Category Archives: Storage Systems

Backup is dead

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  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.