It is pretty interesting being the "disk guy" at what is thought of as a tape library company. There is always an opportunity to educate both internally and externally, and that can be fun. The unfortunate fact is, disk has become way too confusing. Every vendor has some new spin on disk, with new terms, philosophies and technology, all in the search for the holy grail: pain-free backups. In the process of trying to solve all this pain, the vendor community may have just created confusion.
For example, I just had a Systems Engineer in my office talking about sizing deduplication arrays. A customer thought of deduplication as a type of compression. It is easy to understand why, after all, most deduplication marketing materials stress deduplication ratios. If you don’t think about it every day, it isn’t easy to see that the first backup might get 2:1, the 90th backup might get 500:1 and the system average is 20:1. Now mix in replication, snapshots, iSCSI, NAS, Fibre Channel, Backup Software, compliance, DR, e-discovery….. The list seems to be growing.
The classic backup pains still exist, and as much as I wish there were, there isn’t a “silver bullet” product that solves all the problems. Of course, deduplication is the hot topic in backup and archive these days. It can be a very powerful tool when used correctly, but the noise that end user organizations must wade through to understand dedupe can be overwhelming. Does it really need to be this hard? I would hope not, and when I work with sales and customers, I am trying to make sure it isn’t. But a lot of the damage has been done.
In the end, we need to solve the backup problems different organizations have. As the disk guy, it would be great if they were all solved with disk, but tape and software will also be a large part of the landscape. What are your thoughts on the topic?
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