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How to Drive Out 80% of the Operating Costs Associated with Backup

February 21, 2012


Exponential data growth fueled by the rapid adoption of virtualization and a 24/7 business model has created an environment where organizations are unable to meet backup windows and run the risk of not meeting SLAs. A new approach to backup and recovery is needed.
If your organization is like most, backups have become increasingly burdensome for your backup admins. That’s not a situation you can allow to continue if you also need to operate in a 24/7 business model.
Symantec recently surveyed more than 1,400 IT professionals on their backup practices and ability to recover information in the event of a disaster. The findings strongly suggest that traditional approaches to backup are broken and a new approach is necessary. Consider:
  • Backup confidence is lacking—especially virtual backups. The purpose of a backup is to have worry-free data recovery in case of disaster. That’s more of an issue than ever, with data increasing dramatically each year and IT budgets failing to keep pace. But current solutions aren’t living up to expectations, at least in the minds of management. More than one-third of the respondents wouldn’t “bet their paycheck” on the probability of recovering 100% of their backed-up information. Confidence is particularly lacking when it comes to virtualized backup; 42% of respondents reported that their virtualization backups don’t work adequately or perfectly.
  • Backup SLAs aren’t being met. Meeting backup SLAs is another problem for enterprise organizations. One-third of the respondents indicated that they’re either not meeting backup and recovery SLAs or are unsure if they are. Of those not meeting SLAs, 49% said they can’t meet them because they have too much data. Why are organizations missing SLA commitments? The top answers were the size of the backup, lack of bandwidth, and the sheer volume of data to be dealt with.
  • The current backup and recovery approach is complex with too many tools. One of the biggest backup and recovery challenges organizations face is the fact that these processes are so time-consuming. More than one-third of respondents noted that backup takes too long, and nearly as many said the same of recovery. Respondents reported that they’re understaffed and have too many backup tools to manage. Enterprises use an average of four backup solutions to protect physical systems and three to back up virtual systems.
  • Backup and recovery need to change. To address growing backup needs, and streamline the complex processes, enterprises anticipate making significant changes in the near future. Within the next 12 months tape-based backups will decrease by one-third, and Symantec expects these organizations will be investigating appliance and cloud-based backup solutions. As many as 72% of the organizations surveyed would change vendors if they could double the speed of their backups.

A call to drive out 80% of the operating costs associated with backup

Recent IT trends—including consumerization of the enterprise, virtualization, public and private clouds—present some exciting opportunities for today’s companies. But they also create additional backup complexity. To successfully embrace these new technologies and increase confidence in backing up mission-critical data, Symantec offers the following recommendations:
  • Break the backup window. A new feature in Symantec NetBackup 7.5 will help eliminate out-of-control backup windows by accelerating full backups by up to 100 times. With a single click from NetBackup’s management console, NetBackup Accelerator will perform a full backup at the speed and cost of an incremental backup without sacrificing the fast recovery times associated with full backups.
  • Unite physical and virtual backups. Using a single solution for both environments will drive down operating costs, reduce storage, and accelerate recoveries.
  • Consolidate backup and recovery tools in a single appliance. Integrating backup, deduplication, and storage in a single solution will drive down operating costs and capital expense while simplifying day-to-day operations in the data center and remote offices.
  • Fight infinite retention. Many businesses have tremendous legal risk and cost exposure resulting from over-retention of backup tapes. NetBackup Search ends infinite retention by helping organizations identify what information to archive and what to delete, based on relevance to legal discovery or compliance cases. This reduces the time and cost IT spends on eDiscovery and eliminates the need to keep backups forever.
  • Stop putting tapes on trucks. Combine deduplication with disaster recovery to transmit data over the network from the production site to the DR site instead of loading tapes onto trucks.
By changing the operating model of backup, Symantec’s strategy is to eliminate 80% of the operating cost of backup by delivering an integrated platform that replaces multiple solutions typically used in backup today.
Symantec NetBackup is the single point of control for backup, deduplication, and recovery whether from tape, disk, virtual machines, physical machines, or cloud. Symantec is also the only vendor to integrate all of these solutions on a single NetBackup appliance.
High Point Regional Health System, in High Point, North Carolina, had been using an EMC Data Domain appliance for data deduplication, but as the solution came up for renewal, it moved to Symantec NetBackup 5200 appliances.
"For what EMC wanted to charge, I realized that I could get a bigger, better, faster, newer solution for less money by going with Symantec NetBackup appliances," said Richard Nosal, server administrator at High Point Regional Health System.


Today’s enterprise organizations are generating more data than ever before, which has only increased the need to effectively store and organize it, as well as make it accessible. With the constant threat of downtime or disaster affecting the ability to do business, organizations cannot tolerate a situation where recovery—the reason why backups exist in the first place—is complex and unnecessarily expensive.
Symantec is delivering a new approach to data protection by introducing NetBackup 7.5 with options such as NetBackup Accelerator to speed backups by up to 100 times, NetBackup Replication Director to integrate NetApp Snapshots with backup, and NetBackup Search to allow simple search and recovery of backup data and selective legal hold. Ultimately, it is an approach that will significantly reduce the cost and complexity associated with backup and recovery.

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