What You Need to Know Before You Choose Backup Solutions

Baubles organized over yellow backgroundWith a myriad of different options in the marketplace for storage and backup solutions, you know you have to do something to protect your data, but what’s not so easy is knowing where to start. Before you decide on what backup or disaster recovery solution to implement, it’s highly recommended to start off by knowing your data, and what is required of your company to store it, both as a matter of best practice and to comply with legal and compliance requirements. Like most other things, backups are a function of budget versus pain tolerance, so keeping cost in mind when considering the following questions is important.

Things to consider:

  • How much data do you have?
    • Is it segmented?
    • Has duplicate data been deduped or purged?
  • What is your data’s daily change rate? Monthly change rate?
    • Is it 5%, 10%, 50%, etc…?
      • This is important when factoring prolonged storage and snapshot backups.
  • Define your ‘critical’ data.
    • What data can your company not function without?
      • You can store critical data in a more accessible, yet cost-heavy solution, while using cheaper storage for non-critical applications or data sets.
  • What regulations govern your business or industry?
    • Are there any rules around how data is stored? How long it must be stored? How accessible must it be?
      • If you have to keep multiple years of data, your active backups, and archival backups should be handled differently.

The answer to these questions are unique to every business due to the nature of work. Regardless of your industry, you must ask yourself: were something to occur, how long will it take for your business to be impacted? For some companies, losing 15 minutes of data could be catastrophic, while others could lose a day or two worth of changes and still be okay. It’s important to know what your pain tolerance is when considering backup solutions. This will help to determine your RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and (Recovery Time Objective) for your backup and disaster recovery solution and inform which solution (or combination of solutions) works best for you.

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