By Mark Bentkower, CISSP, Director of Systems Engineering, ASEAN, Commvault

How did you spend World Backup Day?

March 31st was World Backup Day – a day to remind us to protect our personal and business information so that critical data is preserved. To put it simply, everyone should be concerned about the recoverability of data. “Back up early and back up often” is standard operating procedure – or rather, it should be a policy every organisation should institute – to ensure data can be recovered in the event of a crisis or security breach.

Here are a few tips businesses could consider when backing up data.

·         Backing up big data: Big data initiatives leverage new approaches and technologies to store, index and analyze huge data sets, while minimising storage requirements and driving faster outcomes. However, as companies begin these initiatives, they often forgo applying data protection and disaster recovery routines to these large data sets sitting outside their traditional systems due to complexity, performance and cost restrictions. It is important to remember to backup big data sets or risk the loss of high value datasets every single day.

·         When traditional backups don't make sense: Enable more active archiving by creating natively accessible secondary copies (REST/FS/APIs) wherever backup does not make economic, performance, nor accessibility sense. This could be applied to rich media, images, genomics, video, as in today’s information landscape, data is no longer simply files and rows of information. 

·         Intelligent incremental capture is your new BFF: The reduction of backup copy windows through intelligent incremental capture for files and applications makes it possible to dramatically reduce workload impact during data protection operation. Incremental Change Capture also provides downstream efficiencies in network and storage utilisation by reading and moving only the delta blocks, and storing only the unique changed blocks. This reduces bandwidth and storage requirements for ongoing recovery operations and dramatically improves RPO and RTO speed.

·         Bird’s eye view with a single, consolidated approach: According to IDC[1], 35 percent of organisations in Asia/Pacific find that the most important benefit of a backup and recovery solution is end-to-end protection, management and access to all data from a single platform. A single platform with centralised backup policy for all data assets can help organisations asses the scope of potential information exposure, while ensuring a complete view into data across applications, devices, operating systems and locations. Another IDC survey revealed this year that companies have been able to achieve value through the simplification of data protection and management processes. For instance, businesses find that they were able to reduce the time required for troubleshooting in backup by 60 percent[2].

Truth be told, every day should be backup day because in this day and age, backing up your data alone isn’t enough. In fact, in a rapidly evolving technological landscape – driven by realities such as the third platform and ever-growing data volume, as well as the shift towards ‘invisible infrastructure’ – organisations expect 24/7 availability and recoverability speed in an “always-on” world. On top of that, companies are actively looking into getting more value out of data. Data’s time as a strategic asset is well and truly upon us. Only those who can genuinely use data to drive outcomes, will succeed in tomorrow’s economy. 

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