So you know your backup is broken and you’ve taken our advice on how to get your current systems working better. But the intrinsic challenges remain:
- Traditional tape backups are unreliable and do not work well with new technologies. Nor can they scale easily. In a world where every business is basically a digital business, your data (and the systems on which it is stored) is mission-critical.
- In this digital business environment, the CIO is being called upon to play an increasingly strategic role, as is the IT department as a whole. Backups are vital, but they are highly complex and problematic and de-focus valuable resources on whom the business depends.
For these reasons, ContinuitySA is finding that more and more companies are looking for backup solutions that are fully managed and monitored by a specialist service provider, and that do not use tape as the storage medium.
When it comes to backup technologies, ContinuitySA believes that the ideal solution should include an onsite backup and recovery vault at each major location. Because most restores are required within 48 hours (accidental deletions of files and data corruption due to software faults are the most common reason for restore requests) this facility is very convenient. As it uses the existing local-area network, backups and restores are very speedy.
The backup vault should be a purpose-built appliance that can scale easily as well as integrate with new technologies. It should be designed to check the integrity of backups, and compress and de-duplicate data.
The onsite vault should then be synchronised to an offsite recovery site. Providing the right kind of bandwidth is very important to ensure that backups can be completed as scheduled and replicated offsite quickly, with full encryption across the whole process. It’s very important that the recovery site has the necessary server infrastructure on which to perform the restore but also to provide workstations for employees in the event of a major disaster.
As an aside, bandwidth is one of the reasons why cloud restorations don’t work that well. Most companies would take weeks or even months to perform a total system restore over normal Internet connections!
There are fairly high technical specifications built into all of this, which is why so many companies are partnering with a specialist provider like ContinuitySA. Whoever the partner might be, though, it’s very important that the client be provided with user-friendly dashboards and reports to maintain oversight, and that the parties meet regularly to ensure that the backup strategy remains aligned with the overall IT and business continuity strategies.
Data is becoming a key corporate resource—it’s really time to make sure it’s protected adequately with the right backup solution.