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Storage Discovery Needed Before Backup Redesign Can Begin

By March 24, 2009Asigra Inc

One of the most vexing problems in enterprise data centers today is the lack of information that those in charge of data centers have about the infrastructure that they manage. When I used to work for a Fortune 500 company it was like pulling teeth to try to get the base line information that I needed even in order to understand how to manage the infrastructure and this was before the advent of server virtualization. These problems certainly have not decreased and, if anything, organizations now have less time, less money and probably less people but a greater need than ever to understand their infrastructure so they can manage it.

The need for information becomes especially critical as more organizations make backup redesign their top priority. Yet before they can properly redesign their backup infrastructure, information about sizing their production infrastructure is needed, such as:

  • The total amount of data on the network
  • The breakdown of file types
  • How frequently the data is accessed
  • How much of the data is redundant
  • Data growth and change rates

Of course, finding a tool that can quickly and efficiently produce this information can be as or more difficult as redesigning the backup infrastructure itself. Then even if organizations do find a tool that can produce this information, it often requires that they first deploy agents on each server in their environment.

This approach may defeat the whole purpose of deploying the tool in the first place since the IT staff first has to do what the tool should do: analyze the data on the network to estimate the size of backup solution So due to the length of time it takes to deploy the software and the difficulty of the task, organizations should not skip this critical sizing step  in order to have an optimized data storage redesign and cost-effective backup procedures.

Asigra Televaulting offers a LAN Storage Discovery feature that is useful both before and after an organization begins its backup redesign. Before an organization makes any changes to its infrastructure, this module can first be used to analyze an organization’s entire concentration of data on the LAN.

Using an agentless approach, it sweeps the organization’s network multiple times and generates reports that help organizations identify possible storage inefficiencies, such as stale or redundant data on these servers. Using these reports, organizations can quantify the amount of data on their network and estimate the size of the backup solution that they need.

The LAN Storage Discovery tool remains valuable even after the initial discovery is complete. Once a new backup solution is put into place, it can continue to help an organization improve their backup infrastructure. It can identify static and/or duplicate files that once backed up, no longer need to be backed up which contributes to reducing backup windows and backup data stores. It also can keep track of the number of files that change over time and how frequently they change so organizations can plan for data growth on both production storage and storage used for their backup infrastructure.

Data centers are often stuck between a rock and a hard place by being forced to protect an organization’s more precious assets, its data and information, without having the tools it needs to report on and manage the infrastructure that stores this data. Asigra Televaulting’s LAN Storage Discovery changes this dynamic. With its agentless design Televaulting can quickly and easily scan the corporate network to provide the preliminary information that organizations need to quantify the size of their production environment, size their backup infrastructure and then continue to keep it optimally tuned and sized for future growth.

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Jerome M. Wendt

About Jerome M. Wendt

President & Lead Analyst of DCIG, Inc. Jerome Wendt is the President and Lead Analyst of DCIG Inc., an independent storage analyst and consulting firm. Mr. Wendt founded the company in September 2006.

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