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Backup is Old School Featured

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As Wikipedia notes, full backups had been the traditional approach to protecting large data sets, but the problem is that, in today’s high data growth and demanding 24x7 environment, full or even incremental backups take time that is just not available. Multi-tasking or multi-user systems will constantly be trying to send writes to data that is being backed up.

The traditional approach to this problem is to temporarily disable write access to data during the backup, by quiescing the application or
by having the operating system enforce exclusive read access. This works when regular downtime is acceptable, but 24/7 systems cannot bear service stoppages. To avoid downtime, high-availability systems may instead perform the backup on a snapshot—a read-only copy of the data set frozen at a point in time—and allow applications to continue writing to their data. In some systems once the initial snapshot is taken of a data set, subsequent snapshots copy the changed data only and use a system of pointers to reference the initial snapshot.

These are often called delta snapshots and contain only changes from the original source data, and therefore do not consume a
significant amount of disk storage space relative to the original volume. Systems have now advanced to provide greater flexibility by maintaining up to 1,000 snapshots per volume for highly granular recovery points and enhanced business continuity. These snapshots can be maintained on any storage array in addition to the array where the primary data is found. Plus, backups can complete in a fraction of the time with no production impact. In fact, the notion of the “backup window” disappears as backups can be run at any time, even during the busiest production hours. The impact is diminished even further when heterogeneous devices can be treated as a common pool instead of needing to be backed up one by one.

For full application support, application-aware snapshot agents provide complete data protection for databases such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, and DB2, and messaging applications such as Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, to ensure that snapshots are taken with full transactional integrity. Transactional integrity means that the database copy can be brought online without going through lengthy database rebuild processes or file-system checks, saving hours of valuable recovery time in the event of a disaster. Comprehensive transactional data
and integrity is attained through an automated process that takes snapshots of databases for point-in-time granularity and disaster recovery. The agents allow instant recovery to any point in time without requiring scripting. They also utilize a group snapshot feature to ensure transactional integrity of databases across multiple storage volumes.

Data protection has come a long way since the early days of full backup tapes!  

Gary Parker

Gary Parker

FalconStor Product Marketing Manager

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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