Data Center Consulting
IT Storage and Data Protection Consulting
PTS Data Protection Service
Complete Data Protection
Data Protection is any process or technology
that makes a secondary copy of data. Taking copies in the course of a day provides an “insurance policy” should
the primary data be lost or corrupted. An effective data
protection strategy includes local backup copies for operational
recovery, and remote backup copies for disaster
recovery at an off-site location.
Sounds simple, right? Not exactly. Lots can go
wrong with data protection strategies. There are lots of factors to
consider: how the copy is made, where it is stored, how long it is
retained, how frequently copies are made, how much has to be copied,
how much time it takes to make the copy, and more. And, just when
you think you’ve perfected data protection in your environment,
something changes and disrupts an established data protection
process, schedule, or component.
PTS’ IT Storage & Data Protection Consulting
Services provides a comprehensive analysis of storage, storage area
network, and data security within the enterprise network. These
services include four key components:
needs analyses for future storage area network design;
site surveys of current storage area network infrastructure
(if needed); storage area network
assessments to analyze requirements against numerous
designs, manufacturer solutions, and key decision criteria; and,
planning to provide technology roadmaps, budget, and
timelines for future design and implementation.
Our storage area network specialists work with
the latest design tools and perform a vendor agnostic consultative
program to focus upon your key requirements – independent of
particular manufacturer products. After careful requirements
analysis for current and future needs, PTS performs intensive site
surveys looking at current SAN storage architectures within the
enterprise as well as nears and long-term needs.
PTS considers various elements for proper
storage & data protection design including, but not limited to:
- Storage Capacity
- Data protection
- Current & future
- Data Tiering
- RAID Analysis
- Data types and
- Network Cabling
- Load balancing
- Storage budgets
- Use of thin
- Zoning Fibre
using Fibre Channel
Data Protection – Virtualized Data Centers
Virtualizing your data center is one of those
catalyst events that “breaks” data protection. Pre-virtualization,
you probably leveraged traditional backup software and performed
file-level backup to and recovery from disk and/or tape. Post-virtualization,
you were probably adapting your data protection to take advantage of
hypervisor APIs to facilitate LAN-free image backup of virtual
machines. The switch helped you eliminate inefficiency and resource
contention, but required more data protection components – and
costs. Backup software, backup hardware, deduplication
features or standalone products, and WAN
optimization add to the cost and complexity of virtual machine
Data Protection – Remote/Branch Offices
If you have multiple locations to oversee, how
challenging is it to ensure data protection? There are pros and cons
to centralizing data protection, and there are pros and cons to
maintaining remote infrastructure for local data protection. A
centralization strategy requires transfer of backup data across a
WAN, which could extend the time it takes to complete your backup,
and be more costly due to bandwidth requirements. A distributed
strategy allows you to maintain data protection at the remote/branch
office. However, you may have challenges remotely managing and
troubleshooting data protection issues if the remote office is not
staffed. Ideally, your remote office data protection
strategy should allow for both local and off-site copies, highly
efficient transfer of data, and centralized management.
Data Protection – Disaster Recovery
Your data protection strategy is incomplete
recovery. Operational recovery happens every day. A
disk or server fails, a database table gets corrupted, or you have a
software defect. Having a local backup to
use for recovery ensures minimal downtime. Disaster recovery is less
common. A systemic failure, or natural or man-made disaster creates
a situation where access to physical resources and data copies
housed at a remote location is required.
Even though virtualization created
challenges in data protection, it also enabled big improvements in
disaster recovery, including:
- Encapsulating the virtual machine into a single
file to enable mobility.
- Eliminating the need to mirror the physical
system for disaster recovery.
- Delivering flexibility with disaster recovery
Virtualization is facilitating disaster
recovery for organizations that thought implementing it was too
complex or costly. In addition to virtualization
enabling physical-to-virtual and virtual-to-virtual disaster
recovery scenarios to reduce expenses, hyperconverged
infrastructure is impacting the economics of disaster recovery.
