High Capacity HDDs Create Growing Need for Centralizing the Backup of Desktop and Laptop Data

It is almost universally recognized that protecting and recovering applications and application data that reside on Linux, UNIX, VMware or Microsoft Windows servers is a necessity no matter what the cost. Yet most organizations still fail to have a good response for backing up the growing amount of data that resides on the desktops and laptops because of the 1 and 2 TB HDDs that they now possess. If a small and midsize enterprise (SME) finds itself in this position, it will want to consider the Revinetix Sentio™ as a desirable solution to this problem.

Backing up data residing on desktops and laptops is a task that SMEs often struggle to justify doing. Aside from the challenges and costs of backing these devices up, SMEs tend to lack any metrics that can quantify the value of data that reside on them.

Absent any solid metrics, SMEs frequently equate the value of the data stored on desktops and laptops to the replacement cost of their internal hard disk drives (HDDs). But as HDDs increase in storage capacity and hold more data, this becomes a risky practice.

Some cost conscious SMEs already recognize that they can capitalize on the increasing capacity and downward price spiral of HDDs to economically store application data.  Case in point: sub-$100 internal 1 TB HDDs are readily available from websites like Newegg and TigerDirect while 2 TB HDDs can be had for around $200.

Having hundreds of gigabytes (GBs) or even terabytes (TBs) of data available for just pennies per GB is too much for many educators, researchers and scientists to resist. These internal HDDs provide adequate performance for their applications, are affordable, keep their data accessible and, in the case of laptops, enable them to capture huge amounts of data in places that they never could before, such as from home or while doing research in the field.

This brings us back to the lack of priority that SMEs place on protecting the data that resides on these devices. In communicating with one system administrator at a university about this issue, he laments, “There is more than likely critical data residing on our PCs and desktops. However, there is no mandate to protect this data centrally so groups are basically free to do whatever they want in terms of backing the data up which usually results in them not doing backups at all.

This lack of emphasis on backing up data on PCs and laptops appears to be the norm. At the recent Gartner ITxpo Symposium in Orlando, FL, one of the conference attendees heard Sheila Childs, a research director in Gartner’s Storage Strategies and Technology group, say during her presentation, “I am constantly amazed by how many organizations do not protect their near line devices.”

So am I suggesting all SMEs need to back up all data on their desktops and laptops? I am not. Many SMEs have central file servers which successfully store and protect the data that is critical to that SME’s day-to-day business operations. So the need for that SME to backup its desktop and laptop data may be negligible, especially as solutions like virtual desktops start to proliferate as is expected to occur en masse in 2011.

However, many schools, research institutions and universities do have individuals that create data in large quantities who store it to their internal desktop and laptop HDDs. The value of this data cannot be equated simply to the cost of a replacement HDD as the cost and expertise to reproduce it well exceeds the HDD’s cost. This makes it almost mandatory that SMEs backup data residing on the desktops and laptops of these individuals.

These SMEs have to be smart about how to back this data up. Simply choosing a cloud-based backup solution such as Mozy may be acceptable and even the right choice if only a few megabytes (MBs) of data is created or changes.

But for those SMEs with individuals who regularly create GBs of data on their desktops and laptops, cloud-based backups take too long to complete (if they complete at all), create too much overhead on the desktop or laptop as the backup occurs, and restores of this much data are impractical. Further, these solutions must be managed separately and cannot really be part of an SME’s broader data protection strategy.

This is where a disk-based backup solution like the Revinetix Sentio is ideal. Revinetix gives SMEs more than just desktop and laptop backup support, it offers a comprehensive backup and recovery solution that they can use to centralize backup of all of their data.
Revinetix provides the backup support that they need for business critical applications like Microsoft Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server. However, the Revinetix Sentio also includes support for Linux, Mac OS and Windows desktops and, maybe most importantly, an unlimited number of client licenses.

This unlimited client licensing model enables SMEs to afford to add the backup of these desktops and laptops to their overall data protection strategy regardless of how much data each one hold. These can now be quickly and efficiently backed up to the Revinetix Sentio any time they are connected to the corporate LAN as Revinetix provides:

  • A local disk-based backup target. Disk-based backup is documented to be 70% or faster than backup to tape plus the use of a local backup target enables backups and restores to complete much faster than when sending data to the cloud. This becomes pertinent when backing up the desktops and laptops of those individuals with large amounts of data.
  • Data deduplication. Even though these desktops and laptops may contain a lot of data, the data itself may not change much or at all from backup job to backup job. By deduplicating all of the incoming backup data, the Revinetix Sentio keeps data stores to a minimum and eliminates the need for SMEs to continually to buy more storage to keep their backup data.

The availability of 1 and 2 TB HDS on desktops and laptops has increased the need to backup the data on these devices even as SMEs express reticence in doing so. However, the Revinetix Sentio removes both the costs and concerns that SMEs are likely to have. By offering local disk-based backup, deduplicating the data as it is stored, and providing unlimited client licenses for the most popular desktop and laptop operating systems, Revinetix sets the stage for SMEs to centrally manage backups and recoveries for their entire organization at minimal or no extra cost or hassle. 

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