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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

3 minutes with... Alan Buckley

Here's Alan, with his 3 minutes. As always, excellent. Thanks Alan :)

Alan Buckley, Customer Solutions Architect, Fujitsu

1) Limitations/problems in backup at the moment

Biggest issue at the moment is the proliferation of appliances with little or no interoperability between those appliances.

CTO's are pushing for appliance based solutions as a cost effective alternative to engineered solutions.

Case study:
Oracle Exadata x3-2 rack - 22 TB SAS storage optionally confugured with HCC Hybrid Columnar Compression) table stpace offering 10:1 compression, which is honoured by LTO tape drives.

This consolidates the many Oracle on Solaris platforms out there and offers a single consolidated environment for all Oracle databases. Nice.

Problem is it doesn't support SAN attached tape drives. Preferred, i.e. fastest network interface is infiniband, which isn't supported by the other appliances that CTO's lie - NetBackup appliances.

Oracles' answer is a ZFS based backup appliance. Another applicance, andothe backup sltution. Goodbye to single cross platform backup solutions.

As a customer I want to use deduplication as a solution here. Most of our production databases are datawarehouses with additional data uploaded each day so regular full backups woul benefit greatly. Problem is we're constrained by the requirement to ultimately store backup images on tape.

On this last issue we found that replication of backup images from deduplication disk pool to LTO4 btapes takes around 40% longer than writing direct to tape in the first instance. Using deduplication gives us a 2 stage process managed by SLP and a requirement for 40% more tape drive. And the benifit is?

2) Best things in backup at the moment

I still think the biggest thing in backup at the moment is deduplication, if it can be correctly configured. I increasingly believe that deduplication does not co-exist with backups to traditional tape media.

BTW, I think cloud based backups and cloud computing in general is dead in the water, as far as European corporates are concerned, until jurasdiction of data legislation is resolved. Prism killed it along with deployment of US based software in Europe. We'll see a huge shift in the industry in the next 2 or 3 years. Governments and financial institutions will look to local European suppliers and infrastructure providers for a corporate platforms and cloud based computing that is secure and Europe-centric. So will China and Australasia. The world is fragmenting into economic power blocks and the data must follow.

3) What was your journey in backup/recovery?

I journeyed into backup by taking a wrong turn after Windows and Exchange administration around the year 2000. Up to that point backusp and recovery were one of the functions of system managment. Then 3 things happenend. Music and photos went digital and the amount of data that corporates and personal users managed went through the roof. New technologies were developed to deal withis growth. The other thing that happened was a group of terrorists flew 2 planes into 2 New York office blocks and the city went into lockdown. All across the states tape hadling and DR recovery proedures came under the spotlight and backups moved from back office to board level. The third thing that happened s that a group of very corrupt business men attempted to manipulate the state of California energy markets , robbed its' own employees of their pension finds and ripped off their shareholders. When Enron went bust it was the biggest bankrupcy in US hstory. Then cam e Worldcomm and that was the biggest for a while. End results was Sarbanes Oxley act that among other things mandated companies to certain data retention regimes that are auditable. More budget, more kit, more technology. And still they don't know the difference between a backup and an archive.

3) Where do you see backup/recovery going in the next 10 years?

As far as the next 10 years are concerned I can see data being backed up at the point of creation through accurate data classification. For example, someone creates a spreadsheet and the data classification and backup requirements are tagged to the data and the relevant backup copies are generated during the lifetime of the data. Mor eintelligent backups, basically, and an escape from the traditional daily backup run. Backups will be typically triggered by a data event.

Your shares n EMC and Hitatchi will still be a safe punt though. The world will want more and more and more and more. Big data, little data, metadata. You name and and they will store it.

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