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Managing Data Center Sprawl, Improving Big Backup Efficiency Top IT Data Protection Concerns

The SEPATON Data Protection Index is the company’s annual report that takes the pulse of large enterprises (those with 1,000 or more employees) in North America and Europe that have to protect a minimum of 50 terabytes. The survey, conducted in April 2012, is asked 93 IT professionals about what data protection issues were troubling them, especially in light of big data volumes.

Granted, 93 people is a rather small sample. Even so, the results are worth a look.

Yes, some results were of the “duh” variety. For instance, data backup, especially amid rapid data growth, is still a challenge. No kidding.

What I found more useful is actual estimates of how big big data is becoming. Half of respondents said their data was growing from 20 to 70 percent annually; 20 percent of respondents said data growth was even faster. Just like VM sprawl grew out of virtualized environments, IT is now facing a new kind of sprawl as data centers add more systems to handle data growth. Half of respondents say their environments have “moderate” or “severe” sprawl that requires them to “routinely add data protection systems to scale performance or capacity.”

Of course, as you add those “systems” (be it hardware or software), performance becomes an issue. “Fast-growing data volumes and data center sprawl are driving a need for scalable high performance,” the company said in a prepared statement. That’s especially true when it comes to “big backup” environments. “Data centers need a way to ensure they are getting the most value from their backup environment.”

Is dedupe the answer? IT doesn’t seem to be convinced. “Deduplication is either not being used at all on databases (38 percent) or not seen as adequately controlling data growth and capacity costs associated with databases (26 percent) in large enterprises.”

The full report is available here at no cost, though a short registration must be completed for access.

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted by Jim Powell on 05/21/2012

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