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How to Build the Best Backup Strategy for your Business

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strategy development.jpgData enters, leaves and moves throughout your organisation in a constant flow. Each day as your employee’s complete tasks, projects, deals, emails and documents, the volume and value of your data grows. Losing access to this as well as business critical processes and systems would be costly in both time and money. For both small and enterprise sized organisations, the concerns surrounding data loss and protection are equal and the need for a comprehensive backup strategy has never been more apparent.

What makes a backup strategy effective?

When creating a backup strategy, its effectiveness is a number one priority with a variety of factors contributing to the deliberation process. However, most often in the strategy creation process there are two features that take prominence before settling at a state of equilibrium: budget and intended usage.

Evaluating Key Factors

In order to have these strategy features reach an equalised state which also maximises backup strategy effectiveness, a number of key factors should be considered.

The nature of your data

Depending on your organisation the nature of your data will vary; it can come from different sources and be stored in a multitude of ways. It is important to understand what you have and where it is currently saved when devising your backup strategy. Not just your data, but understanding how your organisational systems and processes are hosted throughout your business is a key factor, as in the deliberation of your ongoing backup and recovery strategy this information will provide insight into the features required of your backup solution.  

The rate of change

Knowledge of what and where your data and processes are, is only the first consideration. Understanding how often they change will provide insight into how often you will be required to backup your data and how the deployment of full, incremental and differential backups can be best utilised to protect your data. A combination of these should be used throughout the day, week, month and year to create a strategy that is specific to your data requirements.

How long are you required to keep your backups?

The length of time an organisation will keep a backup copy will vary depending on the nature of the data contained, institutional guidelines and legal compliance requirements. This consideration will impact the functionality features required within your backup solution and should be considered in your overall strategy.

What scenarios do you envision?

The things in which you are protecting your data from will have an impact on the backup strategy created to protect it. From fire and flood to hardware malfunction and software crash, right down to accidental deletion and with everything else in-between; your backup strategy should consider a clear method of backup and restoration for each along with the likelihood of each occurrence.

This part of the strategy will influence your backup methodology; the type of backup solution that would be most suitable while also impacting on your data storage. When creating your strategy, you will need to evaluate the pros and cons of physical and virtualised backups as well as on-site and off-site storage.

Short Term Vs Long Term costs

The costs associated with the deployment and maintenance of backup and disaster recovery solution can vary greatly from solution to solution; both financially and in time spent. Aside from the initial installation costs, considerations should be given to the length of time taken to run the required number of backup processes each day and how this will influence the distribution of departmental resource. Solutions which may have high initial cost may be able to recoup these through minimal requirements of man-hours in the long-term maintenance processes.

Building an effective backup strategy is not a straight forward process and requires constant re-evaluation as your data environment morphs and evolves. Throughout the creation process a number of key factors can be evaluated in order to create a backup and disaster recovery strategy that most effectively meets its intended usage, while also meeting budget expectations.  

 

What does you Backup & Disaster Recovery Strategy look like?

 

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Topics: Backup Strategy

Published:
02.12.2016