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Why the key to improving backup is to stop backing up

Kumar Mitra, Sales Director of Data Protection, Dell APJ | July 25, 2014
Traditional backup strategies are incapable of meeting the needs of modern business, and that's because backup hasn't evolved with the rest of IT.

Five Steps to Stop Just Backing Up

This is why organizations desiring to modernize their backup strategy and truly add value to the business should stop "just" backing up, and focus, instead, on delivering true business resiliency. Turn backup into a proactive activity that delivers extra value and lets the organization use data in a variety of different ways.  Below are a set of best practices to better achieve true business resiliency:

First things are still first - make sure you have broad application coverage. One thing you can't do when modernizing is forget the basics of backup. With the rapid proliferation of new apps throughout the data center, you need to make sure your organization has the right tools and the right strategy in place to cover all of the applications you need to protect.

This also means you need a tiered recovery strategy. Define which systems are mission critical and which are business critical, and assign the appropriate backup technology to each one. Locate the applications that have short SLAs and are highly visible, and make sure the protection you have in place is based on recovery requirements.

From there, stop just backing up the data. Data alone has no context without the application that made it. You need backup tools that provide a full image view, which means they take a snapshot of the data and the application, so that when you restore it, you have the context of where it came from.

Merge replication and backup into one. If you're still thinking of backup and replication as separate, non-integrated tasks, you're stuck in the past. You need to be able to move data where you need it, when you need it, and to do that, you need control over efficient and complex replication tasks.

Make sure you are cloud aware. The advent and use of more cloud applications means you need tools that are capable of incorporating those apps. Yesterday's world backs up everything within IT control, but cloud apps aren't controlled by IT. You want something that enables cloud and understands it, and can protect it in the same way you protect on-premises apps.

Backup as an Asset

When you take all of these steps, you not only minimize downtime, meet SLAs, and truly protect the company, but you also take backup to the next level by turning it into an activity that adds value to the business. When your data is backed up within the context of the applications in which it resides, the additional copies of data create extra value for the company because that backup can now be used in a variety of ways. You can use it as a test resource. You can use it to convert data from physical to virtual or physical to cloud. You can even open it up and run analytics on it without impacting production systems. These activities are what add value beyond just the insurance of a backup, and deliver true business resiliency to the organization.



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