Backup strategy

The risk of losing critical data is on the rise as increasingly complex systems emerge to manage an exponential growth in data.

“If you want to sleep at night, you need to take steps to make sure your data is protected and that your backups are verified,” said Jim Love, CIO of ITWC and host of the recent webinar, Is Your Backup Strategy Keeping Up With Your SLAs and Your Budget?

“If you’ve ever pulled the backup and found nothing there, it’s the worst feeling in the world.”

Sponsored by Veritas Technologies and HighVail Systems, the session outlined why data backup and recovery is becoming more challenging and what you can do about it.

Vikram Bhatija, information protection architect for Veritas notes, “It’s not the backup that matters, it’s the recovery.”

How It Got So Complicated

The skyrocketing growth in data is one of the main reasons why IT environments are so complex. According to Bhatija, the volume of data continues to grow by 50 per cent per year, with a corresponding increase in the number of servers at 20 per cent per year. As your data centre scales, so does your backup centre — and “at the end of the day, recovery isn’t agile anymore,” said Bhatija.

The other big complicating factor is the rapid pace of change. The explosion of cloud, virtualization and social media are having a major impact, resulting in unstructured data centres. Not only that, but the servers, storage and network need constant upgrades.

To cope with all of this, companies tend to buy bigger and more powerful storage, just like you would supersize your coffee, said Bhatija. “We do a double-double on backup,” said Love. “The problem is that budgets don’t allow it.”

The better solution is to use integrated backup appliances, all of the components to run data protection, including security, reporting, automatic upgrades, instant validation and workflow automation, are built into a single purpose appliance. This approach optimizes backup and recovery by reducing infrastructure and significantly speeding up recovery time.

Review Your Strategy Now and Often

Data protection is not just about the technology, said Jeremy Rojas, senior technical specialist from HighVail Systems. It’s “never a set it and forget it environment.”

Both speakers agreed that, in this fast-changing world, it’s vital to revisit your backup and recovery strategy regularly. This includes a thorough process review. It’s necessary to classify data according to what needs to be backed up, how long you need to keep it and how fast you need to recover it. These best practice procedures are just as important as the technology.

“It does not have to be a nightmare, said Rojas. “There’s been so much advancement. It’s a piece of cake if you build and monitor it the right way.”

With the huge growth in data and rapid change in technology, “now is the time” to review your strategy and practices, said Bhatija. End users will “sleep well at night” by taking steps during the day to ensure your critical data can be easily and quickly recovered in a crisis, he added.

 



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