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Symantec Analyst Relations

Backup Window Problems – Try the door (and other lateral thinking)

Created: 04 Jun 2012 • Updated: 25 Jun 2013
Peter_E's picture
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Data is one of our most critical assets, and we’ve all got too much invested in it to lose it. I'd say the same thing to an elderly relative about keeping valuable photos in a biscuit tin, as I would to a large corporation with a broken backup strategy and years of backup data. And, the chances are, I would get much the same response - a combination of agreement and an embarrassed shrug, suggesting the problem is clearly important, but that the same old approach works well enough for now. 

Where corporate backups are concerned, it's not as if people haven't tried to make change. Backup strategies have been around since someone first suggested putting punched cards in a fireproof safe. And these strategies have evolved as well, but a number of very real issues, not least of which include complexity and data growth now demand a new approach. 

Every few years an organization will make it a priority to update backup systems, storage and software, resolving the current issues - only to find that six months later, something else has changed which kicks the last strategy out of the park. It’s one reason why companies have as many as 7 different backup applications in their environment. We see this right now with server virtualization and snapshots for example, both which are now playing havoc with the backup strategies of the many organizations.

It's a common complaint for example, that the backup windows cannot be met, despite new technologies like deduplication. Network bandwidth issues and the sheer quantity of information make traditional approaches unworkable. We even hear of organizations for whom the nightly backup takes more than 24 hours (work that one out). 

Faced with issues such as these, it's clear that the approaches we adopt in the future can't necessarily be the ones we attempted in the past. It was Steve Jobs who first coined the phrase 'think different', a philosophy that goes right to the heart of our appliance strategy with the NetBackup 5200 series. First and foremost, we've made sure that our appliances do more than traditional backup appliances. No, the appliances can't make the tea. But they do deliver end-to-end deduplication, WAN optimization, replication management, reliable cloud storage capabilities, enhanced security features, and V-Ray for virtual environments out of the box.

A key feature aimed directly at resolving the backup window issue is NetBackup Accelerator, a ground-breaking feature of NetBackup 7.5 which we announced ( earlier this year. Behind the technology is a very straightforward principle - deliver the simplicity of a full backup, while only requiring the network bandwidth of an incremental backup. This idea has enabled us to make backup speeds up to 100 times faster. 

At the same time, of course, the nature of the latest NetBackup 5220 system can change how you think about backup. It’s the door (we call it a platform) to solving your backup window problems because it’s easy to deploy and manage which means your team spends less time optimizing you’re infrastructure to meet those backup windows. One of our distinguished engineers succinctly describes the value of backup appliances to you in this brief video (link).

At Symantec we recognize that you can't fight fire with fire. If data growth and complexity are the challenge, the solution is not simply to throw more resources or storage at the problem. Sometimes the answer is to think again, and perhaps even start again with an approach that saves time and effort, rather than taking it. 

If you want to learn more about Better Backup from Symantec visit our Better Backup For All video page where you can hear from our distinguished engineers, or reach out to your local Symantec team or one of our partners.