The principles of data backups have been largely the same throughout the history of IT. What has, by contrast, changed substantially is the degree of effort (and resource) needed to turn those theoretical principles into practice. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about data center backup in Yuba City.
You need a thorough knowledge of all your assets
Data center backup means more than “just” data backup (although this is generally a pretty significant task in its own right). It extends to backing up large-scale digital resources such as operating systems and applications and their configuration data (and if you’re running virtual environments the hosts and management consoles) right up to having redundant physical infrastructure. You can only back up what you have if you know that you have it so effective inventory management (physical and digital) is essential.
In a data center, effective inventory management goes alongside effective change management, since many changes will impact your assets – sometimes in unexpected ways.
You need proper data center backup management tools
If you are running a fairly minimal data center, for example, you’ve essentially moved to the cloud, but aren’t fully cloud-native, then you may be fine with either a hardware-based solution or a cloud-based solution (Backup-as-a-Service). Hardware-based solutions used to be very popular as they are typically “plug-and-play” solutions that combine management and storage. These days, however, they tend to be seen as single points of failure and BaaS has increasingly taken their place.
If you are running anything more than a minimal data center then you are probably going to need either a software-based solution or a hybrid solution that is part software and part BaaS. In fact, there is a distinct chance that you are going to need more than one. These days, data centers have become so complex that it is increasingly difficult for software vendors to produce data center backup management tools that do everything any given client needs, let alone everything they want as well.
What’s more, even if the description of a product suggests that it contains at least a significant percentage of the functionality you need (and maybe even a good bit of what you want), the reality may be very different. This is why you absolutely must test software rigorously before you decide whether or not it is worth the purchase price.
Any reputable software vendor will offer a decent evaluation period, 30 days is the standard, but remember that this is calendar days, not business days and it can run out surprisingly quickly so it’s strongly recommended to have a plan of action in place before you download the software. This should not only define what is to be tested and how, but also who is to do it and when (and how long it will take them). Then you need to ensure that the relevant people have the time to do the work.
You need to think about storage carefully
In practical terms, you can choose between hard drives, SSDs, and tapes for your on-site data backup and then add the cloud as an option for your off-site data backup.
Hard drives offer fairly brisk data-transfer speeds for an economical price. The problem with them, however, is that they are notoriously prone to failure. In fact, they are so prone to failure that there is literally an entire sector of the IT industry dedicated to recovering data from failed hard drives.
SSDs are much faster and much less failure-prone than mechanical hard drives, but they are also much more expensive and when they do fail, they tend to do so without any warning. What’s more, recovering data from failed SSDs is much more challenging than recovering data from failed hard drives.
Tapes are reliable, robust and economical, but very slow. When paired with SSDs, however, you can often have the best of both worlds. The SSDs act as buffers for the tapes and they use their indexing capability to compress and deduplicate the data before it is transferred to tape. This can substantially improve the quality of the data backup and hence the speed of recovery. Using SSDs plus tapes is more expensive than using tapes on their own but much less expensive than just using SSDs.
For off-site storage, your main decision is whether or not you want the “physical firewall” effect of storing data completely off-line. This has the benefit of essentially making your data immune to online attacks, but the price of this is that your recovery process will be slowed down because you need to fetch your data center backup from its storage location. With the cloud, by contrast, you can just “download and go”.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced data center backup partner in Yuba City, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
Sign up today for free & stay current with local IT news.X