fairly low base. "It is not a case of disk winning over tape but using the most appropriate technology for the purpose," said Mr Belcher. "Tape continues to be the cornerstone of the data protection process, supplemented with other protection processes to enhance availability and recovery speed."</p>
<p>Despite recent advances in storage technology, such as the advent of lower-cost enterprise ATA disk subsystems and falling costs for enterprise disk storage generally, the survey found that cost remains a significant inhibitor to disk replication and backup.</p>
<p>When organisations were asked about inhibitors to using more disk-based data protection, the top three responses were all cost related. 'Storage cost' was cited by around six in ten (59.5%) Australian organisations as an inhibitor. With falling enterprise disk costs, this is markedly fewer than a year ago, when StorageTek found that storage cost inhibited the use of disk-based data protection at five in six (83.3%) organisations.</p>
<p>'Implementation cost' was also an inhibitor at around four in ten (41.8% vs 53.8% a year ago) organisations. The next biggest inhibitor, chosen by around three in ten (29.4% vs 26.9% a year ago) was 'management costs' -- the only cost-related inhibitor to have risen since 2002.</p>
<p>The need to use removable media to send data offsite was an inhibitor at considerably fewer organisations this year than 2002, at just over two in ten (22.9% vs 38.5% a year ago). Implementation disruption (11.1% vs 11.5% a year ago) and poor performance (5.9% vs 7.7% a year ago) were inhibitors at relatively few organisations.</p>
<p>Very few organisations (7.2% vs 15.4% a year ago) said there were no inhibitors to disk replication, a figure which has halved since 2002, meaning the proportion of organisations facing at least one barrier has increased from 84.6% to 92.8%, perhaps reflecting greater experience of the technology.</p>
<p>"The cost barriers to disk-based data protection have generally fallen since last year with the availability of lower-cost, enterprise-class disk subsystems," said Mr Belcher. "There are also new options to mirror data between unlike subsystems so expensive disk does not have to be used for both the primary and replicated copy."</p>
<p>When StorageTek asked whether organisations would consider using storage from different vendors for the original and mirrored data, an upward trend emerged.</p>
<p>Around one in six organisations (16.6% vs 8.4% a year ago) indicated they already used storage from different vendors for the original and mirror/backup data, almost twice as many as 2002. Nearly another two-thirds (63.4% vs 70.5% a year ago) were willing to consider it. Only around one in eight organisations (12.4% vs 14.7% a year ago) were not willing to consider using storage from different vendors, while a small number (7.6% vs 6.3% a year ago) didn't think there was a viable solution.</p>
<p>"StorageTek has consistently advocated 'The right data on the right device at the right time for the right cost' and this has never been more relevant," said Mr Belcher. "With this survey the market is telling us loud and clear that it welcomes flexible, open standards-based data management products.</p>
<p>"Eighty percent of organisations are willing to consider options that allow them to replicate data onto equipment supplied by another vendor," he said. "This is important as more enterprise-class, high-capacity, lower-cost ATA disk solutions, such as StorageTek's BladeStore, become available."</p>
<p>The survey also asked whether organisations were looking to leverage lower-cost ATA disk for data protection. Around one in ten (10.1%) were doing it, four in ten (41.2%) were considering it, with 'modest interest' expressed by a further four in ten (40.5%). Fewer than one in ten (8.1%) organisations had no interest in the technology.</p>
<p>"It is interesting to see the extent the market is embracing lower-cost ATA disk subsystems," said Mr Belcher. "There are a significant number of early adopters, and most organisations are moving to or considering the technology. Very few show no interest. StorageTek confidently predicts that a large number of organisations will implement ATA disk subsystems over the next 12 months."</p>
<p>The survey was completed earlier this month by storage management personnel in 127 large and medium-sized organisations registering for StorageTek's "Let's Talk About Data Replication" storage briefings around Australia. The briefings:</p>
<p>* Examine available data replication strategies;
* Show practical ways companies are achieving cost effective data replication; and
* Introduce innovative StorageTek products, such as EchoView™, addressing the data replication challenge.</p>
<p>StorageTek advises its customers to invest in a portfolio of data protection capabilities and apply them to address their risks, the scale of their business, and the availability they require. By doing so, organisations can reduce wasted resources and increase the amount of data they can protect.</p>
<p>"There will never be enough money and resources to totally remove risks to your data; the key to success is to match data protection with data value," said Mr Belcher.</p>
<p>StorageTek's EchoView, introduced in Australia today, is a data protection iSCSI-based appliance that revolutionises data protection and availability. EchoView continuously protects data while it is being created -- allowing customers to totally eliminate the backup window and for quick and easy recovery of business critical data.</p>
StorageTek (NYSE:STK), a $US2 billion worldwide company with headquarters in Louisville, Colo., delivers a broad range of storage solutions that are easy to manage, integrate well with existing infrastructures and allow universal access to data across servers, media types and networks. StorageTek provides practical and safe storage solutions in disk, networking, services, tape and tape automation. For more information, see</p>
<p>TRADEMARKS: StorageTek is a registered trademark and EchoView is a trademark of Storage Technology Corp. All other products or company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only, and may be trademarks of their respective owners.</p>
Chris Bowes
Bowes Communications
+61 (0)2 9387 2332</p>

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