There are five essential steps to protecting data and applications from the most common causes of data loss and downtime, according to Ben Maas, CEO and System Architect with consulting firm ALPTech. IT pros who follow these steps can feel confident in their long-term organizational plan. They include:
1. Know your data protection software
Many people use data protection software without understanding its full capabilities and/or limitations. Knowing these capabilities and limitations of your backup software is important because they influence how long your backups and recoveries take and, ultimately, how reliable they are.
2. Understand uptime requirements for applications
Once you understand the capabilities and limitations of your backup software, you need to understand the recovery objectives for each of your applications. Once those objectives are established, you need to map them back to the features available in your software and even your own internal processes to make sure they align and that you can maintain availability for those applications according to business requirements
3. Properly size your environment
There are two types of backups that you need to consider in order to properly size your environment for backups: data center backups and remote backups.
4. Properly size and place data repositories
There are sizing documents out there from many vendors that are very helpful in properly sizing the repositories for your environment. You just need to make sure that you have configured enough repositories and have them available at the same time. I have found that having these repositories properly sized particularly comes into play when deduplicating data during the backup process. In cases where they are inadequately sized, the deduplication process can be slowed.
5. Practice makes perfect
Practice makes perfect. This means you should run multiple tests to get it right. You never fully realize how many moving pieces there are to a recovery process until you perform one. Perhaps the most complex ones are those that involve recovering from geographically dispersed backups. In those cases, you need to run recovery tests to make sure that everything that you think is going to happen happens.