But is backing up to disk enough by itself? Not necessarily. If you still use a tape paradigm - moving files in a streaming fashion to a target - then your disk recovery still leaves you sitting and waiting (and waiting and waiting...) for data to get from Point A to Point B. When users are burning up the help desk phones asking what happened to their email (or order entry system, or accounting software, or insert-your-worst-nightmare-here), then waiting hours and hours while a recovery progress bar crawls across the screen is not what you want. There is nothing slower on earth than a recovery progress bar when the entire company is - metaphorically - looking over your shoulder.
But again, unlike in olden days, we have choices now. The one truly viable solution for fast - really fast - recovery is snapshot technology. In the future, maybe there will be something entirely new that surpasses it, but for now it's the best we have. The difference with snapshots is simple. With snapshots, you don't have to move data from here to there. You just connect to it. This means your wait time goes from potentially hours down to a few minutes. And the amount of data doesn't make any difference, so big snapshots can recover just as fast as small ones.
Ok, it isn't necessarily quite that simple. In future installations we'll dig more into snapshots and how to actually use them to recover applications. Snaps can be great at getting your data back, but data and applications are two very different things. That link between data and application is where things get complicated.
The world it wants snaps today
Tape's a trap today,
And disk's in today
And tape's sin today,
When tape tech today
Seems like dreck today
Then snaps are how you must go.
The world is now replete with choices,
So listen to all the voices
That let you know,
With much needed apologies to Cole Porter I'll leave it at that, and we'll talk more about how anything goes in upcoming blogs.
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