72% of IT Pros Want More Offsite Data Replication

An explosion of data being stored by businesses and the need to protect that data in the wake of recent natural disasters has 72% of organizations wanting to do more off-site data replication. This is according to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Silver Peak. So what’s keeping today’s IT organizations from replicating more data?

Data Protection and Data Replication Acceleration InfographicI mean, with all of the continual advancements in storage replication technology from leaders like Dell, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, NetApp, and others you would think there’s nothing holding an IT organization back from replicating as much data as they want over any distance… right?  Wrong.

The inherent setback in being able to replicate more data quickly over any distance can be summed up in three simple words: wide area network.

This was confirmed by the study, which showed two-thirds (66%) of businesses believe they are limited by their wide area network (WAN) performance, which is preventing them from fully utilizing off-site data replication. And as data volumes and replication distances grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to put in place an efficient and reliable disaster recovery (DR) plan.

According to the study, 65% of businesses have more than 100 terabytes of data company-wide, and 39% have more than a petabyte. More than half of all respondents (54%) said that data replication takes too long and nearly half (44%) are not meeting their recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTO/RPO). This explains why approximately one-third of data (34%) is not replicated at all, leaving that data at risk, and why most respondents (53%) stated that upgrading their current DR plans within the next 12 months is a high or critical priority.

But not all is lost here, and there is a silver-lining in the results of the study. Data acceleration solutions, or what would otherwise be characterized as WAN acceleration, can be deployed to complement and speed off-site data replication over a WAN. However, the study indicated that several factors are necessary before any sort of replication acceleration solution could be considered.

A large majority (76%) agreed that it was important or very important for a replication acceleration solution to be low-cost and easy to configure and manage, while 72% wanted a solution that required no changes to the existing network configuration. The study concludes that recent advances in virtualization now make it possible to deliver a replication acceleration solution that is software-based.

The study cites, “With the advent of virtualization and simpler deployment models, new virtual WAN acceleration solutions are affordable, simple to deploy, easily integrated with existing virtualization and storage environments, and support a wide range of storage vendor replication technologies out of the box. With low-cost WAN acceleration delivered as a downloadable virtual machine (software), every IT administrator with responsibility for data protection will be able to replicate more data quickly and reliably over longer distances without breaking the bank.”

Silver Peak CEO Rick Tinsley summarizes the point that “data acceleration software is a proven method to overcome performance challenges for long distance off-site replication.”