How do I select a backup solution for my business?
42% of companies experienced a data loss event that resulted in downtime last year. That high number is likely caused by the fact that while nearly 90% are backing up the IT components they’re responsible for protecting, only 41% back up daily – leaving many businesses with gaps in the valuable data available for recovery.
In order to select an appropriate backup solution for your business, you need to think about a variety of factors. We’ve talked to several industry professionals to get their insight on the topic.
Oussama El-Hilali, CTO, Arcserve
Before selecting a backup solution, IT leaders must ask themselves where the majority of data generated by their organization resides. As SaaS-based collaboration and storage systems grow in popularity, it’s essential to choose a backup solution that can protect their IT environment.
Many people assume cloud platforms automatically back up their data, but this largely isn’t the case. They’ll need a solution with SaaS backup capabilities in place to safeguard against cyberattacks and IT outages.
To further prevent downtime, organizations should also consider backup solutions that offer continuous replication of data. That way, in case of unplanned outages, they can seamlessly fail over to a replica of their systems, applications and data to keep the organization up and running. This is also helpful in case of a ransomware attack or other data corruption – organizations can revert to a “known good” state of their data and pick up where they left off before the incident. Generally, all backup tools should provide redundancy by using the rule of three – have at least three copies of your data, store the copies on at least two different media types, and keep at least one of those copies offsite.
Finally, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of on-prem versus cloud-based backups. Users should keep in mind that, in general, on-prem hardware is more susceptible to data loss in the event of a natural disaster. There’s no “one size fits all” solution for every organization, so it’s best to take a holistic look at your specific needs before you start looking for a solution – and continue to revisit and update the plan as your organization evolves.
Nathan Fouarge, VP Of Strategic Solutions, NovaStor
When looking for a backup solution for your business there are a number of questions to ask to narrow down the solutions you want to look at.
Here’s what you should be prepared to answer in order to select a backup solution for your business:
- How much downtime can you afford, or how fast do you need to be back up and running? In other words what is your restore time objective (RTO).
- How much data am I willing to lose? In other words what is your restore point objective (RPO). Are you willing to just take daily backups so you have the possibility to lose an entire days’ worth of work or do you need a solution that can do hourly or continuous backup?
- How long do I need to keep historical data? Do you have some compliancy requirements that makes you keep your data for a long time?
- How much data do you have to backup and what type of data/applications do you need to back up?
- How many copies of the data and where do you want to store it? Do you want to do the recommended 3-2-1 backup solution so 3 copies of the data. Do you want to keep all the backups locally, offsite(USB drive or replicated NAS), cloud?
- Then the ultimate question of how much you are willing to spend for a backup solution.
Once you have all of those questions answered then you can look into what solutions fit your into what you are looking for. More than likely once you start looking for solutions that fit your criteria you will have to reevaluate some of the answers to the questions above.
Konstantin Komarov, CEO, Paragon Software
The most important part is how you backup your data, not how you organize it. The key aim is to provide the safety regardless of whether you back up a single database or clone the entire system. The best practice and the most cost-effective way would be to implement “incremental backups” and replicate the data both to the local storage and to the cloud.
Incremental backup is an approach when replication is performed only to some updated part of the system or database, not the entire one. This enables to shorten the time of the backup process and amount of storage space used. Replication to both the local storage and to the cloud may guaranty the best safety of your data in case the physical disk you are baking the data up to is damaged or lost.
However, to make the backup effective and non-stop, it needs to be scheduled and managed with an application deployed on some dedicated end-point which should work side-by-side with your IT infrastructure not to slow down or prevent the entire system. So, the best decision would be to build up your own backup, using open cloud backup platforms, which consists of the ready-to-go algorithm and tools to create a solution fully adjusted to the needs of a particular business.
Ahin Thomas, VP, Backblaze
When choosing a backup solution for your business, consider three factors: optimize for remote first, sync vs. backup, and recovery.
As businesses grow, implementing a strong backup strategy is challenging, especially when access to employees can change at a moment’s notice. That’s why it’s important to have a backup solution that is easy to deploy and requires little to no interfacing with employees—your COVID-stressed IT team will thank you.
Secondly, Dropbox and Google Drive folders are not backup solutions. They require users to drop files in designated folders, and any changes made to a file are synced across every device. A good backup solution will ensure all data is backed up to the cloud, and will work automatically in the background, backing up all new or changed data.
Data recovery is the final piece of the puzzle, and most often overlooked. Data loss emergencies are stressful, so it is vitally important to understand how recovery works before you choose a solution. Make sure it’s fast, easy, and works whether you’re on or off site. And test it regularly! You never know when your coworker (aka kid) will spill a sippy cup all over your laptop.
Nigel Tozer, Solutions Director EMEA, Commvault
For many organizations, the realization that their backup products are no longer fit for purpose comes as a very unwelcome discovery. Anyone arriving at this kind of crossroads faces some big decisions: one of the most frequently occurring is whether to add to what you have, or go for something new.
For anyone in that position, there are four simple considerations that can help inform decisions about backup strategy:
- Flexibility – Make sure your backup solution supports a wider ecosystem than just what you’re using today. You don’t want it to hinder your agility or cloud adoption down the line.
- Automation – Look for solutions where intelligent automation, even AI, can help dispense with the specialist or mundane elements of backup processes and free up busy IT teams’ time.
- Budget – Low cost software that needs a dedupe appliance as you grow, or an appliance with a rigid upgrade path can turn out to be more costly long term – so do your research.
- Consolidation – Many products typically means silos, wasted space and more complexity. Consolidating to a backup platform instead of multiple products can make a real difference in infrastructure savings, and reduced complexity.