10 ben­e­fits of net­work-based backup for the mod­ern en­ter­prise

InformationWeek - - Opinion -

To meet the de­mands of the global mar­ket­place, In­dian en­ter­prises must sup­port em­ploy­ees and cus­tomers that are dis­trib­uted through­out the world. When people and their busi­ness­crit­i­cal data re­side in mul­ti­ple phys­i­cal lo­ca­tions, the chal­lenge of back­ing up and se­cur­ing im­por­tant busi­ness data be­comes very sig­nif­i­cant. Tra­di­tional ap­proaches in­volve de­ploy­ing tape backup equip­ment and pro­cesses to each re­mote of­fice lo­ca­tion, and hir­ing or con­tract­ing lo­cal IT staff to man­age the equip­ment and pro­cesses. Im­ple­ment­ing this can be so ex­pen­sive, com­plex and er­ror-prone that for some en­ter­prises it’s a com­pletely un­re­al­is­tic op­tion.

An ef­fec­tive dis­as­ter re­cov­ery (DR) strat­egy re­quires that the com­pany’s key data be stored re­dun­dantly at mul­ti­ple phys­i­cal lo­ca­tions. Such a sys­tem re­quires a data repli­ca­tion so­lu­tion ca­pa­ble of trans­port­ing large amounts of data over the long dis­tances re­quired for ge­o­graph­i­cal di­ver­sity be­tween data stor­age sites. Data pro­tec­tion is sim­ple: take ev­ery­thing and copy it some­where far enough away so that you’ll have it when you need it — in an emer­gency. The chal­lenge is how to do this in the most ef­fi­cient, re­li­able and cost­ef­fec­tive way.

Back­ing up re­mote site data to a cen­tral DR site across the WAN can sim­plify and greatly re­duce the cost of data backup and re­cov­ery. Un­for­tu­nately, how­ever, the per­for­mance of data backup across the WAN is dra­mat­i­cally im­pacted by WAN band­width lim­i­ta­tions and net­work la­tency. In­creas­ing costly WAN band­width may help in­crease per­for­mance to some ex­tent, but can­not ad­dress the per­for­mance prob­lems caused by net­work la­tency. This per­for­mance prob­lem can make WAN-based backup un­us­able for many or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Luck­ily, tech­nol­ogy ex­ists to over­come the per­for­mance prob­lems as­soci- ated with mov­ing vast quan­ti­ties of data across long dis­tances. WAN op­ti­miza­tion, com­bined with re­lated stor­age de­liv­ery tech­nolo­gies, are uniquely able to ad­dress this prob­lem cost-ef­fec­tively. Op­ti­miz­ing large-scale data back­ups within dis­trib­uted en­ter­prises, an op­ti­mized WAN-based backup so­lu­tion can of­fer cen­tral­ized backup and re­cov­ery of servers and desk­top ma­chines in re­mote of­fices, repli­ca­tion of cen­tral­ized data repos­i­to­ries be­tween data cen­ters and backup of files and data to cloud ser­vices. Here are the top ten ben­e­fits en­ter­prises can gain from de­ploy­ing an op­ti­mized WAN-based dis­as­ter re­cov­ery so­lu­tion. 10. Elim­i­nate Backup in Branches: By ef­fec­tively lev­er­ag­ing the wide area net­work ( WAN) for backup or repli­ca­tion of data in branch of­fices, you can save on the hard­ware, soft­ware, and ad­min­is­tra­tive costs of lo­cal backup, tape du­pli­ca­tion, and man­ual off­site trans­porta­tion of tapes. 9. Re­duce Costs: Data stream­lin­ing dedu­pli­cates WAN traf­fic, re­duc­ing dis­as­ter re­cov­ery band­width re­quire­ments by up to 95 per­cent, cut­ting your net­work costs sig­nif­i­cantly. Also, the elim­i­na­tion of branch backup brings mas­sive sav­ings for ev­ery of­fice. 8. Re­duce Ad­min­is­tra­tive Over­head: Us­ing the WAN as your data trans­port mech­a­nism in­stead of phys­i­cally trans­port­ing tapes pro­vides au­to­mated, re­li­able DR op­er­a­tions. No more time wasted in the shuf­fling of tapes by IT staff (or non-IT staff for that mat­ter!). 7. Re­duce Se­cu­rity Risk: Elim­i­nat­ing tape trans­port and en­crypt­ing WAN traf­fic, cou­pled with cen­tral­ized stor­age and role-based ad­min­is­tra­tion, makes pass­ing in­dus­try and govern­ment reg­u­la­tory au­dits much eas­ier. 6. Pro­tect More Data: By ac­cel­er­at­ing repli­ca­tion and backup up to 45x faster across the WAN, you can now cover not just mis­sion-crit­i­cal data, but all the data across your en­ter­prise, while eas­ily mak­ing your backup win­dows. This in­cludes mo­bile worker lap­top data too. 5. Pro­tect More Of­ten: Faster DR on the WAN also trans­lates into great im­prove­ments in your re­cov­ery point ob­jec­tive (RPO), re­duc­ing the amount of time and data that could have been lost since your last backup. 4. Re­cover Faster: Re­store data across the WAN in­stantly in­stead of wait­ing for backup tapes to be found and de­liv­ered for an im­proved re­cov­ery time ob­jec­tive (RTO). Or bet­ter yet, have all your data staged and ready to go in your re­mote DR site. 3. Cen­tral­ize Stor­age or Move it to the Cloud: Whether you choose pub­lic or pri­vate cloud stor­age, en­joy the re­silience and economies of scale for re­duced costs and fast ac­cess from any­where. 2. Make the Most of Your Stor­age In­vest­ment: Get more from your cur­rent stor­age hard­ware and soft­ware, and have the con­fi­dence of know­ing that the so­lu­tions have been qual­i­fied and cer­ti­fied. 1. Have Your DR op­er­a­tions Play Nice with Your Busi­ness Apps: Use pow­er­ful qual­ity of ser­vice (QoS) ca­pa­bil­i­ties to match your pri­or­i­ties, whether you want repli­ca­tion to take prece­dence over other WAN traf­fic or vice versa, never slow things down.

Bill Ting,

Mar et­ing Evan­ge­list, A AC & a an, River ed Tech­nol­ogy

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