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What Is Copy Data?

copy data

It’s not uncommon that we become so immersed in what we do every day that we fail to recognize that others may not understand our work. The idea of “copy data” and its importance to fundamental changes in how IT runs is just such an example. So, since we are often asked to explain, we decided that a blog post would be one good way to clarify.

Start with how traditional data management practices have compartmentalized business functions. The result has been widespread growth of uncoordinated infrastructure which has independently spawned separate stacks of duplicate data. That’s copy data.

These excess copies of production data, are created and stored by disparate data protection and availability tools and used for backup, disaster recovery, application development, analytics or other separate functions.

copy dataThe Copy Data Problem

It’s no secret that data growth is among the prime challenges faced by enterprise CIOs. In particular, it’s uncoordinated data growth caused by too many systems creating redundant data copies for multiple and distinct purposes – but it is the same data. As the volume of production data grows at a tremendous rate, uncoordinated “copy data” gets layered on top. This copy data glut drives massive excesses in cost and complexity. To achieve critical business, application, and technology objectives IT leaders need an effective resolution. For a more in depth look at the copy data problem, check out our What Is Copy Data brief.

Data Virtualization Addresses Copy Data

Copy data virtualization, also known as copy data management, is now a powerful means to address the complex copy data challenge. Just as VMware virtualized servers and transformed enterprise approaches to IT infrastructure, data virtualization has the potential for a similar impact on copy data. In addition, reduction of excess copies can have a significant cost impact by reducing hardware, software, and operational expenses. Operational impacts reduce systems complexity, shrinking energy consumption, and enhancing data governance. Yes, that’s a lot.

Immense portions of precious enterprise IT budgets have been sucked into this vortex. The common data center architectures are full of physical devices from multiple suppliers all linking specialized data protection applications and redundant systems. It’s complicated, messy, slow and expensive. It’s an environment built to create data copies.

For example; CIO conversations regularly highlight widespread difficulties with copy data. Start with a 40TB database. The application development and test environment uses full physical production data copies and is refreshed twice a week. That operation consumes a great deal of CPU and takes nearly 24 hours to create ten copies consuming 400TBs of storage.

Now, turn to copy data virtualization (CDV). The required storage capacity shrinks from 400TB to only the original 40TB. All authorized developers and testers can then access individual virtual data copies. And, using incremental-forever data capture, data is always fresh. Self-service access to current production data is accomplished in minutes. Virtual data copies are protected, instantly available, and easily orchestrated for disaster recovery.

Data virtualization transforms and reduces IT architecture to the essential components of server, storage, and network. For DR purposes, add a remote or cloud site to the primary. That’s it. Through copy data virtualization, many tools are consolidated into a single, simple solution. Put a big X through all of those messy, expensive elements. You don’t need them any more.

Copy data virtualization gives IT professionals ultimate control over their data management objectives. Data virtualization means significant savings of time, money, and storage space. Eliminating excess copy data improves business resilience, agility, and opens a direct enterprise path to the cloud