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Four Steps to Creating a Solid Backup Plan


ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP PLAN!  Just in case life decides to throw lemons at you, don’t worry about making lemonade. Instead, seize the opportunity and activate your backup plan. 

If you think of it, this suggestion holds true for enterprises as well. Why? Because not having a sound backup plan could not only be costly (due to compliance, and regulatory fines) but have an impact on your reputation as well as overall productivity due to unplanned downtime.  In fact,

I could throw some more numbers, but the aim is not to see you become a data loss statistic but in fact, help you protect every piece of data in your infrastructure.


Here are four steps enterprises can take to create a sound backup plan.

1. Scan your infrastructure 

Businesses today include several workloads – from traditional workloads like Oracle to open source databases like MySQL to virtual and cloud workloads. Most organizations run on a hybrid model with data on-prem, in the cloud, and even virtualized. And yes, it is your responsibility to protect anything and everything- from customer information to employee payroll records, from the database being used by DevOps to apps being used by the Developers – EVERYTHING.

So, first, start with figuring out what kind of data you have and where it exists. Most organizations approach with a band-aid solution – one solution to manage and protect specific workloads, another to manage the rest. With little to no integration between these point tools, there is no easy way to verify if all the data is protected and can be recovered successfully. What’s needed is a unified platform that eliminates the complexity of point tools and offers a single view of the entire infrastructure.

2. Define your requirements 

Every organization is different and has varied requirements to meet their business goals. This step outlines what your backup infrastructure should look like. It all starts with RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective), the two most important parameters of your data protection strategy. The former refers to your threshold for data risk while the latter signifies your downtime limit.

Second, decide how you want to protect your data – choose between full backups, snapshots, or replication. What do enterprises need? All of them. Replication and Snapshots should not be considered as a replacement to backup but in fact, be integrated into your overall data protection strategy.

Lastly, figure out where the backed-up data will live. Every data element has its own specific needs for availability and performance. Depending on the criticality of the data/workload or for how long it needs to be stored, you will need multiple tiers of storage. Options include purpose-built backup appliances, LTR or archival appliances, cloud storage or even tape.

3. Research and Evaluate 

At this stage, you know what your environment comprises of and what you are looking for in a solution. The next step is to identify your backup solution. You need is a backup platform that not only unifies your infrastructure, but gives you insights and recommendations, protects any workload at any scale, and meets your shrinking backup windows and growing SLAs. You need a solution which is:

  • Proven in the industry – a solution that is deployed and trusted by the largest of the organizations and has a track record of successful data recovery.
  • Certified and endorsed by analysts and your peers and has meaningful integrations with the workloads you are deploying today and plan to adopt in the future.

During the evaluation phase, ensure that you are comparing key features such as deduplication, whether the solution supports an agentless architecture or gives you the option to granularly restore data, or meets security standards such as FIPS 140-2 or STIG.

4. Test and re-test your strategy

Even a well-thought plan can fail when not rehearsed, which gets us to the final step – testing your backup plan. Testing and re-testing should be an on-going task. A simple test restore of one file can help identify possible problems that may not reveal themselves during regular backups. Thus, you must ensure that your backup rehearsals cover all data – on-prem, virtual and cloud workload, including data from new applications or workloads.


Final thoughts

Every organization faces some form of business risk, in the form of cybercrime, natural disaster, careless/disgruntled employees. The last line of defense is truly, Backup. And what better solution than Veritas NetBackup – the market-leading platform, trusted by 86% of Fortune 500 and 99% of Fortune 100.  With NetBackup, you can protect your enterprise from the unforeseen and ensure that you can confidently tackle every shift in your IT environment.

For more information, visit Veritas NetBackup.


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