How many copies of your data do you need? One isn’t enough—you need at least one backup copy (and preferably a second backup copy stored offsite). The problem is that data copies multiply far beyond just one or two. Development, test, analytics, and other projects all typically create their own copies of production data sets. In one estimate, close to 50 percent of all stored data is copies. That’s a huge amount of extra storage and space. 

Copy Data Management Pros and Cons 

You can’t eliminate data copies completely, but using copy data management can greatly reduce the number of data copies floating around your organization. This doesn’t just reduce the cost of storing that data; it reduces the costs of data protection software licenses based on storage size and the cost of the time your operations team spends working with those copies. Copy data management can also make it much easier and faster for developers to gain access to data, speeding up your development processes. 

In addition to the benefits, there are some potential drawbacks of copy data management to be aware of. Although in general access to the data is rapid due since users don’t need to wait for a copy to be made, there can be performance issues. Copy data management means that the same data is being used by production and all the secondary users. That places a greater load on the storage devices. There is also some overhead added by the copy data management software. 

A second possible drawback is that the use of copy data management software can potentially introduce the risk of data corruption. The production system and all copy data users are completely depending on the copy data tool operating properly. Any failures can be difficult to resolve. 

Copy Data Doesn’t Replace Backup 

Copy data management tools leverage snapshots, and, just as snapshots don’t replace backups, neither does copy data management. By definition, copy data management does not create an additional copy of the data in a different location. If the device housing the data fails, the copy data will be inaccessible. 

Instead of trying to make copy data management replace your backup procedures, think of copy data management as an additional backup feature that provides an easy solution to a handful of use cases. Backup vendors like Veritas NetBackup often integrate copy data management into their backup solutions. VAST provides support and managed services for NetBackup to make sure your critical backup process works reliably. Contact us to learn how you can leverage copy data management to reduce the number of data copies you need. 

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