If your customers are using tape to protect their data, it's time to have a conversation on how they can best update data protection and backup plans. Here, Angerer, senior vice president and general manager, data protection at Quest software, offers five tips to help modernize antiquated data protection strategies.—Jennifer Bosavage, editor
Today’s ongoing and emergent IT trends—unprecedented data growth, shrinking recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTOs and RPOs), and the proliferation of virtualization and cloud—are making backup and recovery needs ever more complex. Traditional data protection strategies are quickly becoming obsolete. Some customers are protecting all of their data in the same way: relying mainly on tape and using tools and strategies devised for the purely physical world. It’s time for solution providers to discuss how to update their data protection and backup plans. The good news, though, is that it doesn’t have to be difficult. Below are some simple steps to help them make it happen.
1. Step Back and Assess
First, your customers need to understand the business value of their applications and data. Since not all data is the same, they need to develop a data protection strategy that reflects their specific business needs. Too many customers make the mistake of buying a technology first, and then trying to figure out what they really need.
So, your customer should first step back and truly understand the needs of their business – what percentage of their data is truly mission-critical? What IT services are most critical to the business? What are their data retention requirements? Encourage them to seriously review their SLAs – or, better yet, the service level expectations of company leadership. Once they know these expectations, they will know what their true data protection needs are, and be in position to decide on the right backup solution for the business.
2. Think Virtual First
Virtualization has permanently changed the way organizations need to approach backup and recovery, and if your customers haven’t already reached the point where most of their infrastructure is virtualized, they likely will do that soon. Many companies’ virtual environments are larger than their physical environments, so it’s imperative that protection of that virtual environment be the top consideration when developing a modern data protection plan. Backup and recovery strategies that make sense for physical servers just don’t work as well for virtual servers. For example, backup software for virtual environments must be agile, so it can detect the machines it needs to protect quickly, and protect them at the right level. Also, because the virtual host lacks the spare CPU and network bandwidth that usually exist in physical environments, the virtual backup solution cannot create a lot of overhead on the server. So, encourage your customers to think “virtual first” when modernizing their data protection plans, and not simply settle for a plan that makes sense for the physical environment but is just “good enough” for the virtual one.
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