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A fresh approach for developing a data backup strategy

Complexity in storage environments isn't caused just by the amount of data, but the increasing number of applications that draw upon that data, as well.

"We try to get people more focused on the business objectives. And one of the things this allows you to do is account for failure into the process," said George Crump, president and founder of Storage Switzerland, to his Storage Decisions audience in discussing different approaches to data backup strategy planning.

"Because backups will fail. Recoveries will probably fail. So you've got to have multiple layers, and you have to understand how to apply these different layers," he said.

IT should consider the ramifications of changing or adding new hardware or software to an environment in their backup strategy, and bring in the relevant stakeholders to help ensure data protection is properly implemented for any new equipment and applications.

"Data's at risk, and you can't have data at risk, so we gotta figure out ways to fix that," he said.

He noted that virtualization can make it easy to implement new technologies, because the changes exist only as software and not physical hardware. But changes involving virtualization can lead to situations in which backup administrators are left out of the loop when it comes to backing up an environment, he said.

"The challenge with virtualization -- one of my complaints -- is there's nothing to trip over anymore," said Crump.

He said some vendors try to pitch products that promote either backup or recovery as the most important task, but Crump noted that it is important to remember that administrators need both to succeed at data protection efforts.

More on this topic:

Mitigating Active Directory restore challenges
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Ensuring application restore from a backup
Brien Posey discusses what needs to be protected in order to perform an application restore from a backup in this Expert Answer.

Ten common reasons for VM restore failure
When a VM restore fails, you must troubleshoot quickly. Event logs are a good start, but can be cryptic. Here are 10 causes of VM restore failures.

Single-pass restore and why it matters
Marc Staimer of Dragon Slayer Consulting discusses single-pass restore, what it's designed to accomplish and why it's important in this Expert Answer.

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