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May 06, 2009

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W. Curtis Preston

Scott,

I've read and re-read Daniel's post and I just don't see him saying what you're saying he said. He did refer to dedupe replication as "a DR solution," but do you really think that this means that he thinks that it's the only thing you need for DR? Come on, Scott. You can't possibly think that Daniel thinks you don't need servers to recover to, or that you're done with DR as soon as you replicate. I don't read anything in his post to suggest that. He even said that this post was aimed at those "using deduplication to enable offsite disaster recovery." Seems to me that he understands that his "solution" ENABLES DR, it doesn't EQUAL DR. If this post says that he thinks these things, then EMC thinks the same thing, since they refer to NetWorker as "the first complete solution for backup and recovery of Hyper-V." (See http://www.emc.com/collateral/software/solution-overview/h4557-networker-hyper-v-so.pdf ) So are you telling me that EMC thinks that you don't need a Hyper-V server to recover to, or disks or tapes to backup to and recover from? You don't need any Fibre Channel, Ethernet, or backup server? All you need is NetWorker, right? It is, after all, a "the first complete solution for backup and recovery of Hyper-V."

He never said anything like "you have disaster recovery when you have finished replicating your backup data," or that replication was "equivalent to recovering your operational data." He also never said anything like "because they have replicated their backup data they have disaster recovery." What I DO see him saying is that IF you're going to use replication for DR, and the replicated copy of your data is your SOURCE for said recovery, then you don't have disaster recovery until you have finished replicating your backup data.

How could you possibly argue with that statement?

Scott Waterhouse

I dunno Curtis. Doesn't really seem like much of a stretch to me. They call it "time to DR". Not time to be DR ready. They call it a solution, which implies a completeness or comprehensive character. They don't show any sign whatsoever in this blog or the previous one (which I discussed in my previous post) that they understand, appreciate, or are prepared to discuss any of the larger issues--or even the basic ones like integration with backup applications. Their discussion is exactly what I would expect from a vendor that wants to flog boxes and nothing more. I think I will stick with my response.

W. Curtis Preston

They don't call it "Time to DR ready" cause that would be a silly term. We've used the term "time-to-data" for years in the backup biz to talk about how quickly (or not) certain tape drives can get to the BEGINNING of the backup and be ready to start reading it. No one seems to think that this means that as soon as the tape is loaded your restore is done, so how does the term "time-to-DR" mean that?

So EMC can call NetWorker a solution, and it doesn't mean that they don't understand larger issues, but if he calls his system a solution, then it DOES mean it. (Are you choosing to ignore that he also said it was merely an ENABLER of DR, which DOES show that he DOES understand that it's just one part of the whole?).

And you haven't answered my question. I think a reasonable person (who isn't just trying to make their competitor look bad) reading his post would think that he's saying that you can't start your DR until replication is done. The question is how can you argue with that?

Scott Waterhouse

Huh. So there was a perfectly good term already available and they chose a misleading one? (I have always referred to it as "time to first byte" FWIW.)

I don't think that I am trying to make them look bad. I think that he and Tony are doing a great job of that all by themselves. I don't argue with your vastly more charitable reading of the post, but that is not how it read to me.

Further, this whole blogging thing is supposed to be an opportunity for discussion and exploration of a topic (in greater depth than you would find in a marketing brochure). So if they actually did mean any of what you are ascribing to them, why didn't either Daniel or Tony actually write about it?

Let's face it: replication != DR. And only DD is trying to claim it is.

W. Curtis Preston

Maybe they didn't know said term. I actually googled it and didn't find it. I do know that it's in the index of the industry's leading book on backup & recovery: http://tinyurl.com/cqqwq5

I was fine until your last sentence. HE NEVER SAID REPLICATION = DR.

He said that if you're going to use replication to ENABLE DR (his words), then how fast that replication IS matters. And, AGAIN, how can you argue with that?

I have theories on your question about them not responding. Suffice it to say that lack of reply on their part does not constitute guilt in my opinion.

Now, do I think that DD salespeople often minimize/ignore the difficulty associated with recovering from replicated copies of backups? Absolutely. But that still doesn't change what Daniel is saying: If it DOESN'T get replicated, then NOTHING'S going to work.

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