By Tom Giuliano, Senior Product Marketing Manager, EMC Backup Recovery Systems Division
You don’t know what you don’t know… I’d like to say that in the world of backup and recovery ignorance is bliss, but it’s not. What we don’t know about our backup environments today will – just as we can’t avoid the tax man – come back to bite us down the road.
The problem is today’s backup environments are becoming increasingly complex. Not only are backup volumes getting bigger and more heterogeneous (according to a recent DCIG article, almost every enterprise has at least three enterprise backup solutions), they’re also becoming more critical. We’re virtualizing our business- and mission-critical applications, and as we do, we can no longer assume our backups are completing on time every time. We need to know they are successful each and every time.
Minor changes in backup policies can result in major reliability issues for the backup environment, and while most organizations have some level of backup and recovery strategy, most don’t update their strategies frequently enough to match the pace of change that’s taking place in their environments. This leaves organizations at risk.
A September 2010 ESG survey and white paper reveals organizations’ concerns with backup and recovery risk, and underscores the need for data protection management software to support compliance/audit requirements, identify gaps in backup and recovery processes and monitor SLAs (see chart).
But reading data is one thing, and doing something is another. What’s the best way to begin measuring the level of risk associated with your existing backup processes? I’m glad you asked!
A good place to start is with a Backup and Recovery Assessment of your backup and recovery environment, as well as related archiving practices and infrastructure. Assessments can help identify:
Your current backup, recovery and archiving limitations and future requirements – this is the first step in ensuring your infrastructure is prepared to meet your challenges.
- How your information change rate is affecting your information growth, and how this is impacting infrastructure performance and costs.
- Specific capacity, operational, and procedural insights into your current environment and practices along with recommendations for improvement.
Just like backup and recovery infrastructures, backup and recovery assessments aren’t a one-size-fits-all type of fit – and the time it takes to complete one will vary anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks to complete. It really just depends on your environment. The good news is that when you’re done with an assessment, you will know what you need to know.