Recently, we were all met with the news that the Oxford dictionary 'Word of the Year' was 'selfie.' In case you’ve just returned from a 10-year Arctic excursion and haven’t heard the term, Oxford defines selfie as: “A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” (One learns at the preceding link that there are also things called helfies, belfies and welfies, but I will leave it to the intrepid reader to explore this on their own.)
While pondering the notion of the selfie, the thought occurred to us that a selfie is, literally, a snapshot; the same term that the data protection world co-opted to define a point in time copy of data. And the comparison could even go deeper.
When taking a selfie, the user points the camera and strikes a pose. We do the same thing with our IT applications. For instance, before you take a snapshot of your Exchange server, you have to get it to pose. Just like the selfie taker has to keep still long enough to snap a clear picture, your application has to 'pose'
long enough to capture the data in a way that creates a clear recovery – that is, a recovery that is fully intact.
Seems like just about everyone is taking selfies these days!
Snapshots are a great way to capture this data. In fact, they are the best way we have with current storage technology. No other data capture method is as quick and efficient. But snapshots aren’t as easy to take as selfies. The problem is that every disk array vendor has their own way to take snapshots, and every application has its own way to pose for the picture – and the matrix of all these different things can present a daunting challenge to an IT staff.
Fortunately, Simpana software users don’t have to worry about any of this because Simpana IntelliSnap snapshot management technology does all the heavy lifting for you. We’ve already figured out how many different disk arrays take their snapshots, and we know how to get a lot of different applications to pose for their selfies, giving you a very sharp picture of your data. But don’t just take my word for it: you can listen to representatives of several major array vendors express their support for CommVault technology.
Capturing application selfies enables rapid local data recovery because snapshots can be accessed directly, without the need to stream data back the way you would from tape or a dedicated backup appliance. You also get disaster recovery benefits. Just like selfie takers post their images to sites such as Facebook and Flickr, snapshots can be replicated to off-site or cloud locations to provide recovery in the event of a major, site-level disaster. The combination of snapshots and replication to my mind provides the most powerful and efficient data protection methodology available. (Give a listen to Gartner Research VP Dave Russell discussing this topic for some useful insights.)
While snapshots have been around for a very long time, the challenge has been managing the process and finding an easy way to get your applications to pose properly for their selfies. The challenge has been so great that many IT organizations with access to snapshot technology don’t use it or don’t use it as effectively as they should. Simpana software makes the hard part of snapshots much easier. By deploying Simpana software to manage your snapshots, you’ll have your applications posing for their very own selfies in no time.