Backups are conceptually easy, but implementing an effective backup process isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds. Making a backup process that really works has to address these challenges:
Long backup windows
Creating backups that are consistent and usable means related files can’t undergo any changes during the backup process. This may require shutting applications down for the duration of the backup process. As businesses become 24×7 operations, this downtime becomes an unacceptable impact on the business. Even a backup process that’s acceptable now may not scale effectively as the volume of data increases.
Backups often run unattended and unmonitored. Problems with the backup may never be discovered until it’s too late to correct them. Even if backups are monitored and the support team responds to an alert, rerunning the backup after the problem is corrected can take too long and impact business operations.
Inability to restore data
The whole point of backups is to be able to restore data and get systems up and running again. Backups stored offsite may take too long to access when needed. In addition, the restore process is often untested and unfamiliar to the support teams so they struggle with it in a crisis. Even when performed smoothly, the restore process may take too long. When trying to restore older data, changes in data models or applications may cause the restore process or application to fail; successfully accessing this older data may require restoring an older version of the application as well.
Backup data media is exposed to several vulnerabilities. First, in order to be accessible, backups may be stored at the primary data site. This means any physical damage at the data center—flood, fire, or other problem—may damage the backup media or make it unavailable. The second big risk is that backups are often not encrypted. Anyone who has access to the media can access any of the data it contains.
Backup media, backup storage, software licenses, and support staff all cost money. Although backups are vital, they’re also infrequently used, so managing costs and the ROI of your backup process is important.
Complicated backup management
Backups can’t always be centrally managed and tracked; depending on your backup tools, they may need to be installed, monitored, and managed on every system requiring backups.
CCS Technology Group helps our clients develop comprehensive business continuity strategies that provide backup and disaster recovery solutions to protect your critical data and applications. Contact us to learn more about how to implement a backup solution that addresses these backup challenges.