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Data Backup and Recovery Solutions

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Since the era of the computer came into full effect in the mid to late 20th century, data is often considered to be one of the most important aspects of running any type of company. Because sensitive data is so valuable to all organizations in the current global marketplace, it has become a necessity from a business perspective for organizations of all shapes, sizes, and forms, to have the ability to use cloud backup services and other types of backup and recovery options, which make it possible to recover data in a timely fashion should disaster strike.

Backup and Recovery Basics

For many business owners, finding the most suitable backup options for their specific needs and organization can be a nightmare, without first knowing the basics, and inner workings that go in to the various options that are available to them. Thus, it goes without saying, that proper research and homework should be the first step any organization makes when even beginning to consider what type of service they want to use to protect their valuable data with. In the modern day world of IT, being in charge of backing up data generally implies two main tasks in particular: backup administrations and operations. A backup operator is in charge of completing daily tasks, such as ejecting tapes from a library and replacing them with scratch tapes or ensuring that all backups have been completed.

The most common types of backup services available include a full backup, differential backup and incremental backup. Other types may include cloud backup services, reverse incremental, mirroring, synthetic full backups, and continuous data protection. Virtual tape libraries also gained some traction in recent years due to an absence of new software and little reconfiguration required. However, this is not the best option for everybody.

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Testing Backups

Testing and configuration is all too frequently the main missing link when it comes to making backups. Far too often, a company will take the time to back up their data with cloud backup services or other available options, only to find out that there was something wrong with the configuration. Backup reporting tools are designed specifically to analyze backups and report back on them, and these can help as a preventive measure to faulty backup recovery.

Such tools have evolved in recent years, so many now include additional analysis features, including trending features, in order to provide better planning for growth in backing up data – this is a valuable asset for companies who back their data onto tape, as well as to disk media.

Security for Data Backup

Whenever data backup enters the mainstream news, it often features stories regarding data breaches, and security holes. Thus, it is also very important to keep up to date with the latest solutions for backup security that are available at the time. Storage administrators are more frequently relying on tape encryption as a means of protecting highly sensitive data. Using encryption can affect the backup process in a number of different ways, depending on whether it is done with a host, tape, or appliance based scheme.

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The question of how, where and when encryption should be employed is best only answered after first answering the most critical question: Why are you encrypting data?

VMware Backup and Data Protection

Data protection has been changing, and this is due in part to VMware virtualization. However, though there are a number of benefits provided by VMware, there still exist numerous challenges of backup and recovery services that must be addressed. In addition to being a costly and time consuming type of backup service to manage, desktops can create data recovery and security vulnerabilities as they are arguably one of the least protected assets of IT.

Virtual machine backup has always been a bit of an issue when it comes to backup administrators. However, VMware vSphere has offered a number of improvements for backup and recovery.

Data Deduplication

The technology known as data deduplication is perhaps one of the hottest topics with regard to backup services in today’s world. However, though global data deduplication offers many advantages, there still remain many different myths and misconceptions that surround data deduplication. There exist several different sorts of data deduplication technologies, which means it can be a bit difficult to figure out which one is the best suited for your particular organization.

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Many backup administrators wind up so focused with backing up data that they lose sight of how important recovery is. After all, your backups do not mean anything if you cannot recover them – the same is true with deduped data. This means you must focus on having a good recovery setup whether you intend to go with data deduplication or not.

Online Data Backup

One popular alternative to tape-based backup is online data backup. There are numerous online cloud backup providers that allow companies to store their data online to avoid physical damage that could come with tapes used for backup; after all, tapes are a good means for backing up your library until the tapes are damaged along with your servers. Cloud services take this into consideration, storing them elsewhere and even allowing them to be accessed anywhere with the proper authorization.

Though a relatively new idea, there are a number of well-known companies which provide such services, like Box, Amazon, and Mozy.

As a final note, before you jump to any conclusions and make up your mind on what is the right type of backup and recovery system for your business, do make sure that you have done the proper research, and have at the very least consulted with a few third party sources, to know what you are getting into before it is too late to change your mind.

A guest post by: Gaelen Hallenbeck


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