Checkout the live video interview with Alistair:
Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure Storage Blog
Tiffeni Woodhams 270001Q08F WOODHAMS@US.IBM.COM Tags:  storage-software tsm ibmstorage tivoli silverstring storage business-partner tivoli-storage-manager bp partners 3 Comments 1,524 Visits
During Pulse 2010 in Las Vegas, I interviewed Alistair Mackenzie from Silverstring, an IBM Business Partner. Just last week Silverstring launched TSMagic; helping you understand your TSM estate like never before... See the news article for more information on TSMagic
Checkout the live video interview with Alistair:
Richard Vining 2700019R2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  unified-recovery-manageme... data-reduction archive backup storage-blog deduplication data-protection recovery restore 919 Visits
Unified Recovery Management #4 – Technology Choices
In my last entry, I explored some of the considerations that you should include in an overall data protection and recovery strategy, including matching the value of the data being protected to service level expectations such as Recovery Point Objectives (RPO), Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and overall costs.
Today I’ll cover some of the many technology choices that are available to help you meet your objectives. As in previous installments in this blog, this adds another layer of complexity to the program – which technology do you use to meet which need? And at the end of the day how many different tools can you really manage effectively to meet the complex challenges of protecting your data?
Tape-based backup is probably still the most widely-used backup method in corporate and government environments. The challenges with tape have been well documented – lots of manual processes that can lead to errors and recovery problems; poor RPO and RTO performance; and the physical movement of tape cartridges that can create data security risks. For these reasons, many organizations have moved to a blend of disk and tape for backup, enabling faster and more frequent backups, and faster restores from disk, while moving backup data to tape in the background for longer-term retention.
Mirroring and replication are good technologies for system-level recovery and fail-over. However they can leave you with a big hole in your recovery strategy – the loss or corruption of individual files - since any loss will be immediately replicated to the backup system, leaving you with 2 bad copies of your data.
Continuous Data Protection, or CDP, takes the benefits of replication and adds in point-in-time recovery options. The problem with CDP is cost – it requires far more storage capacity than other solutions, and can strain network bandwidth as well.
All three of the above technologies are also susceptible to being unable to recover any files that are open at the time of the data loss incident, such as a system crash – although there are utilities available to help mitigate this issue.
Snapshots fix the open file issue by creating application-consistent time-based recovery points. It is necessary to pause or “quiesce” the application for a very short period of time to accomplish a snapshot, but it’s far faster than a tape backup because it only takes incremental changes over a much shorter period of time. Snapshots can be run very frequently, often many times per hour, to meet aggressive Recovery Point Objectives (RPO). Hardware-based snapshot technologies are not always ‘application-aware’, so the consistency (ability to fully recover) of open files can be a problem.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity (DR/BC) services are key focus for many organizations, especially given the growing number of natural and man-made threats to normal operations. Some companies handle it themselves, others contract it out. Either way, you’ll need to balance overall costs against benefits, matching the needs of individual applications and locations to the service levels provided.
Data deduplication is a much hyped technology that, depending on where it is applied, can reduce the amount of data that needs to be backed up and sent over the network, or reduce the amount of backup capacity required, or both. Most of the gains claimed by deduplication are in environments that perform weekly full backups that cause an enormous amount of duplication. Check out my blog series on data reduction to learn more about this important topic.
Virtual Tape is a relatively new entrant to the market, combining the best efficiencies of disk and tape, and adding in data deduplication to help meet cost per capacity goals. As a backend repository, a virtual tape library (VTL) does not replace data capture technologies such as backup, replication or archive, but can be an effective complement to them.
I added Reporting to the diagram above, only because you’ll want to have visibility into the functionality and performance of your data protection and recovery environment n order to provide the assurance that your strategy is effective and meeting the needs of the business.
In my next blog, I’ll start to show how IBM can provide encouraging answers to these questions.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
Richard Vining 2700019R2A email@example.com Tags:  data-protection tivoli unified-recovery-manageme... deduplication compliance archive business-continuity disaster-recovery data-reduction risk-management restore recovery service-management storage-blog retention backup 1,029 Visits
Unified Recovery Management #3: Recovery Considerations
Welcome back! In chapter 2, I probably scared you senseless with the incredible complexity that storage and backup administrators face in trying to manage data across a wide array of infrastructure and application types, adapting tools and processes to react to a wide array of things that can go wrong, all to ensure that the impacts on users and business operations are minimized.
