Data Protection is Not About Backup

By Jean-Paul Bergeaux
Chief Technology Officer, SwishData

Too often, data protection is an afterthought and many times people focus on the wrong concepts — to a lot of people, data protection just means having backups. But think about this: Isn’t how quickly you can access that backed up data what really matters in the event of an IT failure or physical disaster? That means the most salient part of data protection is restores.

Many organizations rely on technologies like snapshots, as they should, for temporary data protection with little production impact. Unfortunately, some rely completely on those, as though they are the whole solution. They’re not! It’s important to understand the different functions of a complete data management strategy, and snapshots are only part of the picture. Why do IT professionals do this? The answer is simple: Backups and backup windows can be a major pain.

Integrated Backups, Quick Data Recovery

IT professionals should consider an integrated backup solution that allows for recovery of data within minutes, and one that allows for backup of heterogeneous storage-based servers with a very low-impact backup. One that offers advanced recovery capabilities is a huge plus as well. In all honesty, it should only take a few clicks for an admin to restore an entire server, volume or individual file.

Peter Eicher of Syncsort Software drove home the importance of a fast restore by mentioning to me the great example of RIM’s infamous BlackBerry outage. Had service been disrupted for 15 minutes, complaints would have been minor. But an hours-long outage results in irate customers. Any longer, and you’re left looking for new customers. When you translate this example to government, the consequences become even more significant. What if the mission — maybe even lives — depends on access to data? What if hours, as opposed to minutes, to restore data means the mission is compromised

Your Mission Hinges on Restore Time

The right solution can deliver a combination of 95-percent faster backups, 95-percent VM backup impact reduction and 99.99-percent backup success rates, all while using 90 percent less storage. Remember: restores, and fast ones, are what matters in this 24-7 world we live in. The story of RIM’s outage wasn’t about lost data; it was about how long it took to restore service. The lesson-learned here is that it is important to have the ability to restore any backup as a virtual machine, almost eliminating the restore window entirely by directly mounting a backup image and using it immediately. Instead of hours to restore a disk or entire system, it takes minutes or less — and that is the difference between opportunity missed and mission accomplished.

For more details on how SwishData can provide these results for your organization, contact us at www.swishdata.com.

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