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It’s time for World Backup Day! A reminder to keep your data safe every day of the year.

StorageExperts

Get ready! World Backup Day is March 31st!

World Backup Day_March31_blog.jpgGiven the title of the day, it seems the appropriate time to look at a topic that can leave you with a headache, and holding your head in your hands wondering what to do to ensure that your data is safe and secure, that you can access it whenever you want days, weeks and even years later, and in a manner that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Because let’s be honest, backup is something that no one really wants to pay for—whether we’re talking about protecting your family photos on your tablet or home laptop, or the world of complex Hybrid IT where you may have TB or even PB of data with compliance needs an additional complication

So what are we really talking about when we talk about backup?

The vocabulary around backup can be confusing too. Backup. Data protection. Application protection. Secondary storage. Aren’t they all the same? I’m sure purists would say not, but what should you search for on the web to ensure you have the best solution?

Then we move on to the technologies themselves. You wonder: Surely my snapshots can be considered backups? If I replicate from one system to World Backup Day_blog.jpganother, isn’t my data 100% safe? My data is in the cloud, isn’t that all I need? What do you mean it’s going to cost me thousands of dollars to upload 5TB in the cloud? At 2.5 cents per GB it should only be $125! Oops I forgot all about retention periods and upload operational costs and that’s even before I get to recovery. And I thought cloud was cheap!

And there’s the scourge of the IT world: ransomware. With attacks increasing on a daily basis, the Internet of Threats includes billions if not trillions of devices connected to the Internet. the capability to attack backups in addition to your primary data, ransomware is just one more thing you have to consider, on top of potential system issues and people errors.

Let’s look at 4 basic guidelines for your backup solution strategy.

As you examine and evolve your backup solution strategy, keep in mind:

1. Cost: It’s impossible in a single blog to outline every solution because there are so many variations in what is required. But I think a few guidelines may help. Let’s start with one of the top issues—and that’s cost. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you need to do, cost is always going to be a major factor.  A common mistake we see is that the upfront capital cost is the main consideration of any backup solution. For SMBs, that is often understandable. But keep in many there are so many ways of financing your purchases these days, that this really shouldn’t be the core criterion.

Consider the ongoing retention times and the efficiencies of your backup storage as an example. Many organizations use traditional backup methods such as a NAS box or a server to protect their data, usually using a traditional backup application. These solutions work, but they are far from cost effective, particularly if you have increasing amounts of data (which happens to be most of us). This is because when the box gets full, you either have to keep adding more storage, you have to identify which data can be deleted, or you have to offload the data to the cloud or tape. Choosing a solution that is optimized for deduplication will provide a significantly more efficient and cost effective solution—one that also reduces the need for ongoing hardware purchases AND reduced maintenance costs. In addition, you can usually also reduce your backup software licensing costs.

2. Performance and simplified management: Selecting a solution that not only has deduplication but one that also has compatible plug-ins, such as StoreOnce Catalyst, can also provide significantly increased performance and simplified management. The plug-in will integrate with your 3PAR StoreServ flash storage hardware and snapshot management resulting in application consistent deduplicated snapshots that can be rapidly moved to the backup array to provide true backup capabilities. The performance improvements are significant. And if you take snapshots several times a day instead of waiting until the end of the day to run the backup app, then you are moving closer to continuous data protection.

The plug-in can also integrate with business applications such as Oracle, SQL, MS Exchange, SAP HANA and VMware, as well as a variety of backup apps enabling the application administrator to manage the protection of their data from a single management console.

3. Ransomware: Protecting against ransomware is on everyone’s minds these days. Subscribing to the notion of “it’s a case of when not if” we will be attacked, then considering a backup solution that protects against ransomware can change the picture of what you look for. It’s a given that many types of ransomware can attack the backup. So if your security is compromised and you are using traditional backup methods like NAS, there is a strong chance your backup data will also be encrypted. Using the same plug-in as previously mentioned (StoreOnce Catalyst) can provide recovery in the event of an attack. Why? Because the technology isn’t mounted in the same way as a traditional disk and so won’t be encrypted. Check out this short video to help you understand the threat of ransomware and the 3-2-1 data protection rule which enables you to protect your environment against ransomware attack.

4. Cloud: Finally, we get on to a topic that’s on everyone minds: cloud. As mentioned earlier, the hidden costs of cloud are significant. Check out this short video to learn more about the costs of the cloud. And keep in mind that using a deduplication solution such as StoreOnce Catalyst that integrates with public cloud including AWS and MS Azure can significantly drive down your backup and retention costs and significantly speed up data upload and download.

This World Backup Day, consider rethinking how you do your backup—in a way that can reduce costs, increase efficiencies, protect against ransomware and significantly increase performance. Who would have thought one solution could do all that!

Find more information on the data protection topic.

Read the recent IDC analyst white paper on The Business Value of High Availability Storage Environments from Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Veeam Software. (Registration required to download.)

Learn more about data protection storage.

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