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Top 10 Data Storage Backup Tips

July 2, 2014

Account for Scale

Trying to force-fit legacy solutions into new virtualized environments generally works poorly. It can add cost, increase complexity and increase overall risk, particularly when companies are deploying hundreds of VMs and beyond.

“Many purpose-built solutions run into trouble when users attempt to scale beyond fifty or a hundred VMs, impacting performance,” said Robbie Wright, senior manager of product marketing at CommVault. “Choose backup that understands the scale and performance requirements of the converged virtual infrastructure to avoid unnecessarily expensive, over-designed solutions.”

Provide Granular Recovery

Backup tools in virtual environments need to deliver adequate granular recovery options to support business requirements, especially for Tier-1 applications. As organizations look to build out large private and hybrid cloud environments, the backup strategy must be able to keep pace and recover to a few hours ago, not to last night’s backup.

“Deploy a backup strategy that delivers granular restore options down to the file or object level and does so from a single pass backup operation,” said Wright. “It is also critical that organizations are creating frequent recovery points without impacting production activity.”

Support Multiple Hypervisors

Modern organizations are rarely willing or able to remain on one platform. They are often forced to look at more than one platform due to the cost and benefit profiles of the applications they want to virtualize. A backup strategy, therefore, should support cross-platform data protection, such as VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V. This helps reduce both cost and risk by eliminating the need for multiple point solutions that require complex integration projects.

“This approach enables users to store, relate, classify and search for all data across the enterprise,” said Wright.  

Inventory and Optimize

Christopher L. Poelker, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions, FalconStor Software believes a more organized approach to backup is helpful. He said that it is important for an IT department to take an inventory of the existing backup environment, business objectives for RTO and RPO for applications, and the biggest issues it faces from a backup and recovery perspective. This provides IT with the big picture so it can optimize backup to actual needs and the current environment.

“In an optimized IT model that takes advantage of storage virtualization, backup and recovery is typically the largest benefactor from a cost savings perspective,” said Poelker. “Cloud-based services should be reviewed to see if there is financial and operational benefit to moving the backup process to a service provider.”

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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