Conversations with customers, analysts, and vendors in the storage industry throughout 2010 convinced me that “backup” as we have known it is going the way of CRT tube “burn-in” orarchiving to optical media. Backup is going away, and will soon be dead.
Consider Storage Newsletter.com. Or Backup is Broken, by Wikibon. Or even Steven Foskett, who acknowledges what a chunk of the traditional backup use case is being taken over by “new technologies” even as he tries to carve out a continuing place for backup.
Behind all the provocative language, we are looking toward a future when a “window” of time taken up with data management to the exclusion of all else in the storage system will be a thing of the past. Whatever forms data protection take in the future – and technologies like replication, snapshots, CDP, etc. are only the beginning – they will be increasingly transparent, seamless, and continuous. And backup systems, shorn of the obligation to manage the lack of transparency, will increasingly become metadata catalogs with a variety of uses including backup/restore but also including the likes of discovery, content-addressability, or even semantic inference. The backup system and the file system, in a word, will converge.