Can Snaps and Replication ever replace traditional back-up applications? It’s an interesting thought and certainly one that we’ve considered in the past. We often find that the answer that you get very much varies from what the favourite technology is with generally the NetApp fans saying yes and the EMC fans saying no.
Now as a storage agnostic, my answer is maybe but it depends on what you use your back-ups for and your internal processes. I can certainly think of a use case where the answer is NO.
One thing which we do and I suspect many other people do is to use our back-ups as source-data for development copies. So we have to get that data into another environment which may sit on different disk technologies and it’s certainly a different environment. Using traditional tape or even VTL based environments, this is relatively easy to do but with a snap-based environment; this will be a lot harder, not impossible but it actually adds complexity.
And if you go down the snaps/replication route; you’ve made your migration path away from your disk supplier infinitely harder. Because not only are you going to be migrating your primary disk environment but you have tightly coupled your back-up environment to your primary disk environment.
So I would still plump for keeping my back-up environment fairly loosely coupled as opposed to tightly integrated.