An IT Director friend of mine whose official title was 'IT Director - Storage, Backup & Recovery' would often tell me...'Gabe, my title is too long.' I can't say I disagree, so I asked him what he thought would be more suiting. I don't think I ever got a direct answer, but I will never forget the conversations that followed. He told me how he was always being asked to lead various 'Backup' initiatives - reduce backup windows, improve staff efficiencies, archive to tape or disk, etc. He would say - 'Gabe, no one cares about how often I back something up. There is no inherent glamour or value in being able to back things up. All people really care about is if I can recover, and when asked to do so, how fast can it be done.' Backup is something that it is simply implied, but Recovery is what people really care about.
What he said made a lasting impression upon me. The Director with too long a title caused me to think a little differently about the meaning of data protection and the importance of recovery as it relates to stability. In fact it is probably safe to say people like to work and operate in a stable environment. When things become unstable, which does occur from time to time especially within IT, people really just want to know how long it will be before things stabilize again. In fact, I would venture to say that most people would even opt to assist if they could, in getting things resolved quickly. Why? Because let's face it, most people don't want to to call and wait for a a long period of time while somebody else is working on getting their files and data restored. Especially if they had the ability to do it themselves.
Being data-aware means that inherently there needs to be a strong focus on protecting and recovering data intelligently. DataGravity leverages the use of DiscoveryPoints as the mechanism to provide point-in-time data protection, which is integrated directly into it's data-aware platform. DiscoveryPoints provide the means for instant recovery of files and folders, virtual machines, as well as files/folders within virtual machines. With the click of a button, items can be restored directly to their original source or to any alternative location. These capabilities are built natively into the data intelligence process, so there is no need to wait for legacy data copying or migration, no data rehydration process, no proxy servers, no loading of tapes in order to recover.
Restoring a File or Folder
Restoration of files and folders on DataGravity is simply a matter of searching for any item to be recovered and then performing a restore. In order to find items quickly, filtering can be performed across all files/folders by name, user or data range. Once identified individual or multiple items can be selected and restored. If a folder or file already exists that is selected for restore a simple date/time stamp is appended to the restored item otherwise it is fully restored into it's original location. By simply redirecting pointers within the metadata of the DataGravity architecture, restores occur in milliseconds - not minutes, hours or days.
Self Service Recovery
One of the overlooked opportunities to ensure timely recovery is to not only eliminate technical barriers, but also unnecessary organizational and process complexities. The challenge has always been that recovery procedures are often so complicated and IT-centeric, that allowing self service recovery capabilities to end users was never seen as a viable option. After all, those end users might simply screw things up. File and folder recovery is so simple on the DataGravity platform that end users can utilize the self-service recovery options without the threat of impacting others or the need of getting IT staff involved. DataGravity provides users with a view to their data, and then allows them as the data owner, to perform item level recovery.
In fact the owner can preview any file or file version before performing a restore, ensuring that the right item is being recovered.
With a simple click, the deleted or modified file can previewed, restored in place, or downloaded to an alternative location.
Cleaning up our Act
In an upcoming post, we will demonstrate the same ease of recovery for virtual machines, along with the files and folders that they contain. With these types of capabilities it is always best to move our focus to what people really care about. Maybe it's time to start removing the 'B' word from our IT vernacular.