According to IDC’s latest report storage capacity shipped grew 21.5 percent, while total disk storage sales fell 5 percent. Makes sense. Volumes of data continue to explode. And you have to backup that data to ensure you can quickly restore it, if needed. But budget is tight. So what are the options?
Many IT professionals are taking advantage of cloud-based backup and disaster recovery that require no additional storage hardware, including backup appliances.
Appliances: Higher Cost & Complexity
If appliance-free backup enables faster deployment, and web-based backup and DR management at a third of the cost of a backup appliance — what value do appliances add? Enterprise hybrid-cloud backup solutions create a virtual mirror image of your data in the cloud that’s in constant sync with your primary data set. Along with a simple pay-as-you-grow pricing models, enterprise cloud backup solutions enable centralized management of backup & recovery for remote offices — major benefits that appliance-based backup solutions can’t match, since they require buying new hardware for each remote office. Appliance vendors also have a tendancy to recommend buying appliances with up to 2X your current backup data size. In these cases “capacity planning” sounds like a euphemism for “over paying.”
What Matters: Backup Speed & Recovery Performance
Pricing and complexity are still subjective, but where appliance-based backup solutions are a clear loser is in offsite backup speed, and disaster recovery. While appliances can handle on-premise backups pretty efficiently, they are a bottleneck for offsite backup, as they trickle data out to a cloud service that only adds cost to the already expensive hardware.
When a disaster occurs is when on-premise backup appliances completely lose their appeal. As a single point of failure in the data center, a post-disaster business continuity plan would likely require getting new servers, a new appliance, then using the appliance to recover from the offsite backup copy — extra steps that appliance-free hybrid-cloud solutions allow you to avoid — saving critical recovery time following a disaster.
No Appliance, No Problem
There are enterprise cloud backup and hybrid-cloud backup solutions available now that enable IT to use existing on-premise storage, without the need to pay a premium for yet another piece of hardware to the server room, and deliver significantly better performance for offsite backup, using WAN-traffic optimization and flexible recovery options, like mounted-drive access and web-based recovery.
Lastly, one of the most convenient parts of hybrid-cloud backup is that the best vendors offer a free trial that enable you to test the solutions in your environment without the hassle of shipping boxes and multiple phone calls with sales reps.
Lower costs, faster performance for backup & recovery, and less time complexity — these are the reasons why it’s OK to say, “No” to appliance-based backup.
(Gary Sevounts is VP of Marketing at Zetta.net , an enterprise-grade online backup and disaster recovery solution for small and mid-sized businesses, enterprises, and MSPs.)