Making copies of data has its benefits. Copies offer protection in case data is corrupted or lost, and copies let developers test new code on real data without putting the production database in danger. If copies were deleted when they were no longer needed, the impact of copy data would be almost entirely positive. Unfortunately, copies of data tend to linger on after they're needed.
One estimate is that copy data costs will tally $50 billion within the next couple of years, much of this cost due to increased storage requirements, but also due to operational costs including writing scripts and overseeing the tools that create and backup those copies. Investing in tools that simplify copy data management, by reducing the need to create copies and streamlining the management of the data, offers companies the opportunity for significant savings.
You Need Three Things for Effective Copy Data Management
Effective copy data management needs to reduce the need for data copies through smart use of storage, smart use of software, and smart management.
Copy Data Storage
There's an often-overlooked cost when copy data access overloads existing systems. At a minimum, copy data should be stored on a separate device, or in the cloud, to reduce the load from test or analytics jobs on primary production servers.
Copy Data Management Software
You can use special copy data management software, like Veritas Velocity, to reduce the need for creating copy data. Instead of creating real copies that require physical storage, Veritas Velocity allows you to create virtual copies that don't use up additional space.
Besides eliminating the space required to store copy data, virtual copies can be created on demand, improving the productivity of development and analytics teams. The software can additionally help identify obsolete data copies that can be deleted.
Copy data management software can also enforce role-based permissions, ensuring that appropriate access controls are applied to database copies.
Copy Data Management
Whatever software and storage is used, smart management can help reduce the need for copy data and make managing it easier. Copy data needs to be tracked and managed through a lifecycle so that it doesn’t live on and eat up storage and dollars indefinitely. Data governance and compliance policies need to address the creation and usage of copy data, ensuring that private information is protected in non-production environments.
Copy Data Management Doesn't Replace Backups
Although copy data management helps you keep and use copies of your data, it's important to recognize that it doesn't replace backups. Copy data is often created from snapshots rather than being a true backup on a distinct storage device, which is needed for full protection. Copy data also isn't frozen, so development and test copies can have changes that wouldn't be appropriate to restore to production if needed.
But while copy data management doesn't eliminate the need for backups, it can streamline and shorten the time required to create the backup, as you no longer need to make backups of unmodified copies of the data.
Get Control of Your Copy Data
dcVAST has experience with the range of Veritas software and helps our clients take advantage of NetBackup and Velocity to implement effective data backup and data management processes. Contact us to learn how we can help you gain control of your data in both primary and backup storage.