Any backup and recovery solution needs to have some elements in common. We’ll discuss those first and then talk about differing approaches to backup technology and their vendors.
- Centralized backup or central backup service levels. Even at companies with multiple backup systems, at the least corporate IT should enforce backup and recovery service levels for every backup system under their control (which ideally is all of them). Centralized solutions are out there, but even if your company is sporting multiple systems corporate IT is ultimately responsible for data protection across the corporation, and should be using tools accordingly.
- Continuous backup — sometimes. Most applications do not need continuous backup even if they’re mission-critical like Exchange. But Tier 1, high transaction applications definitely benefit from continuous backup. The solution should also offer fast and granular restore services, since what good is backup if you can’t restore on time or at the right point?
- Backup and restore performance. Cloud backup is notorious for poor backup speeds but even on-premise backup might not have ideal restore rates. Any backup scenario will benefit from dedupe and compression before sending and fast ingestion from the storage target, plus WAN accelerators on the cloud backup side.
- Compliance and governance. IT is used to retaining backups for compliance – even if the policy consists of “keep everything forever.” Hardly ideal, but at least the data is there. True compliance needs one or more of the following depending on the nature of the data and its regulatory or business priority: 1) Verified backup makes sure the backup has run, which should be standard to every one of your backup and recovery systems. 2) Encryption safeguards your data. Standards universally require encrypting the backup data stream, and some data types and regulated industries benefit from encrypting data-at-rest as well. 3) Access control for users and roles must be carefully managed.