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Data Protection Modernization, More Than Swapping out Media

Have you modernized your data protection strategy and environment?

Have you modernized your data protection strategy and environment?

If not, are you thinking about updating your strategy and environment?

Why modernize your data protection including backup restore, business continuance (BC), high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) strategy and environment?

Data protection, Modernize data protection, BC, DR, HA, Cloud

Is it to leverage new technology such as disk to disk (D2D) backups, cloud, virtualization, data footprint reduction (DFR) including compression or dedupe?

Perhaps you have or are considering data protection modernization because somebody told you to or you read about it or watched a video or web cast? Or, perhaps your backup and restore are broke so its time to change media or try something different.

Lets take a step back for a moment and ask the question of what is your view of data protection modernization?

Perhaps it is modernizing backup by replacing tape with disk, or disk with clouds?

Maybe it is leveraging data footprint reduction (DFR) techniques including compression and dedupe?

Data protection, data footprint reduction, dfr, dedupe, compress

How about instead of swapping out media, changing backup software?

Or what about virtualizing servers moving from physical machines to virtual machines?

On the other hand maybe your view of modernizing data protection is around using a different product ranging from backup software to a data protection appliance, or snapshots and replication.

The above and others certainly fall under the broad group of data protection modernization, however there is another area which is not as much technology as it is techniques, best practices, processes and procedure based. That is, revisit why data and applications are being protected against what applicable threat risks and associated business risks.

Lost of destroyed data, data protection

This means reviewing service needs and wants including SLA, SLO, RTO and RPOs that in turn drive what data and applications to protect, how often, how many copies and where those are located, along with how long they will be retained.

Data protection, Modernize data protection, BC, DR, HA, Cloud, RTO, RPO

Modernizing data protection is more than simply swapping out old or broken media like flat tires on a vehicle.

To be effective, data protection modernization involves taking a step back from the technology, tools and buzzword bingo topics to review what is being protected and why. It also means revisiting service level expectations and clarify wants vs. needs which translates to what if for free that is what is wanted, however for a cost then what is required.

Data protection, Modernize data protection, BC, DR, HA, Cloud, SLA, SLO, RTO, RPO

Certainly technologies and tools play a role, however simply using new tools and techniques without revisiting data protection challenges at the source will result in new problems that resemble old problems.

Data protection, Modernize data protection, BC, DR, HA, SLO, SLA, Cloud

Hence to support growth with a constrained or shrinking budget while maintaining or enhancing service levels, the trick is to remove complexity and costs.

Tiered Data protection, Modernize data protection, BC, DR, HA, SLO, SLA, Cloud

This means not treating all data and applications the same, stretch your available resources to be more effective without compromise on service is mantra of modernizing data protection.

Ok, nuff said for now, plenty more to discuss later.

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

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More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.