Backups are not a new practice, but backups today face new challenges. They need to serve multiple purposes and meet multiple requirements. Businesses that are still creating their backups the same way they always did should review their strategy to make sure it meets today’s backup requirements.
Many Backup Purposes
Backups aren’t just about making copies of files. Backups need to create the duplicates in ways that allow them to be used for multiple purposes. These purposes include:
- Data retention. Depending on your industry, there may be compliance mandates to retain all data for some period of time. In addition, new application development and analytics projects need access to historical data. When planning for this need, it’s important to recognize that backups are not archives.
- Disaster recovery. Backups are the primary method businesses uses to recover from outages and other disasters that make servers inaccessible.
- Prevent tampering. Data tampering is a kind of disaster, but deserves mention on its own. Backed up data provides an audit trail and historic record of data changes that can identify whether data has been tampered with and restore it to the correct value.
- Comply with e-discovery and data privacy laws. Backup files provide support for e-discovery requests that mandate searches through historical data. Backups also provide support for new data privacy laws that require businesses share all the information they have about a consumer with that individual.
Many Backup Requirements
Along with being able to support multiple purposes, backup strategies need to meet multiple requirements. These include:
- Completeness. It’s easy to omit critical systems from backup scripts or to overlook alerts that backups are failing to complete successfully. At the same time, some data may change infrequently and not need daily backups. Matching the level of protection to data criticality requires analysis.
- Time to create. Creating application consistent backups generally requires applications to be quiescent. The windows available for shutting applications down continue to shrink as business continues around the clock.
- Time to restore. Different backup approaches offer different levels of flexibility and take different amounts of time to complete the file restore process.
- Security. In order to perform speedy restorations, backups need to be immediately available, but they also need to be protected from loss, tampering, and other unauthorized access.
- Scalability. Backup and recovery processes that work well on smaller volumes may fail when systems grow larger.
- Different sources. Backup strategies need to address a wide variety of different sources, including cloud and data centers, virtual machines and bare metals.
Does your backup strategy meet all of today’s challenges? If you need help updating your backup tools and procedures, contact CCS Technology Group. Our business continuity solutions apply best practices to protecting your data.