Before you start thinking about your backup tool selection and your backup schedule, start thinking about your backup strategy. There’s more to effective backups than simply copying files. Today’s data center, with mixed environments that include physical and virtual servers with disparate operating systems and databases, is a challenge to protect properly.

In fact, before you start thinking about your backup strategy, you should start thinking about your recovery strategy. After all, that’s the goal of backups: to quickly get your business back online. Without knowing what you need to accomplish that, even the latest cloud backup technology won’t serve your business well when you need it most.

Recovery Thinking

Understanding your recovery requirements means understanding all your applications, their criticality, and what it means to your business for that application to be unavailable. Think through the various ways data and applications can be disrupted.

Once you’ve considered those scenarios and understand their impact to business operations, you can determine recovery time objectives (how quickly the application needs to be recovered) and recovery point objectives (how much data the application can afford to lose) for each application. With that, you can determine the relative priority of each application and start evaluating what kind of recovery environment will let you satisfy those objectives.

Backup Thinking

After thinking about your recovery needs, you can begin evaluating the backup technologies available to meet those needs. Choosing the right backup solution(s) depends not only on the applications’ requirements, but also on the technologies those applications use. Virtual machines increase load on the underlying physical servers, so you may have to cope with limited resources to run the backups.

In addition to working with the technology in your data center, your backup solution needs to fit within your team’s operations flow. It needs to provide you multiple copies in multiple locations and ensure that those copies can be quickly accessed when needed.

You can choose an on-premises backup process where you retain complete control over the process, along with the complete responsibility for monitoring and ensure the successful completion of the backup jobs. Managed backup services provide extra support, optimizing the backup configurations and schedules, along with monitoring jobs and providing support during the recovery process.

Backup as a Service and Disaster Recovery as a Service take advantage of the capacity, flexibility, automation, and support that comes with using cloud. The provider fully supports the process, reducing your team’s workload.

 Pull Together Your Plan

Once you’ve completed your recovery thinking and your backup thinking, you can document your strategy. This isn’t merely about filling out purchase orders to set up the backup process you’ve decided to use; document all your decisions, including what needs to be backed up, the backup process, the recovery process, and who is responsible for carrying out the necessary backup and recovery tasks.

Do you need help thinking through your backup strategy? Talk to the team at dcVAST. Our services include support for a variety of backup and disaster recovery solutions. We’ll help you figure out a backup strategy that meets your business requirements and make sure you’re able to recover from a systems outage fast.