Checklist: Telltale signs you need to rethink your backup and recovery strategy

As organisational needs change and workloads become increasingly distributed, a key realisation is emerging: traditional approaches to backup and recovery may no longer be sufficient for many organisations.

These companies may have discovered that their existing tools are not keeping pace with other advancements in their computing environments, such as scale-out storage systems and hyperconverged systems, which seek to reduce data centre complexity and help manage surging storage costs.

>See also: Hyperconverged infrastructure: what’s all the hype?

Companies considering an upgrade to their existing legacy backup and recovery capabilities are far from alone. Gartner predicts that by 2021, 50% of organisations will augment or replace their current backup application with another solution, compared to what they deployed at the beginning of 2017.

As is the case with so many technologies, the community around the data protection space is chock-full of often conflicting opinions; and some of the information out there is calculated to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the minds of buyers. Choosing the right enterprise-grade, modern, web-scale backup and recovery solution involves understanding the problem first, then comparing solutions to those problems.

>See also: Hybrid cloud and blockchain solutions will be the future

Understanding the challenge

Before getting started with a selection process, it’s important to understand any potential shortcomings in the existing backup and recovery environment. The checklist below outlines common backup and recovery challenges faced by IT and helps companies discover where to kick off their search.

  1. Siloed infrastructure: Does the current solution require the use of backup software along with separate media servers and dedicated storage targets?
  2. Multiple, fragmented UIs to configure backup workflows: Does the current solution require the use of multiple user interfaces to create backup workflows? For example, is it necessary to create a backup job for a physical server in one solution’s console; a separate product’s console to configure a different backup job for a virtual server, and yet another product and console to help protect SQL Server?
  3. Bolt-on cloud gateways: If the current system provides any kind of support for the public cloud, does it require separate bolt-on cloud gateways that act as intermediaries between the on-premises and public cloud-based backup and recovery environments?
  4. Forklift upgrades for scale-up: When the time comes to grow the backup and recovery environment, it is necessary to schedule downtime for the backup and recovery environment to add more nodes?
  5. Slow restores, last point in time only: Does the current solution suffer from performance problems at restore time, resulting in the potential for RTO misses? Or does it only allow recovery from the latest backup made?
  6. Variable and/or fixed block deduplication with compression: Does the current solution lack data reduction features? Or, if it includes them, does it have small deduplication domains or fixed block deduplication capability only?

Even if only one of the challenges above applies, it is worth considering reviewing options for replacing the existing backup and recovery software. There are options on the market today that have rethought backup and recovery with a modern, web-scale point of view to address all of these deficiencies in elegant, simple, and affordable ways. No longer are companies confined to thinking of backup and recovery as a silo, but rather as a full-fledged member of their business-critical application sets; and one that’s self-healing, too. No longer do they have to dread the day that a ransomware attack strikes; a defence is in place. No longer do IT staff need to worry about the day when they max out their installed solutions’ capabilities and need to rip and replace them; modern solutions scale out, making expansion, upgrades, and node replacements a breeze.

>See also: Improving application performance to meet business needs

But that’s just the beginning. A modern backup and recovery product provides capabilities that are either impossible or prohibitively expensive with legacy approaches. Such capabilities include native cloud features, mass instant recovery of VMs, and a comprehensive API to enable advanced workflows. And it should be wrapped together in a simple, intuitive, single interface that manages a company’s end-to-end backup and recovery services.

Sourced by Klaus Seidl, VP Sales EMEA, Cohesity

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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future