Backing Up Global Sites
For organisations with offices spanning multiple countries, or the entire globe, the challenges around managing and backing up data are expanded. The traditional constraints such as budget, backup windows and the needs of individual stakeholders are effectively multiplied by each site, each likely to have slightly different needs and requirements.
Global site backup and restore requirements will form the same basis as any off-site data backup, the data must be securely held in an off-site location where it can be accessed later. So how does that work when you have multiple sites in multiple countries, each with their own data laws and regulations?
The challenges of backing up global sites
Legislation and regulations are not the only concern the budding IT/Network Director is likely to have when reviewing or implementing a global backup strategy. The complexities of managing multiple sites can lead to issues that smaller single-site organisations may not face, such as having to ensure data sovereignty across different countries and dealing with backup windows in different time zones. With the ongoing digitisation being seen across businesses of all kinds, there is a need to access data always and to make sure data is available on an almost 24/7 basis – a challenge for any IT team.
Having sites in different countries will mean that different regulations and requirements must be upheld at each site; Included in this could be requirements on where primary data is stored and whether data can leave the country or not (in the form of a backup or otherwise). The need for data to remain in one country is usually a measure to limit who can access it, aiming to prevent data theft and limit data breach associated.
Different sites are inherently going to have different approaches to data management challenges, this can be a benefit as each site will have some kind of solution that works for them. However, this is likely to be extremely time consuming and difficult to manage, monitor and fix if anything goes wrong.
To centralise or not to centralise?
There is no one-way to ensure global sites are all protected and backed up in the correct way, each organisation will have to account for internal stakeholders, internal policies and laws and regulations per region they operate in. Budget and the expected availability/uptime of data are also likely to play a large part of which solution or solutions are implemented.
When reviewing, replacing or standardising backup across global sites it is important to find the right technology partner or vendor for your organisation. Factors that could influence this include:
- Local presence in countries of operation
- 24/7 support availability
- Dedicated account management
- Range of solutions on offer
It is important to understand that if something goes wrong, especially if it’s some kind of global outage or issue, that the organisations you work with are going to be there to help, especially with recovering data from a backup and implementing disaster recovery procedures.
There is a need to support a range of different operating systems, and the growing data sets that will be generated by them in a quick and efficient way. Whether each site has its own system or there is one overriding solution, the solution needs to be flexible enough to deal with new data and deployments as they arise. Software only solutions and cloud are likely to be in use at least partially at many global sites.
Data Centralisation is the process of storing or managing data from a single location. With sites spread across the globe the benefits of centralising data must be weighed up. However, there are benefits to having a centralised overview of the entire backup estate, among others this will give senior staff the peace of mind that data can be recovered.