Below is a excerpt from one of our Backup As A Service white papers. LightBound's offering is an enterprise class disk-to-disk solution, and we believe that today's IT backup needs far surpass what tape can deliver. LightBound recognizes the limitations of tape and has designed a scalable disk-to-disk backup solution that can be customized for your particular data lifecycle.
State of Backups
Over the past several years there have been an influx of data growth within most companies. This data is being generated from countless systems that have specific SLA’s and backup requirements. Some organizations have gone as far as implementing multiple backup solutions that address the needs of individual applications. This design, although sometimes effective, is very inefficient, complex, and costly. In fact Gartner Research, an information technology research and advisory firm, predicts “at least 30% of organizations will have changed backup vendors due to frustrations with cost, complexity, and/or capability." (Dave Russell, The Future of Backup May Not Be Backup, 9/22/11)
Limitations of Tape
The idea of tape backup originated in the early 1950’s with the first tape being less than 256Kb in size. Over the years there have been several iterations of formats, sizes, speeds, and form factors, but the inherent design of the magnetic tape is largely the same as it was in the 1950’s. Tape media works most effectively when access is sequential in nature. However, today’s workloads are characterized by random I/O, which can wreak havoc on tape performance if the backup software is not configured properly.
Another problem with magnetic tape technology is reliability. Tapes often succumb to failure while being stored offsite; of course this failure is not recognized until one tries to perform a restore from the tape. Industry analysts estimate anywhere between 40-70 percent of attempted tape restores fail. Even if the tape is still functional, the restore process is more time consuming than performing the same action from disk. Last but certainly not least, tape backups require expensive software to manage backup catalogs and rotation schedules.
For true business continuity, tapes that contain data must be moved offsite. Offsite rotations are expensive and cumbersome to manage. Anytime a restore is needed, the offsite tape management firm must be contacted so that the offsite tape can be retrieved. This tape retrieval can take as long as 24 hours which can negatively impact your business.
Benefits of Disk
Comparatively speaking, a disk-based backup solution is more robust than a tape-based solution. Disks are more reliable and can be configured in a RAID protection scheme to mitigate the risk of a disk failure. While disks perform the best when access is sequential, they are exponentially faster in random workloads compared to tape. As more companies shift to virtualization technology the speed of backups become more paramount. In addition, Recovery Point Objectives (RPO’s) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO’s) are becoming more stringent. Therefore, companies need a scalable backup solution that can grow as fast as their production data. This requirement can be addressed by implementing disk which is the fastest and most reliable backup medium on today’s market.
LightBound's Backup as a Service
Whether your backup needs are big or small, LightBound is here to work with you on developing a backup solution that fits your business and meets your data lifecycle management requirements. LightBound understands that backup systems are becoming more complex and expensive, and the time spent on managing backup infrastructure would be better spent supporting tier 1 applications and users. This is why LightBound offers one of the most comprehensive Backup as a Service solutions on the market. Contact us if you would like more information on our Backup as a Service offering or any of our other offerings that could help better your business.