Rethink Your Backup Strategy: Five Questions to Ask

Just over a week ago, CommVault released findings from an IDC research, which surveyed over 500 IT executives in Asia Pacific and highlighted the following:

“72% of IT executives across Asia Pacific consider the exponential growth and complexity of data to be a top data management challenge”

“70% of executives said that their financial and operational business areas would be most jeopardised by data loss”

“Australian and New Zealand organisations are managing the largest amount of data in the region, with 39% and 38% of companies in the respective regions managing more than 50 TB of data”

IDC has also estimated that data in Australia is expected to grow by a factor of 300 from 2005 to 2020. In addition, it revealed that the proportion of data in the digital universe that requires protection is growing fast, and will exceed 40% in 2020, growing from less than 33% in 2010.

Data is central to every organisation’s day-to-day, operational and strategic decision-making. Data protection is, therefore, more crucial than ever. However, for many organisations data protection infrastructure is an operational overhead that gets little attention or focus. This can be attributed to the various challenges associated with data protection and backup:

  • Shrinking backup and recovery windows
  • Data protection gaps
  • Legacy technology limitations
  • Budget constraints
  • Inability to comply with SLAs
  • Inability to back up remote office servers
  • Challenges and costs around long term retention of data
  • Ongoing administrative tasks to manage backup environments
  • Lack of offsite protection of their primary backup data
  • Data Management compliance and reporting

As a result, some organisations put data protection on “too hard list” and subsequently end up with an inefficient and ineffective backup solution.

To determine the efficiency and effectiveness of your backup solution, ask yourself the following five questions:

1. Are you sure you can restore from your latest backup?

There is little point in spending a large chunk of your time backing up your data if you can’t restore it, so restoration tests must be done regularly. These restoration tests must be done at several levels: files, applications (database restore) and the complete server.  These restoration tests are also critical to help you review and validate your recovery time objectives (RTO).

2. Do you know the ‘total cost per terabyte’ for backup?

The cost of backup doesn’t only include the cost of the backup tool / service your organisation uses. It also entails the time spent to set up and maintain the tool, as well as the cost of the expensive IT resource/s managing it. Investigate the complete cost of your data protection to really understand the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your backup solution.

3. Do you provide data protection / backup SLAs?

The inability to provide adequate backup or restore levels to meet certain business requirements is an issue for many organisations. It is therefore important to determine if your backup solution provides documented service levels for the business applications you are protecting and ways to measure the performance of your infrastructure.

4. Is your current backup solution scalable?

Scalability is currently one of the most important concerns for organisations, given the expected data deluge. Review your data protection architecture to identify any additions or maintenance required to meet the projected data growth, including any additional costs to incur.

5. Are you leveraging the most effective and efficient data protection architecture?

Review past performance of backup and restoration in your organisation to determine its efficiency and effectiveness. It is also important to keep up with advances in backup technology to ensure your organisation has the optimum backup solution.

If you can’t answer the above questions with a confident ‘yes’, your backup solution is not as effective or efficient as it could be.

So what can you do to improve back up efficiency and effectiveness?

An emerging option is to work with an external backup provider. Backup-as-a-Service has emerged as a frontrunner among backup solutions, delivering a multitude of advantages to organisations, from business-focused and ITIL compliant processes, to reduced costs, lower risks, high scalability and operational efficiency.

To learn more about Backup-as-a-Service, refer to our ‘How to Guide’ for Backup.

Tags Digital Transformation, Data Centre, BaaS, Backup, Backup as a Service


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