Backup appliance selection tips!

Disasters can strike data centers at any moment and thus it always makes sense to have a backup copy of production data. Enterprise users can backup their data in two ways- One is to store the data in the cloud for quick disaster recovery and the other is to use a dedicated backup appliance for this job.

Factually speaking, security and privacy issues are discouraging most of users from going for cloud based backup services and so the only smart choice under these circumstances is to store backups on a physical appliance. Purpose Built Backup Appliances (PBBA) are a great way for organizations to streamline, remove complexity and reduce the cost involved in protecting data.

Therefore, below are some tips on how to make PBBAs work for you

Have a plan for the future- When data protection is being considered, most businesses look for temporary solutions in order to save some expenses on their investment. But this approach is totally wrong. It is always wise to think about how your data protection needs get evolve over the next three to five years. Check whether you’ll have more applications in future? More remote offices? More data? Are your IT staff and budgets going to keep pace with data growth?

“We have to get smarter about consolidating our data center activities, especially where data protection is concerned,” said Mo Tahmasebi, CEO & President, StoneFly.  “Look at how you are going to meet your restore SLAs given your current data growth” he added.

Control costs with a single technology-Almost five years ago; there were appliances that did only deduplication. Then they incorporated backup, disaster recovery (DR), WAN optimization and more on an individual note. These days, users are not showing any interest in buying appliances which fulfill only one or two of these functions. They need more and want to save a significant amount of capital expenditure and operational expenditure through reduced backup management, lower maintenance costs, reduced data center floor space and cooling as well as reducing network bandwidth troubles in an enterprise. Here, automation will play a vital role in selection of appliances.

Quote for the future- Request for a quote from the vendor as per the future needs. Like are you planning to add in some more virtual machines and such.

Flexibility- The backup solution must be able to respond to changes and requirements quickly and with manageable solutions.

Reduce backup silos- It is a reality of modern IT environments that people like to implement their own technologies and choose their own platforms. But this can cause problems and add costs. To tackle the situation, find a way which can help consolidate to reduce costs while still enabling admins to protect their environments natively.

Deduplication is vital- There are many technologies rolled into the latest PBBAs. But deduplication should probably be given the most attention as it has a big impact on capacity requirements and the amount of time IT has to spend dealing with backup administration and other tasks. So pay attention to the actual dedupe rates you can get from a prospective appliance. StoneFly backup solutions can increase storage capacity from 5X data reduction in general environments to 137X data reduction in virtualized environments.

The solution must make work easier- A data protection solution should make your life easier—not make more work for the people managing your environment. If it doesn’t simplify the process by providing all of the components necessary to complete the backup process, stay away from it.

Enterprise scalability- Scalability is crucial. Maybe a candidate appliance can scale reasonably well. But what happens when storage demands increase by 10 times? This isn’t unrealistic when you look at trends such as Big Data, mobility, the Internet of things and more. So, do keep this aspect in mind while shopping for a backup appliance.

Licensing- Usually, when we shop for backup appliances, we take into account storage capacity growth and hardware needs, often ignoring licensing costs. Therefore, it is wise to ensure you understand your software and hardware licensing commitments, and forecast these expenses about five years ahead.

Keep a tab on your applications and then plan accordingly- For enterprises which have some applications in cloud and some on premises in both physical and virtual instances, keeping a tab on such applications and then planning for a backup appliance makes true sense. Make sure your backup solution can protect all the legacy physical environments, the virtual servers you have deployed in the last three-to-five years, and the cloud infrastructure that is surely coming.

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