May 1, 2012
Update, enhance, or build a business data protection plan with Retrospect!
Data is the “life’s blood” of any business—always moving and changing, it keeps companies alive. To protect businesses from the costly and damaging effects of data loss, data must be carefully safeguarded, whether against virus, theft, or a natural disaster. Imagine trying to operate without financial records, customer records, contracts, or intellectual property like designs, code, etc... It is unlikely that a business survive the loss of such critical data; statistically, the majority of businesses that suffer major data loss close within 24 months, many of those surviving less than 6 months.
Retrospect backup and disaster recovery solution helps protect an organization’s data from these disruptive events, allowing daily operations to continue in the event of a disaster. With built-in data protection strategies that can protect entire networks of computers—including servers and individual users’ PCs—Retrospect makes sure that an organization’s data is safe should the unforeseen occur.
Use Retrospect as a vital part of your business continuity plan. Follow these general data protection tips to give yourself peace of mind knowing you are prepared and doing the best to protect your business, the people you work with, and your customers.
Storing data on disks without any redundancy leaves you vulnerable to hardware failure—a failed disk could cause the loss of all the vital business information created since your last backup. Storing data on a disk array with built-in redundancy (known as a redundant array of independent disks or RAID) provides the first level of protection against data loss. If you suffer from a disk or component failure, the redundant drive will continue to operate without interruption. But having data stored on a RAID isn’t the same as a backup, so don’t stop here!
A shared storage solution like a network-attached storage (NAS) device is efficient and convenient. A NAS eliminates the need to constantly monitor storage on individual servers, avoiding the expense and inconvenience of acquiring and balancing storage on multiple systems. Use Retrospect to monitor storage for multiple computers from one central location, and allocate or reassign disk space to multiple computers quickly and conveniently based on each computer’s requirements without having to purchase new disks for each.
As your business grows, so does the amount of data needed for day-to-day activities. Is your storage scalable? Will your storage solution grow as your company expands? A business needs the flexibility to quickly and easily increase disk space for shared storage or backup capabilities. To provide backup storage for additional servers, desktops, or notebooks, select a storage option that enables you to easily add capacity as available storage space is consumed.
Whether you opt to use iSCSI or Fibre Channel for shared storage devices depends on the needs of your business. iSCSI is a natural choice for most small businesses. It keeps costs down by using commodity cables with standard GigE ports and switches, which are also easier to set up and configure. Fibre Channel switches and cables are more expensive and require more expertise to install and manage, but Fibre Channel is a better choice for environments that demand a consistently high level of performance.
Select business-class backup software, such as Retrospect. Backup software should protect all your computers, support Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems, and back up all the data necessary to restore any computer completely in the event of a failure. Some backup strategies protect only file servers and business-critical application servers. A complete backup strategy protects servers, desktops, and notebooks, which can remain unprotected because they are often not connected to the network during scheduled daily backups. Protection should also encompass operating systems, device drivers, applications, application settings, and user settings. When a computer fails, you shouldn’t be forced to spend countless hours downloading and installing applications and device drivers, and then re-configuring settings—your backup and recovery software should make it easy to recover all your applications and settings.
Robust data protection doesn’t have to be complex. Retrospect is easy to set up and manage, with intuitive wizards and assistants that streamline setup, schedule backups, and perform restores. Ongoing backup operations require minimal monitoring, and built-in email notification sends alerts if necessary. Patented dynamic scheduling recognizes computers that haven’t been backed up and prioritizes them automatically, ensuring that all of your computers are protected. Retrospect also provides easy-to-understand backup reports that make the backup review process painless.
Back up to local disk arrays on a daily basis for the fastest backups, and to keep your data available readily at hand for quick restores. For offsite storage and disaster recovery, consider a secondary disk set that can be physically stored offsite and updated on a regular basis. Even tape media stored offsite will provide faster system restores than a cloud-based system.
One of the most common restore scenarios involves a user who loses or inadvertently deletes a single important file and needs to recover that file quickly. Free up administration time by choosing backup software with a user-initiated restore capability. This is especially useful for organizations that protect a large number of users’ computers.
Make at least two copies of your backup media and store one in a secure, offsite location to guard against catastrophic events such as fire, flood, earthquake, or other disasters that will destroy onsite backup media. Rotate your onsite/offsite backup media at regular intervals, bringing the offsite media up to date when you bring it onsite, or replicate your backups to cloud storage. Choose backup software like Retrospect that eliminates complex backup media rotation strategies and automatically updates media brought back onsite. Keep one set onsite for backups and restores. Send the other offsite for safety.
Protect your most critical files with 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing information if backup media is lost, stolen, or misplaced. AES encryption also ensures compliance with an increasing number of government and industry regulations designed to protect private information and prevent identify theft. These regulations are far-reaching and come with stiff penalties for non-compliance. The need for AES encryption of backup data is not limited to large businesses, organizations, and government agencies that store personal information. Small businesses are affected as well, because many entities require partners, contractors, and other business associates to ensure that backup data is securely protected.
Kristin Goedert is Director of Marketing and has been with Retrospect for more than a decade.