Flash storage became the big info tech news of 2016, not only because of how it delivered higher levels of performance to the data center, but because of how it’s proliferated across the storage market.  Industry publications have highlighted the ‘coolest’ flash storage products of the year which span arrays, appliances, solid-state drives and even a software defined version of an all-flash storage array.

With the addition of new technologies like NVMe, new product form factors and new licensing schemes, there is no shortage of innovation and excitement within the flash storage sector. A key storyline in all this is the diffusion of flash technology benefits across the product segments, from one end of the product spectrum to the other.  A specific example of this is how flash technology has now dramatically

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enhanced the area of Data Backup.

 

Put your Backup Data to Work

With the gains in read and write speed for data storage arrays, users are discovering what was previously a ‘backup’ storage system – only intended to be used to restore data on the rare occasion of primary system data loss – can actually be used for much more. These additional uses include Test/Dev, DevOps and analytics.  This market shift was documented by Gartner who wrote: “By 2020, 30% of organizations will leverage backup for more than just operational recovery”.  This topic was also introduced within a recent Nimble blog post.

 

Flash Generation Backup

Flash-enabled backup systems deliver fast backup and restores, and don’t require twice as much capacity to keep up with host systems, as with purely hard-disk drive (HDD) based systems. Flash also provides the speed to let users quickly test and verify backups as they go, providing peace of mind.

Active backup systems eliminate back-up windows and also Restore windows. Administrators get quick access to files, VMs, applications or entire systems and are able to rapidly copy them back to the primary storage.  Or, they have the option to not wait to restore at all, but instead ‘live mount’ production workloads at full speed on the flash-enabled secondary storage array, and restore data in parallel. Flash-enabled reads that are 100x faster than traditional HDD-based appliances puts an end to the ‘Hotel California’ syndrome of traditional backup.

 

Consolidate and save with Flash

Another area of benefits being realized with these ‘Secondary Flash’ systems is the ability to eliminate redundant storage systems.  With the addition of Flash to backup systems, IT teams are able to converge backup and other previously separate secondary storage systems within a single solution.  These new flash-enabled backup systems deliver both performance and capacity optimization, so there’s no longer a need to maintain storage systems to support your Backup separate from, say, Test/Dev.  Organizations can now use the ‘backup system’ for Analytics without investing in a separate ‘data lake’.  And with continuing declines in flash cost per gigabyte, it could also affordably function as the local archive.

 

Look for new ‘active backup’ products in 2017 that will shed IT cost and let IT do more with backup data.

 

Speaking of 2017, what are you planning in terms of Data Backup in the new year?  Do you expect to spend more or less?  Are you moving more data to the Cloud?  Share your comments and insight here.