Backing Up the Data-Driven Enterprise

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There’s little disagreement that today’s enterprise database management is a highly complex, laborious task impacted by a variety of issues. Database administrators and managers need to focus on designing and improving enterprise and network architecture, as well as database infrastructure, to meet ever-changing business demands. Data managers also tend to get consumed by IT organizational issues, such as securing adequate resources and funding to serve decision makers. They also need to stay current on evolving backup and recovery tools.

Probably the most critical part of data managers’ jobs, however, is developing and managing backup and recovery processes. At this time, many current backup solutions and methodologies are not rising to the task of managing sophisticated data environments—DBAs report difficulties addressing performance, constant management, complexity of recovery, impact on production servers, and coordination of backup windows across servers.

These are the findings of a new survey of 224 data administrators, managers, and professionals, conducted among the readership of Database Trends and Applications. The survey, underwritten by Oracle, finds the challenge of backup and recovery is growing more complex, a process with which administrators are only getting more frustrated. The survey explored the characteristics of the organizational database landscape, including database solutions employed, number of databases and volume of data, current backup strategy, databases protected by high-availability technologies, the amount of data backed-up in near-real time, and disaster recovery challenges, among other things. (“Oracle Database and Data Protection Survey,” January 2014)

As Data Scales, So Do Backup and Recovery Challenges

Many organizations are challenged to manage, back up, and secure hundreds of siloed databases, the survey finds. A day in the life of a database administrator regularly involves: backing up approximately 20 databases, (although many enterprises have hundreds) and managing up to 200 terabytes (TB) of data, in a combination of full, daily incremental to disk, daily full to disk and incrementally to disk or tape. Some enterprises are now managing, backing up, and recovering more than 5 petabytes (PB) of data daily. Administrators are challenged by a highly complex database management infrastructure that includes onsite and offsite backups to tape, disk, and storage appliances.

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“Big data”—at least in terms of volume—is an issue that is the first and foremost concern for data managers tasked with ensuring information availability. As data stores scale well into the multi-petabyte range and above, the challenge becomes finding a place to cost-effectively replicate these massive data stores, as well as ensure sub-second transmission speeds between servers and sites. Overall, respondents indicated that there are four challenges for data protection, back up, and recovery of databases. In order of importance, they are backing up and managing increasingly large data volumes, followed by funding and budget constraints. Network bandwidth and reliability and meeting recovery-time objectives (RTOs) also rank high on the list of concerns. 

Most Significant Challenges Your Organization Encounters for Data Protection, Backup, and Recovery of Oracle Databases During Normal Updating

Backing up and managing increasingly large data volumes - 39%

Funding and budget constraints - 37%

Network bandwidth - 32%

Meeting recovery time objectives - 28%

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