Current State of Backup
Last year, Christian-Antonio Puricica, a Veeam Specialist authored a blog titled "Worst Backup Practices...". This hits on some key elements of the many "donts" of backup. Practices such as insufficient planning, job chaining, and lack of verification are all included in his blog. What I find most interesting about the current state, is that these really aren't practices, rather just environments that have grown and evolved over time, without really taking the time to consider the what, whys and hows within the data they are trying to protect. Suddenly you look up one day and you have a heterogeneous mess of backup products and practices that no one wants to touch. This is very much like the current status of our marketing schwag closet at Cima. It's all in there, I think, but don't ask me what or where. Within our smaller companies we encounter, we often see a backup that either, does not exist, or exists on the very server running the applications and data you are trying to protect, with no resiliency outside of a catastrophe to that very server.
How Did We Get Here?
In many cases, you do what we do with the marketing closet. Just trust it's all in there, put more stuff in there, regardless if it needs to be, and then...hope you can find it when you need it. Much like our closet, there is always more than one person putting stuff in there. So, this creates challenges of it's own. In the backup world, we see this in the form of multiple data management tools that have crept in based on their initial use case for the data sets they were put in place to backup. Additionally, multiple resources manage their data sets. For example... the AIX team uses Tivoli, VMware team uses NetBackup, and applications still sitting on physical servers have a process of their own led by the application owners. In smaller companies an IT by committee strategy is the key driver behind poor backup practices.
Why Backup as a Service?
In the case of the marketing closet, I am going to leave that up to our newly hired Marketing Execution Leader! You're welcome Madison. For the companies we are working with, many of them are looking to Backup as a Service models. This will solve the multitude of challenges we have described in this discussion. The first thing that a BUaaS provider will do is consolidate and simplify the process to a single data management solution. Next is establishing a process to determine the importance of the datasets, which ones, how long do you keep them etc. Then establishing the right level of resilience leveraging the cloud for offsite redundancy. Finally, MANAGING this process. This last one if where we often see neglect. This insures that what you are trying to protect, is in fact, being protected.
Let us know if you want to learn more about Backup as a Service Options: