Are Snapshots backups? And what do you need to protect against?

I got the idea for this post from a Twitter thread. I thought such discussions were dead but clearly they’re not, and decided to shed some light on this, having dealt with backup at insane scale in a previous life.

It doesn’t matter what a feature is called – can you use it to recover? And, if the answer is yes, how quickly and under which scenarios? And what are the downsides?

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More FUD busting: Deduplication – is variable-block better than fixed-block, and should you care?

Before all the variable-block aficionados go up in arms, I freely admit variable-block deduplication may overall squeeze more dedupe out of your data.

I won’t go into a laborious explanation of variable vs fixed, but, in a nutshell, fixed-block deduplication means that data is split into equal chunks, each chunk given a signature, compared to a DB and the common chunks are not stored.

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Is EMC under-sizing RecoverPoint and Avamar deals to win business?

It’s been a while since I wrote anything – unlike some, I actually have a day job and don’t use ghostwriters! Well, at least that’s my excuse.

My admiration for RecoverPoint is well known (see older post, which is referenced internally within EMC as a great pro-RecoverPoint article). It really is a good product and, next to VMware, my favorite EMC acquisition.

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Should your backups to disk consume more disk than you use for production? Seriously?

So, let’s talk about this not-so-hypothetical customer… They have:

  • A few sites
  • A lot of data per site
  • Much of the data is DBs and Multimedia
  • No replication currently
  • Can’t back up everything currently
  • No proper DR
  • Fairly significant rate of change
  • Not the fastest pipes between sites

They asked me to propose a solution that will back everything up and cross-replicate the backups between the sites. They want to move as far away from tape as possible.

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