To many IT people, backup is a four letter word. A boring, tedious and thankless task that has to be done every single day. Nobody ever says “Hey, good job on the backups today!”. But watch what happens if some vice president accidentally deletes some files and wants them back. You will have people breathing down your neck asking “Have you recovered them yet” every five minutes.
Backups do matter, they are important and CTOs, CIOs and CEOs know it.
Ensuring that data is always protected and will be available for recovery no matter what disaster occurs requires a strong end-to-end backup solution that meets your organization’s specific RTO and RPO requirements today and can easily scale as your organization grows.
The State of Backup
The good news is that vendors like Commvault, Veritas and Veeam have excellent backup applications that do masterful jobs of collecting, storing and managing backup data for rapid and reliable recovery when needed.
The bad news is that most of the hardware used to store backup data can’t keep up with the unrelenting growth of data that we are currently experiencing. Backup Appliances, NAS and JBOD, deliver fast backups and fast recovery of data but are expensive to scale. Tape is cost effective but is difficult to manage and is painfully slow for recovery. Public cloud can be very inexpensive but has slow recovery speed and introduces risks associated with turning over control of your data to another organization.
The Rise of Backup to Object Storage
Object storage is the backbone of cloud, and is the technology that enables public cloud storage providers to easily scale their infrastructure to exabyte scale, while keeping costs at bay. Turnkey object storage solutions deliver those same benefits to organizations on premises and has emerged as the right choice to ensure both a cost-effective and reliable backup solution that can scale as required for today’s ever increasing data protection demands.
Unlike NAS and backup appliances, object storage delivers high availability, extreme durability and has low overhead ratios to match backup value. Object storage can also grow cost-effectively to meet new organizational and business requirements across the enterprise
Not All Object Storage is the Same
However, not all object storage is the same. The design criteria for most object storage solutions are the same (high scalability, moderate performance, low cost, and ease of management), but how vendors implement these capabilities are very different. Features like dynamic data placement, scalability without forklift upgrades, and cloud-based storage analytics are some of the capabilities you should be thinking about when choosing a system for the long term.
Backup to Object Storage – More Cost Effective than Tape
For the backup use case, object storage needs to be extremely cost effective. How cost effective? Let’s be realistic. To compete in today’s market, the TCO of an object storage system for long term data retention needs to be in the same ballpark OR LESS than tape.
How can a modern private cloud solution be less expensive than tape? It sounds hard to believe but ActiveScale™ object storage system has been able to achieve this.
How is it possible?
Western Digital is able to offer such incredible value because we are in the unique position of being the only vendor that manufactures almost all of the components throughout the entire storage technology stack. We are pioneering advancements in HDDs, SSDs, platforms and fully featured object and unified flash storage systems and can leverage our own IP at every level of the stack. From the components that make our hard drives reliable, to the expansion of capacity through our leading helium-sealed technology and all the way up the system stack, Western Digital innovates to deliver some of the densest storage systems on the planet.
In addition, we are partnering with companies that offer software for both physical and virtual environments that include powerful storage optimization capabilities such as deduplication, compression, automated tiering and intelligent data placement to maximize storage efficiency.
By leveraging and combining the unique strengths of these technologies, IT organizations can now affordably make the transition to cloud, transform their businesses and finally get rid of tape forever!
The author is Director of Solutions Marketing, Western Digital