Backup Physical Tape Restore

LTO-5 and Disk-based Backup

HP recently announced the availability of LTO-5 and they are currently hosting industry luminaries at their HP Storage Day. I received a question on Twitter from John Obeto about LTO-5 and what it means to VTL and wanted to answer it here. Note that I previously blogged about LTO-5.

The challenge with data protection is ensuring that you meet your backup and recovery requirements, and most companies have fixed SLAs. The advent of LTO-5’s larger tape sizes is nice, but tape size is not the problem, the issue is real world performance. Quantum’s LTO-5 specification suggests maximum performance of 140 MB/sec which is an impressive statistic, but in practice few end users achieve this. The challenge is even greater when you think about minimum required transfer rates as discussed in my fallacy of faster tape post


Introducing DeltaRemote

With all the recent hype, you may have missed that SEPATON launched DeltaRemote a couple of weeks ago. DeltaRemote is a software upgrade for existing DeltaStor users and enables deduplicated replication between SEPATON VTLs. Some of the new features include:

  • Multi-node support – DeltaRemote leverages SEPATON’s DeltaScale architecture to use multiple nodes for replication. It’s fast and concurrent just like DeltaStor.
  • Fast restore performance at the remote site – I have discussed in the past how DeltaStor has some unique features to enable industry-leading restore performance. The same technology has been extended to the VTL on the remote site.
  • Simple management –Manage replication through SEPATON’s existing GUI. Detailed reporting and 30 day bandwidth efficiency analysis make planning and optimization a snap.
  • Cartridge level control – DeltaRemote provides complete tape cartridge level control of replication and recovery. You can easily set replication policies or manually choose cartridges to replicate or recover in the same format as tape libraries.

Stay tuned for more detailed information on DeltaRemote.

Deduplication Restore

The hidden cost of deduplicated replication

On the surface, the idea of deduplicated replication is compelling. By replicating deltas, the technology sends data across a WAN and dramaically reduces the required bandwidth. Many customers are looking to this technology to allow them to move to a tapeless environment in the future. However, there is a major challenge that most vendors gloss over.

The most common approach to deduplication in use today is hash-based technology which uses reverse referencing. I covered the implications of this approach in another post. To summarize, the issue is that restore performance is impacted as data is retained in a reverse referenced environment. Now let’s look at how this impacts deduplicated replication.

Restore Virtual Tape

Data protection and natural disasters – Part 2

In part 1, I touched on four of the most common challenges with data restoration in a disaster scenario. In this post, I will review some other key considerations. These examples focus on the infrastructure required after a disaster has occurred.

Backup Restore

Data protection and natural disasters – Part 1

Hurricane Ike has been in the news lately and my sympathy goes out to all those affected. It is events like these that test IT resiliency. The damage can range from slight to severe and we invest in reliable and robust data protection processes to protect from disasters like this. The unfortunate reality is that, no matter how much you plan for it, the recovery process often takes longer and is more difficult than expected.

In many respects, data protection is an insurance policy. You hate to pay your homeowners premium every month, you do it because you know that it is your only protection if major damage ever happens to your house. In the case of data protection, you invest hours managing your backup environment to enable recovery from incidents like this. The unfortunate reality is that even with the best planning and policies things still may not turn out as expected. Four of the most common pitfalls I hear from customers include: