Guest Column | December 9, 2016

Data Backup & Recovery: How Big Data Has Changed Things & What Decision-Makers Need To Do About It

David Molnar, CEO, Dave's Computers and ASCII Group Member Since 2014

By David Molnar, CEO, Dave's Computers and ASCII Group Member Since 2014

Today, companies in all sectors have a massive demand for data. To succeed, they must be able to take in a large amount of data and process it in real-time with no room for delays, lags, or hiccups. As the demand for efficiency and fast processing times has risen, companies around the world have been forced to move beyond the relational databases of yesteryear and into new, more capable data processing methods.

Today, data backup and recovery must be scalable, agile, and able to process large amounts of data across a broad server base. These things are, in large part, due to the rise of social media, the popularity of mobile platforms, and the increased use of SaaS throughout all industries. Because of these things, and the increasing demand for data in virtually all sectors, the face of the data backup and recovery industry as we know it is changing daily.

The Big Data Connection: Why It Matters

Many of the professionals in the data backup and recovery industry believe the changing face of data backup and recovery can be traced back to one major shift: the arrival of Big Data, which is the amount of structured and unstructured data a company contends with daily. Big Data is also the primary reason software methodology has shifted so drastically in recent years. In the IT world, one modality change begets others.

In the last several years, the flood of Big Data has revolutionized the database industry. Today, decision-makers live in an era where data is spread simultaneously across dozens of servers rather than stored on one large server. While this multi-server approach has improved flexibility, it's made it very difficult to backup data and recover it if it's lost.

The reason for this difficulty is simple: traditional backup methods aren’t meant to handle a massive assortment of data. As the approach to data has become more scalable, it has outpaced the ability of traditional data backup and recovery to keep up with it. As such, companies that don’t have a reliable backup and recovery method can find themselves dangerously exposed in the event of an outage or disaster. Fortunately, a selection of futuristic data recovery and backup products has developed a way to cope with this difficulty.

The Three Vs Of Big Data And How Distributed Data Systems Accommodate Them

The three Vs of Big Data are volume, velocity, and variety and, to do data backup and recovery right, today’s platforms must accommodate all these things at once. In addition to scaling efficiently, they must also take in large amounts of data and process it rapidly.

As such, today’s backup methods have adopted an approach that goes by the acronym BASE: basically available, soft state, eventual consistency. This is in contrast to the older ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability) system which was commonly in older relational databases.

The most notable portion of the new BASE data systems is they provide enhanced scalability fit for today's data demands. They do it, however, at the cost of consistency. While updates are made to the entire database, they don’t all happen at once.

This “eventual consistency” allows for improved adjustability, but sacrifices consistency and creates an environment where mistakes (such as the duplication of corrupted files, for example) can happen.

Most users cope with this, however, because old data storage and recovery systems simply don’t work with distributed databases. In fact, trying to use the two together can result in software failures or sub-par performance that can be devastating for enterprises.

The Future Of Backup Technology

In coming years, backup technology will continue to cater to distributed data systems rather than single systems. While software challenges will likely continue, the only way into the future of data backup and recovery is through distributed databases.

As such, marketers and enterprise-level business owners must learn to adapt accordingly. Today, investing in systems designed to accommodate distributed data backup and recovery is a wise decision, and can help prevent disasters and shutdowns across the board.

 About The ASCII Group, Inc.
The ASCII Group is a vibrant reseller community of independent MSPs, VARs, and other solution providers. Formed in 1984, ASCII has more than 70 programs that provide turnkey cost-cutting strategies, innovative business building programs, and extensive peer interaction. ASCII members enjoy benefits such as marketing support; educational information; group purchasing power; increased leverage in the marketplace; and multiple networking opportunities. These programs enable ASCII members to increase revenue, lower operating costs, and grow service opportunities. ASCII is the oldest and largest group of independent information technology (IT) solution providers, integrators and value added resellers (VARs) in the world. Learn more at www.ascii.com.