The Cloud and the Hyperconvergence of Purpose Built Backup Appliances (PBBAs)
Recently I was reading a few new blogs and came across John Affatati’s post entitled “The Future of Backup: Where are We Headed?” In this post John talks about the importance of cloud backup — but doubts that overnight, the cloud will be “…the only landing zone for all enterprise backups.” John then goes on to state that he sees “more integration of backup software into PBBAs.”
At Unitrends, we agree with this assessment. While not surprised to see Unitrends not included in the list of PBBAs (Purpose Built Backup Appliances) and backup software that John then lists (I have often thought we should copyright the phrase “Unitrends — the largest data protection company you’ve never heard of”) — I think that John has accurately called out something that we refer to as “the hyperconverged PBBA”.
A next-generation PBBA, whether implemented as a physical backup appliance or a virtual backup appliance, has become much more than “backup.” Also included should be archiving, instant recovery at both the physical and virtual level, replication, integrated cloud, storage deduplication, predictive analytics, and a whole host of additional functions.
In particular, the integration of a comprehensive set of cloud services is critical. Both storage and DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) should be supported as well as appliance-to-appliance, private cloud, proprietary public multi-tenant cloud (our Unitrends Cloud is one such example), and third-party public multi-tenant clouds such as Amazon (AWS) and Google clouds.
In order to support all of these functions, the architecture and implementation of the PBBA is becoming increasingly critical. These aren’t simple cloud gateways — the amount of functionality necessary to protect at the terabyte- and petabyte-scale while supporting true enterprise-level recovery assurance functionality means that you have to have state-of-the-art microprocessors, memory, I/O subsystems, flash storage (SSDs) tiered with enterprise-class large rotational drives. Carefully balancing these under varying potential loads is an incredible investment — but means that the IT professional doesn’t have to spend days installing, monitoring, and managing disparate backup servers, backup networks, backup storage, dedicated operating systems, anti-virus and other malware protection, backup software, archiving software, replication software, and all the rest. Our recently announced flash-enabled Recovery-series physical appliances are one example of this.
If you agree with our (and John’s) assessment of the future, we’d love to have one of our backup specialists talk to you about how you can focus on your business rather than on backup.