Backup & Recovery Systems Modernization
System backups are not about data protection; they’re entirely about rapid content restoration. While backups may also be used for long-term data archiving or as part of a disaster recovery plan, their primary role is to facilitate the quick recovery of damaged files and lost content. If the backup does not complete on time, or is unable to capture recoverable data, the entire process has failed.
Legacy backup & recovery systems have been negatively impacted by the extreme growth of primary storage. Systems are also struggling to keep up with emerging technologies and changing requirements, such as virtualization, data encryption, deduplication, Cloud systems, and many other approaches. The net result is that many backup & recovery systems are stretched to the limits of their technology and beyond. When this process or equipment fail, critical data may be exposed to the dangers of loss or corruption.
IT backup systems are in an unenviable position of having to constantly chase the expanding capacity of storage systems they protect. Unlike their highly visible front-line counterparts they sit quietly in the background, dutifully creating recoverable copies of data that are not utilized until a data loss crisis occurs. Then when a crisis finally occurs, the backup & recovery system is expected to emerge from obscurity, flawlessly restore the desired content, and ultimately save the day.
Unfortunately these systems may be unable to live up to business expectations because:
- Disk storage has exceeded the capacity of the existing backup & recovery system
- The backup & recover system failed to keep up with changing technologies
- They have not been updated or configured to properly address virtualization requirements
- Poor or non-existent testing practices fail to ensure captured data Integrity
- Failures in updating the backup process have left gaps in coverage
- Poor tape management practices make restoration difficult or impossible
In spite of its critical role in data protection and content accessibility, the backup & recovery function is usually treated like a “second class citizen”. It enjoys little attention from management until a critical situation occurs. When that happens, critical data can be lost and productivity impacted.
We view backup & recovery as a critical data availability component. We have IT specialists who can evaluate the legacy backup structure and determine how to gracefully transform it into a flexible, scalable, and efficiently performing system. We focus on:
- Identifying and satisfying business data recovery needs
- Ensuring current backup & restore performance objectives can be achieved
- Incorporate scalability and flexibility into the design to exceed future growth requirements
- Validate the Integrity of data recovered during the restore process
- Recommending scheduling procedures that can meet needs without wasting resources
- Evaluating popular and emerging technologies to modernize legacy backup systems
Our goal is to thoroughly understand this critical piece of infrastructure and provide recommendations and methods to allow a graceful from its current state to a modern, efficient high performance system.
Immediate steps to be taken to identify and rectify deficiencies in the backup & recovery system generally proceed as follows:
- Inventory – Determine exactly what equipment is currently being used.
- Performance Assessment – Identify how well the existing system is fulfilling its mission
- Gap Analysis – Highlight any deficiencies that need to be addressed
- Alignment – Ensure the approach will fulfill both current needs and future expectations
What we won’t do is recommend throwing quick tactical fixes at the problem, patching obvious deficiencies with quick-and-simple hardware and software solutions. The changes we recommend will be part of a larger vision that supports an end-to-end flow of IT services and capabilities.
If you’re ready to move ahead with a backup and recovery system modernization program but don’t know exactly where to start, please give us a call at (630) 513-9747. We have several assessment programs that can provide the information necessary to make good decisions. Please give us 30-minutes to help you bring clarity to this complex process.