News

Get the March on your backup strategy

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 08:35
Data Backup

Many organisations will be assigning budget in line with the calendar year or with the national financial year (April) and looking to review IT systems, including backup strategies. With many projects fighting for priority, many IT Managers will be looking to allocate budget depending on several factors.

So what are these factors and how do IT departments prioritise what is reviewed, refreshed or implemented; questions being asked could include -

  • How long will the project take?
  • How much of my budget will this account for?
  • What pains will this solution solve?
  • Will this project make the team more efficient?
  • Will the project allow cost savings in other areas?

Why you should consider reviewing your backup strategy as a priority

Backup is a necessity to any business but historically has been seen as a time-consuming area to review or change. Legacy backup solutions that require manual intervention do nothing to dispel this idea as they themselves are an example of inefficiency within an IT environment.

In a survey of Redstor customers in February 2017, it was found that switching to an automated backup solution saved an average of 8 hours a week when compared to existing tape-based backups.

The compound effect of making this efficiency switch early in the year is a time saving of hundreds of hours. Hours that can be spent on business-critical tasks and improvements in other areas of IT.

Having an automated solution isn’t the only way to make backup strategies more efficient. Tape-based backups are still widely used, and their longevity is without question, tape is tried and tested. With a local backup, data will still have to be securely taken offsite and stored, at additional time and cost.

Completing a backup review also has the possibility of opening up the scope of how other projects are executed. Moving to a cloud backup vendor could free up onsite storage, give a more accurate picture of data volumes, help influence decisions around retention and data archiving.

When should I review my tape backups?

A correctly configured tape backup can be a streamlined process and with additional services or processes in place, tapes can securely leave sight and be stored for long term use. An incorrectly configured, or outdated, system, however, can be quite the opposite.

Tape-based media is liable to corruption if stored incorrectly, something unlikely to be realised until a restore (or a restore test) takes place, by which point little can be done. As with all forms of physical backup media there is an inherent risk or loss, misplacement or theft; storing tapes in a fireproof safe may protect them if the building burns down, but if someone breaks into the building and steals the safe, they’re gone.

If individual file restores are something that the organisation uses on a regular basis then tape screams inefficiency. Having to find the correct tape could be one thing in itself if there are tens, hundreds or even thousands of them being stored for retention purposes. Then when the tape has been found, the whole tape will have to be restored to simply access and restore the one file you’ve been looking for.

Change enablement

Backup can be seen as a change enablement tool allowing for larger scale projects to be implemented with peace of mind that there is a safety net should anything go wrong; backup is in many ways the insurance of the IT world.

Storage migrations, while heavily hardware based, have to account for software that is in place and of the course the data on those systems. A scalable approach to migrating data can be taken with backups to ensure that in line with any new storage systems, data is safe.

Quick, easy implementation

With projects and to-do lists stacking up, once decisions are made it is important to act on them quickly. If backup solutions are being changed it is important to implement these early to ensure historical backups are in place, as well as to allow a changeover period while retaining a high level of resilience.

Redstor’s Backup Pro solution can be implemented within a 48-hour window, proving that reviewing and implementing backup doesn’t have to be a long process.

End-user driven roadmap (cloud to cloud backups)

The future of data is not set and with innovative technologies being invented constantly, it is important to have solutions that can keep up. The development of Backup pro is heavily driven by customer requests and feedback and has already seen features such as cloud to cloud backups become a reality. 

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