It might seem fairly obvious that storage is an important thing to have in any business today. After all, without some place to save customer data and employee records, how would businesses build marketing plans, employee evaluations, or just about anything else that needs to happen in a company today. But because storage is an ever-growing beast, it is that important to have a plan in place with expansions for primary storage as well as backups.
First and foremost, be smart about the data. If you just copy and paste files from everyone, you will fill up any storage and backup storage elements that you have relatively quickly. Take advantage of deduplication technology and smart backup technologies like the backup solutions employed by Vault Networks to ensure that there aren’t countless replicas of the exact same file. Having 2 or 3 1-MB files might not seem so bad, but if you multiply that by all of your employees and a scenario like that for every day in the year and you can easily get to some massive dents in your data. All for data that is just extra copies of the same data you already backed up!
On a related note, using granular backups is the most effective way to back up your systems. This enables you to be much more effective with the drives devoted to storage as opposed to simply taking snapshots of existing systems. Our backup system that customers can leverage is designed to not only be granular, but continuous – the backup system can save data as quickly as in 15 minute increments, and it is designed to only save new files or files that have changed, so there is no wasted space on OS files or files that are in cold storage.
Scaling storage instead of just buying bigger and badder drives is a great idea too. Moving to whole new storage architecture can be very time consuming, but scaling out by adding more hard drives or increase backup storage quantities is comparatively easy. The only mistake that can be made is to treat new drives in your storage systems as backups – you want to have a backup that is completely independent of your primary storage source so that you can use it for its intended purpose. After all, what good is a backup that goes offline when your primary storage does? It makes no sense, so don’t fall for that trap, no matter how much additional storage you may feel that you have in your central storage.
Finally, be sure to understand the risks of either not having a backup plan in place or the risks of relying on a less-than-ideal backup system, such as relying on employees to use USB drives to backup important files. Good ways to identify and understand risk include:
-How much time will be wasted during a recovery?
-How much will the actual recovery cost? Include any expenses in addition to any wages that need to be paid to employees and/or vendors.
-If data is truly lost, how much time and money will it cost to recreate lost data?
-Will I lose customers if I lose data?
-Will my backup system work?
These are all incredibly important questions to ask, especially the final 2 questions. There are many organizations that still use tape backups because of how cheap they have become, even though they have high failure rates. This directly correlates with losing customers – if you lose data and recover it before it impacts any customers, most will either be understanding or unconcerned with a system failure. However, if it does impact them they won’t be so forgiving.
Vault Networks offers a continuous data backup solution that backs up any Vault Networks server or colocation customer on our highly-redundant, highly-available SAN system. Backups are designed to handle deduplication and to only save files that have been updated or change in intervals as quick as every 15 minutes – something that can’t be replicated with older backup techniques. To learn more about how Vault Networks can back up your system, reach out to us by calling (305) 735-8098 option 2 or by emailing email@example.com.
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