Feeds

Could a snapshot plug your backup window?

Sounds satisfying, doesn't it

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

VMworld Europe Talking with Dmitri Joukovski, product management VP at backup firm Acronis, we were discussing backup and snapshots and I asked whether backup was still the best choice. He turned the conversation around and asked me what is backup?

I said it was the collecting of the current set of files on a system, putting them into a single container file and writing that file as if it was going to a tape device. That got me a sigh, and a correction: "Backup is making a copy of data, adding some metadata, and keeping it somewhere close."

Then came a kicker: "Snapshotting can be used for this and in no way contradicts the fundamental operation of backup."

He hammered the point home by saying that Acronis' True Image Backup product uses software snapshot technology already and was "created two or three years before Microsoft created Volume Shadow Service;" VSS creating a point-in-time snapshot of a logical drive.

Joukovski said hardware snapshots, performed by storage array controllers and thus imposing no burden on server resources, were specific to the storage array supplier. You can't recover a NetApp snapshot to a VNX or CLARiiON array.

For them to be generically useful to end-users they would need to be made generic. End-users would want the same functionality with a heterogeneous array snapshot-based backup product.

For example, an Acronis backup of a physical or virtual server can be restored to a physical or virtual server with no restriction to a single server supplier. Hardware snapshots are supplier and product line specific.

If they could be made multi-vendor than a hardware snapshot-based backup product could abolish server-based backup windows because a server-based application wouldn't be running backup code.

Nor would a media server. The backup code, if it existed, would merely issue commands to the storage array, Dell EqualLogic, NetApp, EMC, whatever, to take a snapshot and send it to an Acronis, in this hypothetical case, backup data store where point-in-time snapshots would be stored, ready for restoration to some target array. It would be converted on restoration to the target device format, and thus restoration would involve CPU cycles and take some amount of time longer.

What an enticing prospect. Is Acronis working on this? Joukovski said Acronis doesn't support hardware snapshots in its products, and wouldn't comment on possible developments.

The whole direction of Acronis' backup development is to make backup easier, faster and more convenient. Laurent Dedennis, Acronis' EMEA EVP, talks of the company's virtualisation backup software being able to automatically discover virtual machines and back them up without having to have agent software installed in them.

For an SME customer facing virtual server sprawl this is a good way of protecting the data used by user-created virtual machines without imposing backup process restrictions. The idea of using storage array hardware snapshots, with possibly continuous or near-continuous data protection and, by doing so, drastically shortening or eliminating backup windows, is in tune with this trend, and it would surely have a huge appeal. Will it happen? Ask Acronis. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.