Optimized Data Services (7)
Time Machine for the Enterprise Featured
I love the data protection space. How many disciplines can be reduced down to two simple metrics? The metrics I speak of are recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). These two measures truly break the entire process down to its bare fundamentals:
- RPO refers to data at risk measured in time. For example, an RPO of 60 minutes indicates that you could lose up to an hour’s worth of data or all of the data generated in a 1-hour period. In more simple terms, the RPO is determined by how frequently the backup operation runs.
- RTO is a target. It indicates how much downtime you are willing to suffer before a complete system recovery. An RTO of 180 minutes means you will need to wait 3 hours before you are up and running again.
When it comes to backup and recovery, data center managers are fighting battles on several fronts. First, they face exploding data growth – increased numbers of data volumes, larger data volumes and increased numbers of servers – even as backup windows shrink (assuming there is a backup window anymore). Second, IT has to keep costs down despite expanding protection license fees, increased capacity expenses, inefficient utilization and other factors. This is the classic case of doing more with less. Finally, organizations have a data assurance burden – their teams lack confidence in the integrity of backup data. They have been burned too many times in the past when they needed to access backup data only to find out it was not usable or incomplete.
Although "The times, they are a changin" are the lyrics to a real old Bob Dylan song, they sure seem to be prophetic as they pertain to the storage industry today. In just a few short years, we have seen the fall of Fibre Channel and the introduction of SAS storage as the mainstay of SAN storage.
Lots of folks have recently been asking me about how the cost benefits of introducing the ODS model in their datacenters. I guess the current economic climate is finally pushing the CIO's to take an even closer look at what they are doing to reduce costs to help the business.
Finally, imagine if the ODS utility model could be implemented while leveraging the same server and storage infrastructure currently in place! That would make rolling out the solution a bit more cost effective and easier to deploy than a complete rip and replace scenario.