Business continuity is the name of the game folks. Chipping away at this block with a solid Backup and Disaster Recovery (BUDR) solution is a great way to start. Solution providers are here to help protect your business’ data and provide a safeguard in the event of an emergency. Emergency…that word is almost always directly correlated to expense in the BUDR world, but financial pitfalls are easy to avoid if you enter the market with a better understanding of your businesses data specs, and what money saving questions to ask you vendors BEFORE you invest in a solution. Take it step by step, and your Washingtons wont go to waste.
Map It Out
Before you head to market seeking a backup and disaster recovery product, make sure to account for your organization’s needs. This may seem obvious, but trust me, once you begin realizing all of the great features and capabilities that today’s BUDR product vendors have to offer, you may revert to a five year old version of yourself, with free reign at Toys ‘R Us – or maybe the two are still one in the same. Whatever you do, make a list to reflect what’s necessary, and what’s frills. Will you go hybrid cloud? Full swing to cut costs? Make a plan, even if you’re not completely sure about what that might look like in the end. A few questions to ask yourself: How much data do I need to back up? Do I need a disaster recovery plan or is this just backup if a file is lost or corrupted? Will the data be replicated to a data center offsite or to the cloud?
Typically cloud service providers have varying price models, but the bulk cost is usually a culmination of a monthly subscription fee, the amount of storage space used, of Internet bandwidth used, and the number of VMs or virtual processors. A Prorated pricing model is also popular among vendors, assuming a business of a certain size and backup dependency will need “X”.. excess of this allotment will be refunded for what they don’t use in bandwidth, storage, ect at the end of the month. Be prepared to offer your businesses data specks to help cost estimation when negotiating with vendors.
Hold the Candle to The Flame
While you’re there speaking with the vendor sales rep getting a better understanding of how their solution meets your data needs, be sure to ask the tough questions that many businesses later kick themselves for not asking. Learn what prospective vendors will offer you, to ensure the uninterrupted operation of their product and what remedies are available to recover the system if it fails, and what insurance they offer in the event of an outage or failure. This scenario happens more often than not, and although it’s pretty ironic to ask “what’s there to backup the backup?” It’s better than finding out later that your servers weren’t maintenanced, etc…and that it, “Wasn’t part of the contract!”.
Deduplicate deduplicate deduplicate!
Data deduplication addresses challenges associated with management, backup and network inefficiency. Deduplication reduces a businesses data footprint as businesses are increasingly looking to reduce storage usage and costs, as today’s hyper-informed society outputs data exponentially. Deduplication offers faster recovery in the event of a data failure or loss. The only thing that will be duplicating, will be your ROI if you choose to invest in a deduplication service.
Keep Your Expectations Realistic
The reality of most organization’s relationship with backup and disaster recovery, is that most scenarios have gaps, and flaws. Most enterprises despite the tools, capabilities, cool features and strategy, have imperfect backup architectures, because the cost of maintaining a 24/7 backup solutions is not realistic, either financially, or what-have-you. Keep your expectations of the way that your solutions integrate, and the cost of operation pragmatic. You may have to settle with a slower backup procedure, and you may be able to backup your data less often than what is not anxiety producing. Whatever your limitations may be, recognize them and work with your vendor, many of which who are ripe with willingness and know-how about solutions that will send you on your way to a more protected, efficient business.