A look at data protection techniques: Recovery-in-place

Recovery-in-place is most common in virtualized environments, but some backup software offerings deliver the feature to bare-metal servers. protection techniques like recovery-in-place have the ability to present a backup job as a volume that can be accessed by the application. The time required to make the volume ready for access varies depending on how the application stores the data and efficiently prepares it. If data is stored in a live, native format, there is almost no time involved in volume prep. However, a native format has less capacity efficiency and may be more difficult to transfer to a secondary device like tape.

Fully leveraging recovery-in-place requires planning, as the backup storage device will be asked to “act” as primary storage for a period of time. This means backup storage has to perform well and have enough redundancy to sustain operations. However, most backup storage devices are optimized to store data cheaply, and do not necessarily provide high performance.

The solution is either to have a disk backup appliance with a non-deduplicated area or to use a secondary disk array as a staging area. The most recent backup can go to this array while older ones can go to the original disk backup appliance.

Recovery-in-place is not a replacement for replication or other forms of highly available data protection. IT professionals should assume at least 30 minutes of downtime during preparation of the volume. They should also prepare for less-than-optimal performance, as it is unlikely the disk backup appliance will perform as well as the primary storage system. Finally, they need to factor in the frequency of backups with these kinds of data protection techniques. If backups occur more than every 30 minutes, recovery-in-place can be a very viable and cost-effective approach.

One of the new data protection techniques fundamentally changing the way people recover from a storage system failure is recovery-in-place. This backup software feature allows an application to access its data directly from a backup storage device, saving the time required to replace a faulty storage device and then restore data across the network.



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