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What you need to know about data center backup in Placerville
If you’re running a business, even an SMB, you need a robust strategy for backing up your data and, if necessary your infrastructure too. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about data center backup in Placerville.
You can only back up what you know you have
Modern businesses need to have an effective asset-management strategy in place and there is probably no business area where this is more obvious than in a data center. This will have a combination of physical assets and digital assets of many different kinds.
In principle, these should all have an understood function and purpose. In practice, this function and purpose may have been lost in the mists of time, but at the very least their existence can be documented so that people know they are there and can decide what, if anything, they want to do with them.
If you’re faced with a pile of legacy assets, especially data, then the most pragmatic approach to dealing with it is usually to identify what you need now and prioritize that. Then work on tackling the legacy assets.
It’s important to choose the right tools for the job
In principle, you can choose between hardware-based solutions, cloud-based solutions (Backup-as-a-Service), software solutions or hybrid solutions (a mixture of software and BaaS). In practice, the first two options are only likely to suit companies running fairly minimal data centers, for example, companies that have mostly migrated to the cloud. If you’re running a more complex data center, then you’re almost certainly going to need either a software solution or a hybrid solution.
You may even need to combine solutions to cover all your environments, operating systems, applications, and data especially if you use virtualization (in which case you will probably need to back up hosts and management consoles as well). First of all, you may find it difficult to find one solution which even claims to do everything you need it to do. Secondly, you may find that a software vendor’s idea of support for any given platform is very different from yours.
Realistically, there is a limit to what you can learn about a product by reading the vendor’s information and the online reviews (although both can be very helpful). You need to get “hands-on” with it and give it a thorough test in a real-world environment.
Any reputable software vendor will allow you a decent evaluation period to try out its software. This is usually 30 days, but this can run out surprisingly quickly, so ideally you should have a rigorous testing plan in place before you even download it. This needs to cover not just what should be tested but who needs to do the testing (and how they should record their results). Then you need to make sure that everyone has time to do what they are supposed to do.
You also need to find out what sort of ongoing support you can expect from the vendor, both in theory and in practice (reviews can be very helpful here). Be aware, however, that software vendors only support their software itself. They can be of limited to no help when dealing with the interoperability issues which regularly crop up in data centers (usually after changes are made). The good news is that data center backup vendors are often much better placed to deal with these as they are more likely to understand the data-center environment as a whole.
Understanding your storage options
For practical purposes, your storage options are hard drives, SSDs, tapes, and the cloud. This last is generally only used for off-site data center backups. Hard drives are affordable and quicker than tapes, but they are notoriously prone to failure. SSDs are very fast but very expensive and while they aren’t as failure-prone as hard drives when they do fail, they often do it without any warning and it is very difficult (and expensive) to recover data from them. Tapes are economical and robust, but very slow.
These days, many organizations manage their on-site data backups using a combination of SSDs and tapes. Essentially, the data is run through an SSD, which buffers, cleans and compresses it before forwarding it to tape. This improves both the quality and speed of the backup process, but remember that restorations will still take place at the speed of the tape.
For off-site data backups, your choice is essentially between taking your regular physical medium off-site manually or using the cloud. While the former benefits from the “physical firewall” effect, it’s also cumbersome and slow compared to just using the cloud.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced data center backup partner in Placerville, please click here now to contact Salient IT.