Data protection should never materially slow you down. If you don't have a modern data protection platform and waste too much time "trying to make it work", you probably need to consider replacement.
Knowing that backups are consistent and will be available whenever they are needed is a high priority on any IT teams’ agenda. Running an efficient, modern data protection platform is key to ensuring environment peace of mind.
I thought I would cover off seven simple tips for optimising data protection efficiency.
1: Automate everything - Reduce manual tasks and the risk of data loss due to human error by employing a high degree of automation. If you find yourself doing the same operation more than three times, investigate how it can be automated in the future.
2: Single Control Point - Centralise management by choosing a product which manages all aspects of data protection together with a single approach, be it snapshot, backup or archive. If you find yourself constantly switching between multiple consoles for different tasks, then you are working too hard.
3: Ensure deduplication – By its very nature, backups will consist of multiple copies of similar or identical data, and so any solution should make significant use of deduplication technology to minimise or remove copies of redundant data. Doing so allows maximum efficiency in utilisation of storage assets. We recommend you spend time reviewing how each product delivers it deduplication solution as they vary in cost and performance. Software-driven global deduplication is an important consideration.
4: Work smarter, not harder - Make use of hardware array based snapshot technology combined with deep application and hypervisor awareness to reduce protection windows and increase restore points. We’ve already spoken at length around the benefits of snapshots in a previous blog, but remember – a snapshot is not a backup, so you still need to consider correct offsiting of data, etc. A solution that combines both technologies under one banner aides in taking recovery to the next level.
5: Be informed and convert information into knowledge - Keeping your finger on the pulse of your data protection environment is critical to ensure confidence that data will be recoverable in a disaster. Make use of comprehensive reporting to both identify problem areas and opportunities for improvement, along with analytics to make informed decisions.
6: Embrace cloud - Cloud usage is real and must be factored into any data protection strategy. Be it backup to, in or from the cloud, the solution should be multi-cloud aware and never be the reason why you cannot move your business forward with a chosen public cloud provider.
7: Offer self-service - Empower users by providing web based self-service tools so that they can manage their own resources, be they on premise or in the cloud. Doing so frees up IT resources to work on more business critical tasks, rather than responding to users’ requests.
Efficiency is the name of the game. Your business needs to perform data protection in a single, efficient step across the entire IT environment. In my opinion, the data protection platform should fit seamlessly into your data management strategy. The platform you choose should not only exceed your current requirements, but offer additional benefits that the business can take advantage of in the future.
Do you have any tips for what makes data protection effective in your organisation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.