Data Protection – Efficiency with Deduplication
Deduplication reduces bandwidth and storage capacity needs by
eliminating redundant data and retaining only one unique instance of
the data on storage media. Replacing redundant data with a pointer
to the unique data takes significantly less storage capacity.
Considering the multiple copies made for data protection,
introducing efficiency with deduplication in data protection
processes is key.
There are lots of techniques for determining redundancy, and, at
the end of the day, splitting hairs over deduplication ratios is not
what’s important. Efficiency is key, but you will want to understand
the risks and tradeoffs of the different deduplication approaches.
One key aspect to decipher is “inline” versus “post-process”
Performing deduplication “inline” is efficient. Before data is
written to disk, deduplication occurs. “Post process” can be less
efficient. That’s because data is written to disk in its regular
state, and then, at a later time, a process kicks off to read the
data and deduplicate it. Writing data to disk, reading data from
disk, deduplicating data, and writing data to disk again takes up
resources unnecessarily. Any contention for resources slows
application performance. One thing that’s important to note is that data remains in its
deduplicated state throughout its lifecycle. If a copy is taken for backup,
the copy is made in this optimized state. There’s no process of
“rehydrating” data to make backup copies and re-deduplicating it
Deduplication addresses another (even larger) issue in today’s
modern data center. IOPS requirements have increased by 10x in
post-virtualization environments. Hard disk drive IOPS are stagnant
and can’t keep pace with today’s requirements. Using more flash
storage is one way to address this problem. However, flash is pricey
and it’s only suitable for portions of the data lifecycle. Worrying
about having adequate capacity to keep pace with data growth is no
longer what keeps IT professionals up at night. Ensuring adequate
performance/IOPS to fuel application requirements is the challenge –
and achieving it in the most efficient way.
Data Protection – Public Cloud Storage
When you’re lacking a second site, it creates a hole in your data
protection strategy. Where do you store off premises copies for disaster
recovery? That’s why public
cloud storage is becoming more popular in data protection
strategies. Transferring copies to and storing copies in a public
cloud repository is a failsafe measure if you don’t maintain a
Since only the last full copy is required for disaster recovery
cloud storage services are consumed on a per-use basis – in this
case, based on capacity – public cloud storage is cost-effective.
It’s even more compelling when the backup copy is capacity and
If the primary production system and any local copies become
unavailable due to a disaster, you can reconstitute the physical
environment and recover the public cloud computing copy to resume
PTS’ Storage & Data Protection Consulting Services serve as a basis for design in the progression of the data center or computer room project process. They include the first four steps in the eleven-step process.
Data Protection Products and Solutions
Companies today are under continued pressure to leverage IT for competitive advantage, while being constrained by the cost and complexity of deploying it. Post-virtualization data centers are challenged to deliver the scalability, efficiency and economics of cloud computing while maintaining the performance, resiliency and manageability of enterprise IT. SimpliVity delivers the best of both worlds.
OmniStack, their novel technology, powers an assimilated IT infrastructure platform that achieves superior data efficiency by deduplicating, compressing and optimizing all data at inception in real time, once and forever, and without performance penalties. It also natively integrates data protection and cloud enablement to provide further operational efficiency and TCO reduction.
Tintri ReplicateVM radically simplifies enterprise data protection and disaster recovery operations for virtual environments. Operating at a per-VM level enables a more granular approach to policy customization and enables VM agility with individual VM replication and remote cloning. Combining VM granularity with intelligent deduplication and compression reduces WAN bandwidth usage by up to 95 percent and results in high performance data transport.
Veeam believes today’s IT requirements have changed and that “3C” legacy backup problems - high costs, increased complexity and missing capabilities - are no longer acceptable for any organization. Veeam provides powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions that are Built for Virtualization™ and the Cloud - a perfect fit for the modern data center.
To learn more about related PTS
Data Protection Services and Programs, contact us or visit:
Storage and Data Protection Services Brochure
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