Even though many SMBs are very much “cloud-first” relatively few are completely “cloud-native”. This means that there are still quite a few data centers in operation. They may vary in size and complexity, but they all exist for a reason and they all need to be backed up. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about data center backup in Roseville.
1. You need to appreciate the importance of hardware
Possibly the single, most important development in IT, certainly in recent years, has been the shift from the power of the desktop to the power of the server and its surrounding infrastructure. This has brought all kinds of advantages to both consumers and businesses. It’s arguably what enables remote and even mobile working. The flip side of this benefit, however, is that it places more demands on the back-end hardware and hence on the people who manage it.
This has two implications. First of all, you are going to need to think carefully about the practicalities of managing failed hardware. Even if it’s under warranty/leased, you’re still going to have to think about the swap-out/repair process and what that could mean for your operation. Secondly, you need to think very carefully about what storage you use.
2. Data center storage options
Most data center managers are likely to want two data center backups, one local and one off-site. Unless you have a significant budget, SSDs are going to be far too expensive to use as your main storage option. Even if you do have plenty of funds, you may want to give some thought to the fact that SSDs, while generally robust, are vulnerable to failing without warning. What’s more, it’s much more difficult (and expensive) to recover data from failed SSDs than it is to recover data from failed hard drives.
For your local storage, therefore, your main options are currently going to be regular hard drives and tapes. Theoretically, regular hard drives are likely to be the perfect option for many businesses. They offer brisk read/write speed (slower than SSDs but much faster than tapes) at a price even the average SMB can afford. The problem with them is that they have a high failure rate.
Admittedly, there is usually some warning before a hard drive fails, which gives you a chance to pull data from it. There is also a whole industry sector devoted to recovering data from hard drives, although, of course, this does carry time and cost.
This leaves tapes, which are robust and cost-effective but very slow – unless you partner them with SSDs. Although SSDs are far too expensive for the average SMB to use as their main solution, they are affordable enough to be used on a small scale. This means that even SMBs generally have the option to use the “disk-to-tape” approach of running data through an SSD before loading it onto a tape. Not only does the SSD buffer the data, but it also cleans and compresses it, resulting in massive performance gains compared to using tapes on their own.
For your off-site storage, you have the choice of hard drives, tapes, and the cloud. The decision here basically turns on whether you want the “physical firewall” effect of using offline storage or if you want the speed and convenience of the cloud. The latter is now a very serious and increasingly popular option due to the improvements in security which have been made since its early days and the fact that data can be kept encrypted.
3. You need the right data center backup management tools
If you’re a small SMB and/or running a fairly minimal data center (perhaps just while you complete a migration to the public cloud), then you may be happy with a hardware-based solution or with a cloud-based solution (Backup-as-a-Service). These are both simple, convenient, and affordable.
Hardware-based solutions tend to come with integrated storage, making them all-in-one, plug-and-play options. Of course, the flip side of this is that they are also a single point of failure. BaaS is about as lightweight as you can get and there is no hardware to fail, but you can only use it with an internet connection.
For anything more than a bare-bones data center, you’re probably going to need either a software-based solution or a hybrid solution (which is part software and part BaaS). When looking at potential solutions, it’s strongly recommended to make good use of the evaluation period to test them in a real-world environment and see now only how they perform on their own but also how they interact with each other.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced data center backup partner in Roseville, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
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