IDG Contributor Network: Replication isn’t data protection. Here’s why


As data sets explode, more organizations are turning to disk-to-disk replication as an alternative to traditional tape backup workflows. Unfortunately, the benefits of replication are often outweighed by the risks and operational overhead required to use replication effectively, and replication by itself is not enough to protect your data.

Why do organizations use replication?

Replication often becomes the data protection strategy of choice when legacy NDMP-based backup solutions buckle under the demands of protecting unstructured data at scale. At the hundreds of terabytes or petabyte scale, backup windows run into working hours and impact primary environment performance, interfering with user activity and business function. In this case, the only way to prevent daily negative impacts to the business is to cancel the backup entirely, exposing the organization to the risk of data loss.

In short, the traditional approach of backing up to tape becomes too cumbersome, with costs and operational overhead increasing as data grows large.

To mitigate this situation, organizations often end up choosing a balance between tape and replication—knowing that with replication, they are giving up some of the benefits and failsafes of a true data protection strategy.