Storage managers are regularly put in a position where they need to replace a component of their computing infrastructure. But if you ask them about their druthers as to what they would prefer to replace – hardware or software – almost to a person they would say the computer hardware.
However storage managers need to look at this from another perspective. Which of the two do you believe will best meet your needs going forward? Is it the hardware that is based on three year old technology or the software that is based on ten year old technology? Looking at it this way can suddenly change one’s opinion about which of the two is due for a swap-out.
Nowhere does this mindset hold truer than when it comes time to consider the replacement of a company’s data protection software. Data protection software is so ingrained in corporate computing operations that just the mere thought of replacing it aggravates the ulcers of most storage managers.
So what would it take to make a storage manager feel comfortable about first introducing and then eventually replacing their existing data protection solution with a product like InMage Systems‘ Scout? Here are some points to consider:
- Compliment and then replace. Scout operates side-by-side with existing data protection software. By allowing a company to continue to operate its current data protection software, a company can test Scout and verify it works without jeopardizing the company’s current environment.
- Measure key attributes. Scout collects and measures specific traits on each server (physical or virtual) that it is going to protect to ensure it will not negatively impact the existing environment. Data that Scout collects includes statistics on the availability and consumption of server resources (processor and memory), statistics on the availability and consumption of network bandwidth, the total amount of data it needs to protect and data change rates just to name a few.
- Data analysis. Once this data is collected, a company can analyze Scout’s impact on each server. The company can examine what sort of load its current data protection software introduces on servers; the company can monitor and examine the overhead created when the two solutions run in conjunction with one another; and, finally, the company can document what impact that Scout imposes on its servers while also verifying that Scout actually works.
In most cases, a company will find that Scout can measure their current environment; better protect and recover it, and introduce less overhead and create less of an impact on its servers and applications than its current data protection software. Since Scout only captures changes to data as changes occur instead of trying to backup the data once a day, Scout’s net impact to server performance may actually turn out to be much less than the current data protection software. However because Scout captures and tracks all of these changes all of the time, a company gains a new benefit of being able to recover its application data to any point-in-time much more quickly.
Storage managers are rightfully reluctant to change out their company’s data protection software because it is generally better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you don’t. But let’s face it, ten years old technology is a life time in technology years and much of the data protection software that is in place today was designed to solve a very different set of problems. The good news is that because of the features that InMage Systems has built into Scout, storage managers no longer need to feel like they have to go out on a limb to evaluate and implement Scout before the swap-out of their company’s current data protection software occurs.