Virtualizing Backup Deduplication-Epitome of New-age

By CIOReview | Thursday, February 16, 2017
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Storing data in a safe and secure IT infrastructure is the backbone of almost all enterprises today and is also the prime parameters in deciding the success and profit of businesses. In addition, improving power efficiency is also an important business strategy, over which, data center managers look for the latest technologies that help them achieve it. While doing so, the goal of improving the reliability and performance of the backup processes is imperative among businesses. Relying on disk to disk backups is not reliable as they’re not power efficient. Moreover, storing primary data multiple times consumes much larger space capacities in this approach. Instead, they need to be racked, powered and cooled. These challenges can be easily solved by backup deduplication in virtualized environments.

The reasons for virtualizing backup deduplication go far beyond "because you can without penalty", says Jason Buffington, a senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group. The saying holds true to the core, as there are numerous advantages in virtualizing backup deduplication.

Virtualized deduplication can reduce data volumes to a large extent, for which, efficient VM backup strategies are required to protect data dedupe indexes and complete data restoration. The deployment of virtual machines (VMs) is becoming common for companies of all sizes that provide them the appropriate level of virtual machine backup and power efficiencies. It could also significantly drive down the cost of deploying backup infrastructures and bring the benefits of deduplication and automated disaster recovery via replication to branch offices and smaller data centers. Further, VMs are easier to protect, upgrade and recover than physical servers. Thereby, service providers are introducing new features such as snapshots, implementing deduplication backup appliances—avoiding specialized versions of backup software—all intended to fulfill the goal of minimizing management operations, server overhead and network congestion.

By virtualizing backup deduplication, distributed enterprise can run virtualized dedupe among their remote offices and in further moving the replication of the deduplicated data to larger deduplication appliances at their headquarters. They can also replicate from their own SMB environment to a service provider offering cloud storage or disaster recovery as a service effortlessly. SMBs can also seamlessly get the economic benefits of deduplication, without potentially complicating their otherwise consolidated environments.

Furthermore, service providers can also chose to offer operational speed to virtual appliances on demand, based on priority, without relying on multi-tenancy or making significant Capex investments up front. While switching to on demand modes, the entire process is done with complete isolation of data and management with outmost privacy and data security. Providers can then add capacity licensing transparently.

In addition, Dedupe vendors also benefit from engaging virtualized platforms as it is much easier for them to do pre-sales operations to spin up virtual solutions to manage the complexity of official order laying claim to use physical devices and arranging a demo unit for a proof of concept. Backup software vendors can also benefit a lot especially while shipping a virtual backup engine and being able to partner with a virtual dedupe vendor. The customer/partner installs two VMs that are known to work together and benefitting everyone.

Bottom Line

There are a multitude of IT environments that still requires physical servers and disk storage approaches for a backup deduplication. But with the rapid advancements and innovative frameworks springing out in the virtualization landscape, enterprises today leave the backup deduplication to the least possible physical storage infrastructures saving much on power consumptions and huge investments for physical infrastructures. For now and in the future, enterprises planning to invest in new and advanced backup deduplication solutions, need to look for the best applications that ‘provides more for less’. As of now, it appears with no doubt, that virtualized environments are at the forefront of providing maximum benefits for the capital they spend.