Purpose-built backup appliances (PBBAs) have been foundation components to many organizations’ backup/recovery infrastructure for more than a decade. The importance of PBBAs is illustrated in the numbers: According to IDC, in 2018, the data replication and protection (DR&P) market was approximately $8.9 billion, while the PBBA market was $3.6 billion.

PBBAs have several distinguishing characteristics from other appliance devices and general-purpose storage arrays. These characteristics are:

  • Being able to specifically store backup data sets in the format of the backup software, making it impractical to use the data for other purposes
  • Implementing high rates of data de-duplication (usually 10:1 or more) that make it impractical to use the data for tasks other than data restore
  • Enabling highly efficient data replication (largely due to data de-duplication) to facilitate rapid backup from remote offices
  • Providing protocol translation (e.g., S3, OpenStack) for data transfer to cloud repositories (“cloud tiring”)

PBBAs provide IT organizations with a solution to common problems associated with backup/recovery operations as well as improve service-level delivery for data restore and availability.

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