A backup appliance, sometimes referred to as a purpose-built backup appliance (PBBA), is a hardware device pre-installed with backup software and preconfigured with hardware and connectivity optimised for running backup loads and storing backup data. Latterly, backup appliances usually integrate with a public cloud to enable a drip-feed of old backups to be replicated to a cloud-based location for long-term retention, removing the worry of storage limitations in the appliance itself.
A backup appliance should be installed physically near to the data being backed up and should run backup-related tasks without having any impact on other workloads or servers in your environment. This is to ensure that the performance of live applications are not impacted by backup operations.
A backup appliance should not require complex configuration and should work “out of the box” even when protecting multiple servers across multiple networks.
Backup appliances also have tightly integrated storage technologies which lend themselves to supporting the backup process. These will include deduplication, encryption, compression and bandwidth throttling.
Backup appliances provide a black box pre-integrated total backup solution, replacing the need to integrate the multiple components typically needed when building a backup solution from separate software and hardware. In this way, backup appliances reduce the time and complexity of installation and ongoing management.
In the event that backups start producing errors or not completing, a backup appliance also have the benefit of only having one vendor to support the issue.
Many backup specialists such as Arcserve have added appliances to their total data protection portfolio.
Download this Special Focus for more information about backup appliance and cloud continuity.