For years a backup system was seen purely as an insurance policy; something best left undisturbed until needed, many operating on the assumption or hope that that day would never come. With this approach to data protection in place it was often the case that an unexpected complication was catastrophic to organisational success and in some cases survival with as much as 80% of organisations suffering a major disaster going out of business within three years.
But today, backup systems have evolved beyond the original systems; incorporating in higher functionality and supplementary services in order to provide solutions for a greater variety of challenges. Taking them beyond a simple insurance policy.
The failure to restore many hours’ worth of data would be an inconceivable loss to any organisation; with the ability to perform regular backups an essential component, incorporating features which increase backup and recovery performance while also decreasing data loss are some of the more primary aspects driven through backup system evolution.
With the objective of saving both time and money while still maximising backup capabilities; the nature of the backups taken can be customised to suit an organisations specific requirements. Undoubtedly, full backups provide the best protection for your data but conducting them requires the greatest levels of resource. Incremental and differential backups were later introduced as a way of decreasing the amount of time involved while still capturing changes in the data. These types of backups can be taken more frequently throughout the day; ensuring your data is always up to date. Each type of backup has its pro’s and con’s in relation to functionality and resource management both in the backup and restoration process which must be evaluated in relation to an organisation’s unique backup needs.
Managing a Data Explosion
As documents and data are shared and resaved repeatedly; duplication and multiplication of data is inevitable. Data deduplication is a method of reducing storage needs by eliminating redundant data and saving only one unique instance of the data on the backup storage system. Lower storage space requirements can result in a more cost effective backup strategy; as it takes into consideration vendors whose pricing structures are based on cost per gigabyte.
Data compression is another feature introduced to backup system to optimise functionality and minimise resource expenditure. By reducing the number of bits needed to represent data, compression can save storage capacity; increase file transfer speeds, and decrease costs for storage hardware and network bandwidth.
Protecting the Virtual Environment
Virtual machines are a huge asset, particularly in large organisations; offering a scalable way of working that evolves as a business grows and incorporates a flexible way of working. Server virtualisation have been supported in major enterprise-class backup applications for the last few years offering protection to both physical and virtual machines. A VMware backup solution ensures a separate third party backup that minimises the risk of data loss and provides fast restoration of virtual machines.
Securing your Data
The security of data is a fast growing concern for every organisation with increasing efforts being made to secure and protect it from unprivileged access. Backup Systems have not escaped this concern; there are a variety of data encryption tools and solutions that can be incorporated into your backup strategy.
It is inevitable that the volume of organisational data will continue to grow forcing your backup system requirements to simultaneously evolve and develop as new challenges are encountered. Backup systems have moved beyond being simple an insurance policy, as users demand higher functionality in order maximise backup and recovery performance against the expenditure of resource.
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