Business Challenges Drive Backup Transformation

The transformation of backup and recovery procedures is being driven by business challenges such as burgeoning data volumes, the need to restore files quickly and the rapid shift to virtualisation.

November 12, 2012

The transformation of backup and recovery procedures is being driven by business challenges such as burgeoning data volumes, the need to restore files quickly with little or no downtime, and the rapid shift to virtualisation.

Kelly Brown, EMEA Director of Product Marketing of EMC’s Backup Recovery Systems Division, says many organisations see backup procedures as a bottleneck to their virtualisation programmes.

“We have identified a strong tendency for companies to take minor steps to modernise their backup solutions,” she says. “Backup technologies have simply not been high on the priority list for investment. Today, these aging infrastructures can no longer cope with the growth and are becoming a serious risk to the business.”

Traditional backup systems are slow, costly and cumbersome. Twenty percent of backups fail to complete in the allotted time, 32% of recoveries are unsuccessful, and 74% of organisations using these systems fear they would be unable to recover from a disaster. With next-generation backup solutions such as Purpose-Built Backup Appliance (PBBA), backup windows are 90% smaller, restores are 30 times faster, and protection and recovery is greater.

“As organisations move towards virtualisation – an area where South African companies have been fairly aggressive – more and more are finding that outdated backup and recovery systems are a hindrance to their virtualisation strategies. This is becoming a major pain point, hence the shift in the market towards backup transformation,” Brown says.

In a climate where companies are less tolerant of prolonged recovery times and more focused on ensuring that data and applications can be effectively recovered, there is a definite transition away from tape-based solutions and towards applications built specifically for data and recovery.

Brown explains that organisations are looking to tightly integrate their hardware and software with dedicated backup solutions which contain built-in de-duplication and replication capabilities.

“This is an enormous help with data volumes, as only changed data is processed, reducing the data footprint by 10 to 30 times,” she points out. “For a company processing terabytes of data, there is less to store and less to process, expediting the entire operation and enabling backup windows to be met.

“With these PBBA solutions, disaster recovery becomes more affordable, and definitely more of a reality. Previously, it was so complex and costly that many organisations didn’t have disaster recovery solutions in place. Now, it is simple to do, using only five percent of the bandwidth required without de-duplication – a critical factor in light of South Africa’s bandwidth restraints.”

A recent IDC study of European companies showed that EMC backup and recovery solutions reduced average restore times from 17 hours to two hours and average backup times from 11 hours to three hours, with payback in just seven months.

The study also found that the new generations of backup and recovery solutions from EMC have consistently provided a significant range of financial, operational and
strategic business benefits, resulting in a strong return on investment. EMC is the clear leader in the PPBA market, with 65.5% market share.

“It’s clear that the new generation of backup and recovery solutions is providing
significant, consistent and proven benefits to companies that need to upgrade their
backup and recovery and disaster recovery capabilities, particularly for companies with virtualised infrastructure, constrained IT resources and legacy tape hardware,” Brown says.