Data Protection: The Next Generation

Over the last few weeks, I have been taking a hard look at various tools to determine if they meet the goals for the next generation of tools. Those goals are quite interesting, actually, the main goal being application-centric backup with increased visibility into our methodologies. We need to know not only how well any backup, replica, and recovery operation meets our SLAs, but also whether or not all our data is actually available. This includes determining if there are any dependencies for an application as well as taking a comprehensive look at all the different forms of . The other major goal for the next generation of tools is to preclude the need for a human element: in essence, we need to provide without needing a human to set it up for us.

What this all boils down to is a need to increase analytics surrounding data protection and data availability. This is not a simple set of analytics, but one that meets the increasing necessity to determine the topology of an application, the dependent systems required by it, and how those dependencies and applications are protected. We could employ several forms of data protection: backup, software replicas, storage snapshots, hardware replicas, recovery points, etc. However, we have a growing need to expand our data protection to include testing our recovery processes using a real-world scenario. Does the application work? Is the data whole? We need to know the answers and have them fed back into our data protection tools.

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NOTE: This column was originally published in Newsletter.

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