New concerns over backup

The third edition of the Backup and Archive User Perspective Report, a study jointly published by Peripheral Concepts and Coughlin Associates, reveals major changes.

For 2,000 surveyed IT managers last year, the ratio of on-line tape capacity to disk capacity averages about 1.5 today, whereas it was about 2.0 in 2004. Planned new growth in media used for archiving/backup shows that disk usage could exceed tape within two years.

The window required to do a full backup has been decreasing over the years of the survey. About 32 per cent of the IT Managers reported that they require less than 60 minutes for a full backup vs. about 15 per cent in 2004. The goal for retrieving an individual file from archive averages in hours.

IT Managers indicated that the most important archive attributes are high archive reliability, high capacity and long archival retention. WORM capability, offsite transportability and meeting regulatory compliance were less important attributes.

About 55 per cent of the surveyed IT Managers use files as the archive data format now while 42 per cent use volumes and content as the archive data format. Use of volume and content archive formats will increase to close to 80 per cent within two years.

Tighter data retention and recovery legislation has elevated data protection to the top of the IT managers concerns. About 37 per cent of the surveyed population rank data protection highest among their storage management challenges.

A large majority of the selected respondents consider the backup process unreliable. Approximately 45 per cent experience over 10 per cent unsuccessful backups to which one should add an equal number of unsuccessful restores (double that in the 2004 survey).

The survey addressed a random population of 15,000 sites. 2,000 reliable responses form the basis of preliminary findings covering storage configurations and objectives. For a selected population of over 100 IT professionals, this report provides statistics on backup and archive practices, ranks issues and needs, and analyzes tape vs. disk for backup trends and plans.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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