Data backups can guard against data loss, support compliance and retention needs and protect the business from disaster. But good data backups need much more than a new
tape library or the latest software release -- data backups need a clear plan that meets the objectives of your specific business. Data backup windows and recovery point objectives (RPOs) must be met, and the backups must be recoverable within established recovery time objectives (RTOs). To accomplish these objectives and others, storage administrators must develop and maintain a solid data backup strategy that protects relevant data in a timely manner using the appropriate backup platform.
Data backup strategies are important for any organization regardless of size, so the very worst course of action is to ignore the issue. But sound strategies can be challenging to formulate and maintain, often drawing on insights from numerous corporate disciplines. Even after strategies are implemented, they must evolve over time to ensure that data remains recoverable as the organization evolves. "The data continues to grow, the data continues to change in terms of size and structure and type," says W. Curtis Preston, vice president of data protection at GlassHouse Technologies Inc. "If they're not planning for that change, then they can find themselves, overnight, unable to meet their recovery requirements."
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The following article outlines the advantages and drawbacks of various data backup strategies, offers vendor and user insights into the most effective (and ineffective) strategies and examines the future direction of backup practices.
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Backup strategies: An overview
Backup strategies: Strengths and weaknesses
Backup strategies: The vendors
Backup strategies: User perspectives
Backup strategies: Future directions