Speed is focus of storage conference

IT professionals are changing the way they back up and recover data, experts say, with new emphasis on the speedier fetching of data made possible by advancing technologies.

At the Gartner PlanetStorage conference, about 400 IT professionals learned of the evolving face of data recovery and management of the back-up process.

Data recovery will occur in minutes or seconds, rather than hours, as a result of the use of disk-based continuous data protection software, says Ray Paquet, vice-president and research director at Gartner. “Plan on disk becoming the primary recovery medium.”

Gartner says as much as 35 million terabytes of data will need to be recovered by 2009. The research firm says users will need to adopt disk-based backup software in the intervening years to handle this glut. By 2008, 80 per cent of recoveries will be from disk-based technology.

In an informal survey of the attendees at the show, only 5 per cent said they are using disk-based backup, although the great majority said they would be doing so within two years.

Like other IT professionals at PlanetStorage, David Bratt, manager of network systems for the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., is slowly transitioning his storage to disk-based backup.

“We use disk occasionally for one-time backups,” Bratt says. “If we are doing our weekly backups and we can’t wait for a tape drive to be available, we have about 500GB of disk we can use if we need to get something backed up fast.”

Meanwhile, storage veteran Yosemite Technologies introduced disk-based back-up technologies at the conference that let users back up and recover data faster.

Yosemite Technologies previewed its Yosemite Backup 8.1 Standard, software for businesses with up to 20 servers. Backup Standard runs on Windows, NetWare, Linux and Unix networks and includes a new job scheduler. It also includes backup-to-disk capability.

In addition, AppIQ announced a new version of its StorageAuthority management software suite. The storage-area network and resource management software now supports Network Appliance file servers and IBM’s TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server, as well as Veritas’ NetBackup, Microsoft SQL Server, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server, Solaris 10 and EMC’s PowerPath load-balancing software. The new version of StorageAuthority is expected to be available in the third quarter.

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