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What's in a name? When we're talking about 'Backup & Recover'; plenty!

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Poor Juliet Capulet.  She asked, “What’s in a name?” And she answered her own question, “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  But she was a foolish teenager, a girl who made lots of wrong assumptions on her way toward fulfilling her destiny as a “star-crossed lover.”  Pardon the Shakespeare tangent away from technology; I did take some liberal arts classes in undergrad. (Way back then, Engineering, Math and Physics classes averaged 0.5068 girls per class)
A name, of course, matters quite a bit.  The term we use to describe anything – a person, a phenomenon, a technology – influences our understanding of that item’s purpose and significance.  This rings true in the data center, as well, where the tendency to truncate “backup and recovery” to just “backup” can have some negative and self-fulfilling results.

This was the topic of Martin Glassborow’s piece, “True Names,” on StorageBod’s Blog recently.  Glassborow writes, “Names have great power and by naming something, you define it and often bound it in ways that you never mean to do.”  Glassborow goes on to write that too often, he hears IT professionals discussing “backup” when what they really mean is “backup and recovery.”  By lopping off the second half of the term, speakers inadvertently contribute to a collective forgetting of the purpose of these technologies.
“By losing the recovery bit of the phrase, we unconsciously start to focus on the wrong thing; the purpose of the infrastructure is lost, and it simply becomes about storing some files without really thinking about why we are storing them,” says Glassborow.
And he’s right.  All the technologies we develop, perfect and deliver to data centers certainly are adept at backing up data and storing it securely and indefinitely.  But that is not an end in itself.  The real purpose of what we do, and the ultimate reason data centers buy into it, is that recovery of data any time, under any circumstances, is absolutely critical to business operations.  “Backup” is a half-way-there solution.
Glassborow argues that if we’re going to give these joined technologies a shortened moniker, recovery would be a more accurate one.  “Perhaps it's about time, we stopped talking about Backup and we started talking about Recovery. If you called the 'Backup Team' the 'Recovery Team' and talked about the recoverability of your estate as opposed to simply the amount of data and the Backup success rate; people might take it more seriously,” he says.
It’s a good point, but we would argue that both sides of these solutions are essential, and efforts to backup data and recover it are as intertwined as the fates of Romeo and Juliet.  Used in conjunction, however, backup and recovery technologies help enterprises reach much happier endings.

FalconStor Marketing Team

FalconStor Marketing Team

FalconStor Marketing Team

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