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Backup Exec

Can software make your hardware last longer and save you money?

Created: 29 Nov 2010 • Updated: 28 May 2014 • 3 comments
PackMatt73's picture
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Do you need to compress one or more files or folders into a single file for backup?  Are you stuck with inconvenient quotas on your Exchange mailboxes just to keep the size under control?  Do your full backups take an entire weekend because you are backing up the same four year old annual report you backed up last week?  Do you need to retain data in a secondary location for backup and historical purposes?  Then you want to archive.  But probably already knew that.

What you may not know is that Backup Exec Archiving Options (BEAO) offer features that will perform all of these functions for you.   Think of BEAO as the attic over your garage.  It is the least valuable space in your house, yet you can use it to store stuff you are not ready or allowed to throw away.  Your house is now cleaner, you can move through it quicker, still get to all your favourite and necessary stuff, but your old stuff is still available when you need it....all thanks to BEAO

BEAO is based on Enterprise Vault technology.  The archiving feature is completely integrated into Backup Exec with the same user interface and same user experience.  There is little time wasted on getting to know a solution and little worry that it will conflict with current solutions.  The unique point about BEAO is that instead of pulling data separately from Exchange and File Servers as other solutions do, BEAO sources data from the latest backups that are already available with Backup Exec giving you “single source” archiving.

While setting strong retention policies is an obvious benefit, BEAO also frees up precious space on your servers which can improve the performance of your applications by shrinking their data.  Now that the amount of data has been significantly reduced, your backup windows will decrease, further adding efficiencies to your environment.  The archiving process reduces overall cost by deduplicating and compressing content that exists in primary storage (Exchange mailboxes, file system locations, etc...) into single instanced archives on cost-effective storage.  Now, all of those emails, attachments and files only take up a small amount of space, once, on your secondary storage, rather than occupying prime real estate in multiple locations on your primary servers.

All of these benefits coalesce into a very interesting gain.  Consider economic inflation.  In most cases, over time, the same amount of money is worth less.  However, since technology progresses so quickly, if you can postpone a buying decision for six months, the same amount of money will often bring a bigger/faster/better solution.  Using BEAO to increase efficiencies and lighten loads on Exchange and File Servers will extend their useful life.  It is a software solution that will make your current hardware efficient rather than adequate, allowing you to stretch your time line for purchasing new storage.  If you can push that purchase out long enough, the next generation of storage hardware will be available... for what you may have been ready to pay for last year’s already fading star.

Think about that old tape-drive that is not used much anymore.  How can you re-purpose it to make your house more efficient?  Why not check out this white paper for some ideas?

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marcjmiller's picture

Another point worth mentioning -- it's relatively obvious that compressing old data means you won't need to buy more storage space quite as soon, but not so obvious is that by compressing data you're reducing the number of read operations the storage device has to perform, meaning that from a wear & tear perspective your storage device is likely to last a little longer just because it's reading less data for a shorter period of time.

Marc J. Miller
Partner Program Manager
Symantec Technology Enabled Program
Symantec Corp

Mountain View, California

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PackMatt73's picture

Absolutely!  Any way to stretch the life expectancy of useful hardware will pay dividends.

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TomMLS's picture

I think this will work if you put it into BESR 2010 too -- fewer people now use tape drives but could back up to near-line storage like a NAS etc.

Thank you, Tom

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