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August 21, 2008

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Jered Floyd

Scott,

"There is almost no situation in which (if you have a sufficiently large amount of data) archiving doesn't make financial sense. Even if you deduplicate all your backups, it is still usually better to archive it--that way you don't have to back it up at all!"

This is spot on. Archiving saves money both by relieving pressure on expensive primary storage, and by eliminating backup as well. Individual backup media is cheap, but when you think about how many copies end up being kept of each piece of data backed up, the cost becomes very substantial. I think cost modeling of backup is a poorly understood thing.

"If there are other platforms that do... I will happily add them to my list."

I have a suggestion of one! :-)

Jered Floyd
CTO, Permabit Technology Corp.

Scott Waterhouse

Yes, backup TCO modeling is a poorly understood subject. I was one of the primary contributors to the comprehensive TCO model we use at EMC for backup, recovery, and archive. I will try to blog about some of this in the near future, but in general:

1) Is the model comprehensive? There are a lot of factors to account for. And they are not the same for everybody. One of my goals for the TCO model was to let people opt in/out of particular cost contributors. If the model isn't one they have chosen, then it is going to be nothing more than a marketing tool.

2) Costs are variable. The same thing will cost a different amount to different people. The model has to account for that. If it doesn't, it is, again, just a marketing tool.

3) Different scenarios. TCO will be different for: backup to disk, backup to virtual tape, backup to deduplication storage, and different again for all three depending on whether archiving is included or excluded!

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