Rich Vining

Snapshots Don't Have to Kill Your Data Protection Budget

Blog Post created by Rich Vining Employee on May 15, 2019

May 15, 2019


Earlier this week, Krista Macomber, senior analyst at Storage Switzerland posted a blog titled "Snapshots: Your Data Protection Budget Killer". The points that she makes are totally valid:

  • Storage-based snapshots consume capacity on your primary, most expensive storage
  • Keeping these backup copies for long periods of time on primary storage will escalate your storage costs
  • Creating secondary copies of snapshots for other business functions, such as development and test, will further exacerbate the problem


Snapshots are necessary for protecting data, especially business-critical data, when:

  • You can't take hours or even days to create a backup copy
  • You can't afford to lose large amounts of new data when something bad happens
  • You can't be down for many hours or days while performing a recovery


The key to this dilemma is to use a tool, such as Hitachi Data Instance Director (HDID), that manages the lifecycle of snapshots. When creating a snapshot policy within HDID, it's very easy to set up not only the recovery point objective (RPO) that specifies how frequently to create the snapshot but also how long to retain it. This applies to the primary snapshot used for recovery and also any secondary copies used for other purposes.


The Hitachi Thin Image snapshots managed by HDID are also extremely space efficient, only capturing the changes since the last snapshot of that volume. This is often referred to as an incremental-forever or incremental-only backup model.


Incremental updates are also used for the secondary snapshot copies when the user periodically needs a new current copy of the data. HDID automatically refreshes the existing copy rather than creating a new copy, without impacting the resources of production servers, networks, and application administrators. This also cuts down on storage costs and the risks of uncontrolled copies.


To learn more about automating and orchestrating snapshots and our views on copy data management check out the webinar that I recorded with George Crump, Storage Switzerland's the founder and lead analyst, here: 


Watch on Demand


Rich Vining is the Sr. Global Product Marketing Manager for Data Protection and Copy Data Management at Hitachi Vantara. The contents of this blog are his own.