In this chapter, I’ll attempt to put a little structure around how to cost-effectively address this daunting challenge. It’s all about policies that balance the needs of the business against the resources you have – money, people, infrastructure (or more simply, money!).
If you try to take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to data protection and recovery management, you are either going to spend way too much money (putting the solvency of your organization at risk), or you are not going to meet the needs of the most critical business applications (putting competitiveness and long-term viability at risk).
So the answer is to apply the right technologies and policies to each application need. And yes, this will add another layer of complexity to the environment, but there isn’t much choice.
This diagram lists just some of the things you should consider when creating a recovery plan for each type of data, in each location, for each of the things that can reasonably go wrong.
The first one Recovery Point Objectives (RPO). This measures how much data you’re willing to risk, in terms of the time between backup operations. If you’re backing up a system once each night, you have an RPO of 24 hours, and all of the data created and changed in the 24 hours after the last backup is at risk. That’s obviously not good enough for many applications in many industries, but it is good enough for others.
The second consideration is Recovery Time Objective (RTO). This measures the amount of time it takes to recover from an event. Depending on the type and location of the event, RTO can include the time to determine what happened, deploy any needed hardware and other infrastructure, copy the needed data from the backup repository, recreate any lost data if possible (see RPO above), and reconnect your users and other systems. The longer the RTO, the longer the applicable systems may be down, so planning for a short RTO for the more critical applications is appropriate.
Next, you’ll probably need to consider the costs of the solution in terms of acquisition costs for the solution, plus labor, bandwidth, on-going services, etc. The key to a successful recovery plan is to balance these costs against the needs of the business – ensuring that you are delivering the appropriate levels of RPO and RTO at the lowest possible costs.
The last consideration is probably obvious to everyone, but you’re not going to want to deploy any recovery solution that negatively impacts business operations. For example, applying an aggressive RPO (frequent backups) to a critical application isn’t going to work if the recovery solution requires that you stop and close the application to perform the backup. The cure is not allowed to kill the patient.
So, what can you do? There are lots of choices and point solutions – from many vendors - to address each of the permutations that your plan may have, and I’ll cover many of them in my next blog. Then I’ll start looking at ways to tie all those technologies together to create a truly Unified Recovery Management platform.
Tiffeni Woodhams 270001Q08F WOODHAMS@US.IBM.COM Tags:  storage xiv ds5000 hardware storage-management ibmstorage storage-blog o systems-storage midmarket software ds8000 storage-software sap 2 Comments 2,082 Visits
In the second half of 2009 the International Technology Group (ITG) was contracted to do a detailed analysis of IBM and competitive storage offerings for SAP to determine a three year total cost of ownership (TCO) for each product included in the comparison. ITG developed two comparisons one for Large Enterprist accounts and a second for Midmarket accounts and chose approppriate competitive offerings for the comparisons. For the Large Enterprise accounts ITG includes: EMC V-Max systems vs. IBM DS8000 Systems and HP XP2400 vs. IBM XIV Systems. For the Midmarket accounts ITG includes: HP Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) vs. IBM DS5000 Systems and HP EVA vs. IBM XIV Systems. ITG developed three year TCO comparisons and provided IBM an Executive summary and Detailed analysis report that can be share with customers.
Read the outcome of the analysis:
Title: Value Proposition for IBM System Storage Cost/Benefit Case for SAP Deployment in Midsize Installations - Executive Summary
Title: Value Proposition for IBM System Storage Cost/Benefit Case for SAP Deployment in Midsize Installations - Management Brief
Title: Value Proposition for IBM System Storage Cost/Benefit Case for SAP Deployment in Enterprise Installations - Executive Summary
Title: Value Proposition for IBM System Storage Cost/Benefit Case for SAP Deployment in Enterprise Installations - Management Brief
ITG also participated in a Webcast that is available for replay discussing the results of their studies of comparative disk systems cost for SAP environments in large and midsized organizations.