F or years we have been hearing “tape is dead,” but the reality is tape investment has been growing over the past two years as tape has proven to be a great way to protect from cyber threats.

Recently, I’ve started to hear rumblings that “Backup is dead” in favor of snapshots and replication. If you haven’t heard this, you’re probably not shopping for the latest super-hyperconverged virtual server platforms or extremely fast all-flash arrays (AFA). Companies are investing in hyperconverged infrastructure and AFAs in an effort to ensure their business operates quickly and around the clock—a smart investment for the future. Often rumors surrounding AFAs tell you that you no longer need backup because of built-in product features.

Don’t believe the rumor! The undeniable strength and value of these products is their ability to provide data availability and business continuity. Across the board their data protection methods use snapshot and replication technology. But is snapshot and replication the same as backup? Not really—read more here.

Even if you feel AFA’s method of providing data protection is adequate, you’re still going to need some type of secondary storage. Yes, AFAs claim “deduplication” in their products, but the reality is what is being called deduplication is for the most part compression. Typically, the capacity required for this scheme is actually going to be significantly larger than using mature and proven deduplication technology offered by backup applications and purpose-built backup appliances (PBBA) like Quantum DXi®.

Maybe capacity is not the deciding factor, the bigger questions are:

  • Does snapshot and replication protect from all types of data loss?
  • Does snapshot and replication protect from cyber threats and ransomware?
  • Does snapshot and replication protect from data corruption and application-induced data loss?
  • Do these products affordably support your retention and compliance mandates? Can they manage the retention depth that your business requires?

Nearly all of the leading hyperconverged infrastructure platforms and high-performance flash arrays use their “included” data protection features. While these are excellent features, and you’re making a smart investment in AFA for the future of your business, you still need to carefully consider your options for a truly independent backup plan. Make sure you know what you’re giving up if you’re looking to rip out traditional backup. Weigh the cost of potential danger for ransomware, data corruption, and compliance issues you may encounter without a solid backup plan. By the way, Quantum isn’t the only one raising this issue. We partner with Commvault and Veeam, and even VMware, to align on the need for a truly independent backup and comprehensive data protection scheme.

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