An Introduction to Copy Management Systems

By CIOReview | Thursday, August 17, 2017
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With virtualization and innovative networking ruling today’s, IT landscape, application owners and development teams have been using processes that copy production data, either for backups or for seeding test/development environments. This rapid change in the arena is driving a more intense need for a copy management system that can work seamlessly in the sophisticated IT environment.

The copy procedure has been executed in various ways. Snapshots and clones inside the capacity layer in a storage array permit the computerized formation of application images. Virtual machines can likewise be copied or cloned inside the hypervisor, permitting whole application images to be made at the click of a button. The rise of server virtualization has exacerbated the issue of image creation. Whenever test/dev is kept running on particular equipment, just a single or two duplicates of every application may be maintained at the same time. However, server virtualization permits the production of a practically boundless number of image duplicates.

With huge volumes of data, businesses are in a struggle to identify strategies to down on sprawl. Copy management can seamlessly reduce the data storage consumption by eliminating the duplications in data mainly in production. Redundant copies of the same data can cause wastage of storage space, performance issues, as well as access problems. This moreover can cause serious problems in accessing and restoring the various critical data elements within an organization. Copy management software can help reduce these issues by reducing the number of copies that the organization uses in a particular environment. In addition, the copy management software can seamlessly assist in eliminating the chances of server sprawling while reducing the expenses in managing storage space by avoiding any chances of excessive data copies.

Numerous vendors such as Actifio are assisting various organizations to provide an effective copy management. Take a look at some of the widely adopted technical and process approaches that can make the copy management systems more effective and efficient.

1. First of all, always ensure that the copies that are made are space-efficient taken from the snapshots rather than the cloned ones. Any careless mistake or minute changes in the data can make dramatic changes in the original image as well as the copy. This can result in the over use of additional storage space.

2. A shared storage can improve the performance as well as offer features like global deduplication a method of preventing redundant data while data is backed up to multiple devices. Moreover, try to connect or tie the storage to a hypervisor.

3. Ensure that the ownership of images is assigned to all copies. In addition, verify that all the image copies can be tracked to an owner with the help of automated processes. This is most preferred by tagging the environments virtual machines with the administrators ID and username or following a standardized naming method. Such a system allows the owner tracking seamless and faster.

• As almost every test/dev images are required only for a limited period of time and gets refreshed frequently. Array-based snapshots can usually be assigned time limits for future retention with ease. Moreover, if required, an image can also be backed up seamlessly prior to deletion.

• Always prefer the software tools that can seamlessly support the copy management systems without any third-party application support. 

Copy management technology cannot be a complete replacement of back-up solutions. However, it can perform various important tasks in the data management and copy space. The actual process, working and limitations are important aspects to be learned while working with a copy management system for effective utilization.