It’s no secret that data protection is critical to the success of any business and organizations must have plans in place to help prepare for the unexpected. Deciding what data protection tool is right for you and your business, though, is nothing short of a challenge. That’s why the Faction team of experts decided to break it down.
Introducing…Your Guide to Data Protection!
Put Simply – Backup tools make copies of your data, which can be recovered at any time.
How It Works – Copies are made in intervals, at the client’s discretion, and range from daily incremental pulls to yearly ones. Backup tool vendors, including BackupExec, CommVault® and Symantec’s®, specialize in copying application data off a server and onto a backup server, usually engaging agents to maintain data integrity throughout the process.
Pro – A common advantage to using backup tools is the fact that the method is fairly commonplace and already used by a majority of companies—making the tool user-friendly and financially justifiable.
Con – The downside to backup tools is the rate at which data is pulled. Depending on the amount of data and frequency of backup, the process can take time, potentially costing your company minutes (and sometimes hours) worth of business and profit.
Put Simply – Host-based tools use servers to copy data files from one site to another.
How It Works – Software that resides on application servers, capture and forward data changes to another device.
Pro – The greatest advantage of host-based tools is that they are simple to use, easy to integrate into your existing applications, and are completely automated.
Con – Scalability is a challenge when using host-based tools. For enterprise organizations with high server counts, up-to-date data configurations need to be maintained for each physical and virtual server.
Hypervisor-Based Replication Tools:
Put Simply – As demonstrated in the name, hypervisor-based replication tools automatically replicate virtual machines by leveraging API’s within the hypervisor.
How It Works – The product is installed directly inside the infrastructure, as opposed to individual machines, and taps into a VM’s IO stream. Faction’s vendors of choice include Veeam and Zerto.
Pro – High-integrity copies are made rapidly, with almost real-time RPOs. Also, because replication is done at the VM level, you avoid management and TCO challenges.
Con – The tool only works in environments that employ hypervisors and VMs. Also, if another backup tool is already in place, the replication tool will come at an additional cost.
Storage Array-Based Tools:
Put Simply – Data is replicated from one storage device to another, using single-storage vendor solutions only compatible with the specific storage devices already in use.
Hot It Works – You purchase the storage arrays and native software licenses, then voilà, data is replicated in volumes from one location to another. Faction’s vendors of choice include MirrorView and NetApp.
Pro – Array-based tools are simple to implement since the replication technology is already integrated into the storage platform.
Con – Unlike the other tools mentioned above, array-based tools are brand-specific and will likely result in vendor lock-in. IT teams must use software specific to their storage device and exit strategies can be very costly.
And the Faction Award for best data protection tool goes to…
It’s a tie between hypervisor-based replication and storage array-based tools, depending on the circumstance and the particular needs of your organization. Faction is standardized on NetApp storage infrastructure, so for customers that are also standardized on NetApp often find replication via NetApp SnapMirror the way to go. However, for many, hypervisor-based tools from either Zerto or Veeam offer the best blend of compliance and recovery for companies entrenched in a virtualized world.