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What you need to know about data center backups in Woodland
Regardless of whether your data center is clinging on until you complete your migration to the cloud, or likely to be a vital part of your business operations long into the future, it still needs to be backed up properly. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about data center backups in Woodland.
You need to back up everything that matters
Even in a cloud, you are very likely to need to back up more than “just” business data. For example, you are also likely to need to back up operating systems and applications and possibly configuration data. In a data center, you will almost certainly need to do all of that, plus you will probably need to back up at least some of your physical infrastructure as well.
You need to know what matters in order to back it up
You need to know what your assets are (physical and digital) so that you can make an informed decision on what needs to be backed up and how. This means that you need robust inventory management and this means that you also need a robust change-management process. Quite bluntly, you also need a way to ensure that these processes are followed. This is likely to involve a combination of training and user interfaces which are designed to guide staff as to what steps they need to follow in any given situation.
You need to know your data in detail
As an absolute minimum, you need to know your data well enough to understand your legal obligations concerning it. This means that you need to be able to identify and track personal data (including data collected from your own employees) and data which has legal/compliance implications. It’s also a very good idea to be able to identify commercially-sensitive data as you will presumably want to give it the same level of protection as you give personal data.
After this, you will want to establish what data is critical to your business operations so that you can prioritize backing this up. Hopefully, by this point, you will have covered all the data in your production systems, but if not, then you need to establish who owns what data and why it is there and if there is no sign of an owner and/or a purpose for the data, then it needs to be moved on. If you’re not comfortable deleting it, you can at least archive it.
Once you have achieved this then, ideally, you should aim to segment your data so that your recovery process consists of bringing whole servers back online in sequence, rather than recovering data piecemeal across servers until eventually, you can bring them back online as and when.
You need the right tool(s) for the job
SMBs with light-to-moderate requirements might be happy with either a hardware-based solution or a pure cloud-based solution (Backup-as-a-Service). The former used to be very popular due to their “plug-and-play” convenience. BaaS, however, is also essentially plug-and-play and since it doesn’t have hardware it isn’t at risk of mechanical failures.
Most businesses, however, even SMBs, are going to need either a pure software solution or a hybrid solution (software+BaaS). In fact, these days it is very likely that even SMBs are going to need to use a combination of solutions. Usually, this will comprise one “main” solution and then one or more supplementary solutions to fill in the gaps left by the main solution.
It is vital to test any proposed solution (main or supplemental) in a real-world environment. As an absolute minimum, you need to confirm that it is up to the everyday tasks for which you need to use it. You also need to confirm what sort of ongoing support you can expect from the software vendor because it’s almost guaranteed that you are going to need to make changes to your data center and each change carries the risk of creating an interoperability issue with your data center backup software.
That said, it may be worth noting that software vendors can generally only assist with their products and hence are not always the best at dealing with interoperability issues, at least not in a way you would find helpful. For example, if they identify the conflict, their advice may well be to deinstall the other component, which might well resolve the problem from their point of view but might cause all sorts of other problems for you! Data center backup vendors, by contrast, will generally take a more holistic approach and hence can be vastly more useful.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced data center backup partner in Woodland, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.