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Data Protection: How Insightful Analytics Makes Backup and Recovery Smarter, More Efficient

StephenSpellicy ‎05-28-2014 12:56 PM - edited ‎02-19-2015 12:37 PM

Are your IT data protection processes adaptive or reactive? If you think your IT environment is closer to being reactive, or somewhere in between, you’re not alone.  After all, there’s a lot going on with shifting data center requirements forcing IT organizations to reassess backup and recovery processes, strategies and infrastructure to be more adaptive. Keeping pace with increased data volumes, diverse data, new approaches to deploying IT services such as virtualization and cloud have completely changed how we tackle the challenge of deploying mission critical applications.  New business models such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and an increasing focus on regulatory compliance have changed how we interact and protect the data that we create.



All of these challenges are catalysts driving the need for IT to replace yesterday’s reactive and bloated backup models with a progressive approach to data protection that delivers transparency, predictability, and business resiliency within IT environments.


The “new style of IT” demands an adaptive approach that can address the dynamic nature of today’s data center, handle the diversity of data needed to be protected, and can provide a far greater level of business resiliency than yesterday’s backup and recovery solution.  This approach requires a new way of addressing backup and recovery, one that adapts as it performs protection at scale, making backup both smarter and more efficient.


Change within today's data center is constant and never ending, but the ability to adapt to change is critical to the survival of an IT organization. However, many companies are still leveraging a legacy-based approach when it comes to protecting their data.


4 Capabilities Required to Move from Legacy to Adaptive Backup and Recovery


There are 4 core capabilities that are lacking in legacy data protection today, and are required  for operational success within your organization: 


 Key observations for IT professionals to consider: 

  • Prioritize  what you protect - Ensure the most critical of applications gain access and priority to the resources      needed to complete backups on time, non-disruptively, and well within the window you expect. 
  • Predict  where potential issues could arise (based on a view of the past and the future) - This is a great way to gain useful insight into when additional backup capacity is needed, instead of reacting to a failure situation.  This will enable the backup process to run more smoothly. 
  • Recommend  how to best optimize the backup system - Take advantage of additional resources and capacity to improve not only the protection of the data but the long term retention of data for compliance purposes.  This will help avoid potential conflicts and ensure your critical service level objectives (SLOs). 
  • Automate - You can decrease the effort within the backup and recovery operation, as well as ensure protection for all devices under management by automatically applying protection policy and provisioning backup resources.  This will save time, money and headaches. 

Say Hello to Adaptive Backup and Recovery (ABR) Prediction


Problem analysis or IT troubleshooting typically requires the collection of system logs, events, alarms, relevant performance data and other key environmental information.  Data collection alone can be a daunting task without the right platform.  Even worse, it’s hard to figure out where to start looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. 99.999% of the time the smoking bullet is hidden under terabytes of cryptic statistical data.  With no clear way to discern when and how one event relates to the other, it would leave most IT admins scratching their heads.


With the help of operational analytics, IT can better understand and control backup related resources.  This enables IT to make informed decisions relating to future backup capacity and infrastructure needs by proactively addressing current and potential issues seen within their backup operation.  


When analytics are applied to backup and recovery—one can gain insight into health, resource utilization, potential bottlenecks and areas of optimization.  When analytical data is easily accessible and presented in a meaningful manner—it can truly empower any organization to lower costs and reduce risk. 


Your IT organization will be able to handle these challenges head on:

  • Identify a failed or missed backup last night. Analytics can provide hindsight  into what has happened to a running backup job through historical reporting.
  •  Understand how a media failure may have caused a backup to fail to complete. Analytics can provide insight  into how conditions relate to each other in the backup process, through monitoring and analysis.
  •  Predict how a failed or missed backup could impact a desired recovery point objective (RPO) in the future when required for a disaster recovery scenario.  Analytics can provide foresight  into how conditions may affect the future backup operation, through prediction.

Some last thoughts: 


By applying the right analytics to backup and recovery, your IT organization will be able to predict how its environments will perform or behave under load.  More benefits include: 

  • The ability to take action before a problem arises.  
  • Gain meaningful insight into backup infrastructure and related IT resources leveraging powerful analytical data.  
  • Meet critical business requirements such as compliance and governance, while allowing organizations to meet their critical SLAs.

And if you are interested in learning more about HP’s ABR solution, I’ll be speaking at HP Discover 2014 taking place in Las Vegas, June 10-12.  During my sessions, I’ll cover how HP’s Adaptive Backup and Recovery can help make your backup and recovery operations smarter and more efficient. Be sure to also read the press release on HP’s recent groundbreaking innovations in Adaptive Backup and Recovery.


How does your business handle data backup and recovery issues? Share your comments in the field below. 





If you enjoyed this article, read more from this author:

Data Protection: Why technology giants collaborate – because it’s good for customers!

Data Protection: How long can you live without your backup server?

About the Author


Stephen Spellicy is known as a virtualization and data protection subject matter expert with 17+ years of experience in the technology industry. As the Director of Product Management for Data Protection within HP Software's Division, he manages a portfolio of software products that over 60k customers leverage worldwide. His expertise within the backup/recovery, storage, virtualization, and cloud technology areas have also gained him recognition with HP internally and externally, with many contributed articles published technology focused magazines & periodicals.

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