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Disk backup for SMBs: 10 best tips on disk data backup

SearchSMBStorage Editorial Staff

Data backup and recovery is one of the biggest challenges for storage administrators, whether they are working at a large enterprise or an SMB. And more and more SMBs are transitioning from tape storage

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to disk-based backups to improve recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs), and to take advantage of data reduction technologies like data deduplication.

To help you transition from tape to disk, we've compiled our best tips on disk backup and recovery for SMBs. Whether you're just starting to look at disk-based backup or are looking at implementing data deduplication or continuous data protection (CDP), we have the answers here. We're also included two case studies so you can learn about how other storage administrators switched from tape to disk backups.

Disk-based data backup and recovery for SMBs
As storage capacity needs grow in SMBs, disk is increasingly being used as a backup storage target. In this FAQ, Executive Editor and independent backup Expert W. Curtis Preston discusses the role of disk-based backup in the SMB space. You can also download his interview on disk backup for SMBs.

Case study: Moving from tape to disk
When Sematech Inc. moved into a new data center in Albany, N.Y., the semiconductor research consortium decided it was a good time to streamline its data backup process by getting rid of its tape backup and consolidating two separate infrastructures into one. Sematech systems administrator Daniel Muller said, "Backup times were an issue, since our [tape] infrastructure was almost a decade old," he said. "Our backups consumed up to 40 hours on the weekend. We wanted to get that backup window reduced." Learn how Sematech went with CommVault Simpana and NetApp disk.

How to choose an enterprise-ready virtual tape library
Definitions of an enterprise virtual tape library (VTL) environment vary, but vendors and analysts generally agree that an enterprise-class virtual tape library should back up at least tens of terabytes of data daily and be able to store hundreds of terabytes of data. These high-end virtual tape libraries also need to scale easily and support complex backup and recovery environments, such as those that include multiple remote offices or multiple VTLs in the storage fabric. Check out this article for a chart comparing VTLs and to learn how to choose an enterprise-ready VTL.

Case study: Health care provider turns to Copan VTLs
Health care records processor MultiPlan Inc. turned to Copan Systems virtual tape libraries (VTLs) to tame growing backups, decrease tape and save up to $1 million by moving data off expensive tier one disk after acquisitions significantly boosted its storage requirements. Learn about how Multiplan switched from tape to VTLs for data backup in this case study.

Continuous data protection (CDP) playing a role in data backup
Before most people ever heard of data deduplication, continuous data protection (CDP) was all the rage for disk-based backup three years ago. Now that continuous data protection technology -- which captures every write I/O and data change, giving users the ability to roll back to any previous point in time -- has largely evolved into a feature of backup and replication products, it's starting to see an uptick in usage. Learn about the role of CDP in backup and recovery today.

Data deduplication solutions for SMBs
Data deduplication is becoming an increasingly popular option for SMBs because it saves time and money out of the box. Dedupe reduces the amount of data to be stored by identifying repetitive data and replacing it with a small pointer to the previously stored copy. The cost savings result from using less storage capacity, which allows the organization to delay purchasing additional storage capacity. In this article, learn about data deduplication solutions for SMBs.

A comparison of data compression and data deduplication technologies for SMBs
The term "data deduplication" can be confusing because it's often used to describe technologies that aren't really data deduplication at all. Learn about the different types of data compression, the pros and cons of each, and data compression recommendations for SMBs.

Comparing disk-based backup methods
Incorporating disk into the data protection infrastructure has been a common way to address tape-based backup issues such as backup window, recovery point objective (RPO), recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery reliability. Learn about the different disk-based backup methods for SMBs.

Disk-based data backup and recovery tutorial
In a tough economy, storage administrators looking to stretch storage budgets are doing so by implementing disk-based backup technologies like virtual tape libraries and data deduplication. This disk-based backup and recovery tutorial takes a look at disk-based backup's evolution over the past few years offers advice on getting started with disk backup.

More resources on disk backup for SMBs
If you want to learn even more about data protection for SMBs, bookmark our special section on data backup for SMBs or visit our sister site SearchDataBackup for more disk-based backup and recovery resources.

This was first published in August 2009

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