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What you need to know about data center backup in Woodland
Data centers may be going the way of the floppy disk, but for the time being at least, they are still holding on and if you have one you need to make sure that it’s backed up properly. With that in mind, here is a brief guide to what you need to know about data center backup in Woodland.
You need to document all your assets (physical and digital)
In a cloud, data backup often means exactly that, backing up your business data. In a data center, by contrast, it often means everything from backing up business data to backing up physical infrastructure (possibly including mobile devices) via operating systems, applications and configuration data. It will also often include environments that run directly on the physical hardware and virtual environments.
You will only be able to back up these assets if you know what they are, so it’s crucial to manage your inventory effectively. The nature of data centers being what it is, this means having a robust change-management process in place and making sure that your team adheres to it.
It’s important to understand your data
For practical purposes, data can be divided into two broad categories. These are data with legal implications and data without legal implications. Typical examples of data with legal implications will include personal data (including data collected from your own employees), compliance-related data (such as tax data) and data that proves your ownership of certain assets, including (and these days, arguably especially), intellectual property.
As an absolute minimum, you need to be able to identify and track this data through its life cycle. You also need to think very carefully about whether or not you actually need it in your production systems. In some cases, this will be an obvious yes, for example, you are likely to need at least some of your customer data for customer service.
In other cases, however, it may be an equally obvious no. For example, tax data has to be retained in case of an audit, but once everything is filed and paid, it’s highly unlikely that anyone in the company is going to want to examine it in detail, so it’s an obvious candidate for archiving.
There is, however, very likely to be a lot of data that is somewhere in between. Depending on where exactly it falls, it may be worth giving serious consideration to archiving it. This will not only reduce the quantity of data you need to back up, but can also reduce, or even eliminate the number of online copies of it and hence improve security.
You may also want to treat commercially-sensitive data in the same way as data with legal implications as you will presumably want it to have a similar level of protection.
All other data in your systems should either be data you really need or data you really want and in either case, it should have an owner. If data is just hanging around your production systems for no apparent reason, then you may want to try pulling it into an archive for a while to see if anyone complains. If not, then you can decide whether you’re happy to go ahead and delete it or if you think it’s safer to leave it until any possible compliance deadline is over.
You need to have the right data center backup management tool(s)
If your needs are light, perhaps moderate, then you may appreciate the simplicity of hardware-based solutions or cloud-based solutions (Backup-as-a-Service). Both are known for their convenience, but hardware-based solutions are now often seen as somewhat risky, precisely because they are hardware-based. This means that BaaS tends to be the more popular option among modern SMBs.
If your needs are anything more than light to moderate then you’re almost certainly going to be looking at software or hybrid solutions (hybrid solutions are part software, part BaaS). Due to the complexity of modern data centers, it’s increasingly difficult to find one solution which does everything you need, let alone everything you want as well. Often companies will need to have one “main” solution and one or more supplementary solutions to add extra functionality.
With so many data center backup management solutions out there, you may find yourself needing to do quite a bit of research just to come up with a suitable shortlist. Do not, however, fall into the trap of thinking that online research can replace real-world testing. You absolutely must make good use of the evaluation period offered by all reputable vendors to test any proposed purchase in your own, real-world environment.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced data center backup partner in Woodland, please click here now to contact Salient IT.