… or so Computerworld UK said on Monday. Something that I’ve been saying for 3 years – but, hey, what do I know? According to Computerworld UK the consumerisation of IT is an unavoidable phenomenon that will force businesses to rethink their security policies. What about all that stuff some poor soul will have to back up? CIOs need to deal with consumerisation. For many years we were able to say to our end users – “no you can’t have that”, or “no we don’t support this”. But those days are over. The security of this phenomenon is certainly a concern, but IDC reckon that 80% of data created by individual consumers will end up on corporate networks. This will inevitably cause a overload on our already overloaded systems. Until we have the management capabilities for streaming applications to the desktop (oh, sorry Symantec already does that). OK, so when we get around to migrating to this model where all our data is help inside the network consumerisation won’t be nearly as scary – until then data growth will continue on its upward curve.
That’s why deduplication and archiving are key to our backup strategies. We are challenged with managing and protecting the ever-increasing amounts of data. Backup Exec offer deduplication across physical and virtual machines to reduce the length and size of backups. Deduplication has the power to transform information management; it is great for backup, it is great for archiving, and can even make virtualised server backup manageable. Symantec believes that deduplication should live in every part of the information architecture.
Much of the content produced now consists of email, documents, presentations, and other types of unstructured information. This explosion of information has a significant impact on storage spending and IT’s ability to meet the needs of its internal customers and business units. Backup Exec’s integrated archiving option is focused on reducing the amount of information backed up. Together with Enterprise Vault (EV), Backup Exec’s Agent for EV helps organisations to unify content sources, apply retention policies, reduce backup windows, shorten recovery times, and optimise storage resources making it easier for companies of all sizes to store, manage, and protect all unstructured data.
“Makes you think!”
I’ve heard some pretty horrendous numbers relating to data growth including: data is growing at upwards of 100% year on year – at the current rate we will create upwards of 600 Exabytes this year. That equates to a pile of books from outside your window to the sun and back -6 times. Alternatively, if that blows your mind, if a byte is a grain of sand the number of bytes we will create, re-create, mirror, copy, replicate or duplicate in some form this year will exceed the number of grains of sand on all the beaches in the world.
“Makes you think Part II – The Wrath of Data”
Even more worrying most of us are unaware where all this stuff is. Unstructured and semi-structured data is all over the place: on iPods, external hard drives, laptops, USB keys – you name it, we store it! Let’s call structured data anything that sits within an application or database and anything unstructured anything else – Semi-Structured data tends to be file shares, web pages (potentially), so, SharePoint, Exchange, etc. However, it is the difference in size between structured and unstructured data is so startling. You can get 25 million structured records on two CDs but just 25 (unstructured) songs (or 2.5 Prog Rock songs)! This means that about 80% of all data created is either semi-structured or unstructured.
“Makes you think Part III - The Search for An Answer”
So, how do we protect this data that is being stored on our company laptops and desktops? Generally we don’t! This is where Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery (BESR) comes in. Not only does BESR enable us to recover from system loss or disasters to dissimilar hardware but it can restore the data as well. BESR provides rapid, easy-to-use system restoration or full bare-metal recovery for servers, desktops or laptops. In addition, BESR 8.5 Desktop Edition can use its snapshot capabilities to automate the process of saving laptop or external storage data to a central or remote location.
“Makes you think Part IV - The Journey to DR”
If it’s Disaster Recovery capabilities you’re after then BESR includes flexible off site protection to an FTP location or secondary disk and enhanced recoverability with new cold imaging technology. The Granular Restore Option allows you to recover individual Exchange messages, SharePoint documents or files and folders from a single interface. The management can be centralised so you can centrally deploy, modify and maintain backup policies for local and remote systems, monitor real-time status with an at-a-glance view of system recovery jobs and sort out any problems.
BESR captures a recovery point of the entire Windows system without impacting user productivity. This recovery point can be conveniently saved to various disk storage devices including SAN, NAS, Direct Attached Storage, RAID, CD/DVD, etc. When systems fail, Backup Exec System Recovery enables a quick restore of system and/or data without the need for manual, lengthy and error prone processes also enabling you to recover systems in remote, unattended locations.
Handy – huh?