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The traditional ‘Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape’ (D2D2T) backup model is no longer adequate for always-on enterprises requiring rapid restore data and is being replaced by Flash-to-Flash-to-Cloud (F2F2C) says Peter Gadd…

In a D2D2T model, the primary disk creates a local backup on the secondary (backup) disk or on a Purpose-Built Backup Appliance (PBBA). This is typically followed by backup to tape media, which will be moved offsite or replicated to another PBBA offsite for disaster recovery purposes. This results in multiple backup silos and an expensive dedicated infrastructure for backup only. Added to this, is the fragile data durability on tape and additional hardware required for tape backup. From a functional point of view, the backup data on tape is also ‘locked up’ offsite in silos, so it cannot  provide any additional value, unless it is recalled.

There are two major flaws in this approach, particularly with regard to PBBAs. Firstly, they are inflexible. Typically, PBBAs are designed to copy data in one direction from source to destination and store that data through deduplication. In the meantime, the rest of the IT industry are rapidly adopting agile and elastic solutions. Secondly, PBBAs often deliver poor restoration performance, because the backup data is fragmented across both disk and tape.

These two problems lead to a slow and complex data infrastructure. Because recovering data from the backup appliance takes a long time, IT leaders may opt to deploy additional storage infrastructure to support other workloads, such as the Test/Dev environment. Snapshots of the production applications and databases are often also backed up to separate storage systems to enable faster recovery when needed. Nevertheless, disaster recovery does not guarantee that data can be recovered quickly and reliably.