In part one of our focus on appliances, we talked about backup appliances in the data center acting in much the same set-it-and-forget-it way as appliances in our home. Though small in stature, these tiny giants provide a large footprint in terms of flexibility and efficiency. The first post stressed what may be the most important advantage of an appliance from a data center manager’s perspective: simplicity. Simple, efficient data backups provided by Purpose Built Backup Appliances (PBBAs) save time and eliminate headaches by backing up across platforms and clouds and providing the most reliable and efficient restore possible. Even more important than simply providing simplicity, PBBAs are a great way to create significant cost savings both in terms of capital and operating expenses.
On the operations side, consider that the average IT department currently spends 62% of their annual budget simply maintaining the current infrastructure. Any added bit of complexity or new system that needs to get integrated brings with it more staffing hours that need to be spent configuring, managing, and updating it, which makes matters even more complicated. Integrated appliances with strong management platforms can greatly reduce this headache by automating many of these processes, as well as delivering the “single pane of glass” to manage data protection.
Appliances can also help reduce capital expenditures in a variety of ways across the enterprise IT environment. The appliance’s simple, single point of upgrade means that upgrading firmware or software comes in a single patch instead of patches or upgrades for each component coming separately.
There’s also less need to refresh appliances as often as traditional systems due to the robust power and simplicity appliances contain, meaning their “useful life” extends far beyond the upfront investment. Speaking of the initial investment, having to replace or refresh one integrated appliance instead of multiple and separate components also reduces the enterprises capital expenditures.
Consider the example of the NetBackup 5230 from our first post. This PBBA backs up data from physical and virtual servers as well as cloud data, essentially combining three data backup systems in one centralized hub. If the enterprise doesn’t currently have a cloud solution and decides to add one, the backup system for it is already in place in the form of an appliance. Not to mention the saved energy costs in the form of fewer physical servers.
The decision is simple to make whether the enterprise is watching spending or sprawl: adding appliances saves both time, money, and reduces complexity. Consider adding them to your data center.
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