Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has long been a proponent of using modern, storage-based technologies to protect data from operational and catastrophic disasters. Indeed, analysts such as Garter, IDC and ESG all point to snapshots and replication being a big part of the future of data protection and disaster recovery. In its latest Magic Quadrant on Enterprise Backup Software and Integrated Appliances (15 June 2015 ID:G00266742), Gartner estimates that by the end of 2016 as many as 20% of enterprise organizations will completely abandon traditional backup in favor of snapshots and replication.
The reasons for this shift are clear:
- Traditional backup cannot keep up with the data growth that most industries are experiencing. For example, it is not possible to backup large databases within an amount of time acceptable to the business (backup window).
- Critical applications and data need to be protected much more frequently than once per day (recovery point objective).
- When something goes wrong, the business cannot afford to be off-line for hours or days (recovery time objective); many do not survive such an outage.
Local and remote replication technologies overcome these challenges, and since they are built into the enterprise storage array, they are an easy choice for many organizations.
Toward the end of 2015, TechValidate ran a survey of HDS replication customers to gauge their levels of usage and satisfaction with these solutions. The results, as highlighted at http://www.techvalidate.com/product-research/hitachi-data-protection, are gratifying but not surprising to us at HDS. We sincerely thank those customers that took the time to respond to the survey and provide their honest feedback.
We learned a few interesting things from the survey.
- Customers are leveraging snapshots for more than just backup, such as to save on disk space and for migration between systems; and remote replication for much more than just disaster recovery.
- 92% of respondents rate these technologies as effective or highly effective.
Quite a few customers took the time to provide feedback in their own words (again, THANK YOU!). The highlights of these comments are posted here: https://www.techvalidate.com/product-research/hitachi-data-protection/facts. Some of our favorites are:
- “We test full DR once per year. Hitachi has proven solid every test.”
- “We have had a very good experience with HDS replication tools. Issues have been minimal, and it has proven itself to be a stable product.”
- “We are satisfied with Hitachi replication products. They are reliable and solid, and we have confidence in the field reps and their ability to implement and maintain the solutions.”
Difficult to Use?
The bad news, but again not surprising, was that about 10% of those that commented added that the HDS replication solutions are difficult to set up and manage. One even commented that “you need a PhD in the array”. This is where Hitachi Data Instance Director (HDID) comes in. It takes all of the complexity out of setting up and automating these technologies, orchestrating them through the use of its unique whiteboard-like, drag-and-drop user interface.
Unfortunately, of those that responded to the survey, 0% are currently using HDID. That is understandable, as HDID is mostly being sold with new arrays – and even includes a free starter license with each new system. However, if you are tired of HORCM files and creating and maintaining complex scripts, or if you have avoided using snapshots and replication because of the complexity, we hope that you will take a look at this powerful, easy-to-use and very cost-effective solution. Feel free to contact me or DP-Sales@hds.com for more information.