Maintaining 100% uptime is critical for many businesses such as healthcare providers, financial services, aircraft or rail traffic controllers and more. Not only do such facilities generate enormous amounts of data, they need to retrieve it immediately in the event of downtime, and they also have to comply with stringent regulations that pertain to data security and storage. Even a few seconds of downtime, without access to their data, can be catastrophic for these businesses.
Ensuring accessibility of data in real-time 24/7 is, in itself, a problem. Most facilities deal with large amounts of data and, to improve the efficiency and availability of resources and applications, they often opt for a virtualized environment. All these considerations makes the task of taking regular backups with a sound disaster management and recovery system in place, while keeping data secure at the same time, very challenging. When a system has to extend itself and integrate data from multiple locations, it becomes rather complex, and most organizations become overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task.
The traditional method of locally managed tape drive backups is inadequate to meet the needs of this complex situation. So, what are businesses supposed to do?
Here are a few points to consider when designing a backup and disaster recovery system for hyper-critical facilities with complex operations.
- Opt for a centralized solution: The best approach is a fast and reliable solution that can be centrally managed and can support multiple platforms. Many organizations deploy multiple disparate backup systems. This is inefficient due to the long learning curve required, even without considering the high risk of these systems leaving gaps in coverage and causing the loss of key data. In fact, an integrated system is more cost effective than multiple stand alone systems and is capable of performing much more complex operations.
- Go for automation: In normal situations, nightly backups for a VMware environment can run about 1.5 terabytes, requiring backup windows up to eight hours and with a success rate of only about 90%. This is simply not acceptable for facilities running critical processes, and, in any case, it drains the organization of its resources. The solution is automation with a system that supports an almost “set it and forget it” approach.
- Integrate the reporting. It is not enough that backups are completed. Large and critical facilities that are under the regulatory lens require paperwork as proof. When reporting is not integrated with the backup solution, the chances are that admins would end up generating tons of spreadsheets to log the success of performed backups. With the number of VMware users in place for large enterprises, it soon becomes very difficult to keep track of what backups were running successfully and which were not.
- Opt for Customization: There is no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to backup and disaster recovery. The best solution is custom built, which can be tweaked to the specific requirements of the enterprise and which allows both flexibility and scalability to expand as required.
The STORServer Enterprise Backup Appliance offers reliable, centralized backup and restore system, which is scalable for enterprise businesses. The appliance’s “incremental forever” technology updates only the changed data, reducing the backup windows considerably and making it best suited for highly critical processes. To learn more, contact us today.