Big data requires businesses to pursue new data backup strategies.

Managing big data backups and recovery solutions

Stephen Perkins

Big data has created an array of new opportunities that can help lead businesses to innovation and growth. However, these benefits also come with formidable challenges when addressing data backup and recovery strategies.

IT professionals are facing pressing issues as the incessant surge in data repositories begin to overwhelm those tasked with managing it. From quality encryption to storing mission-critical assets in off-site data centers, IT must address every hypothetical and prepare for any potential problem that could threaten business continuity.

According to John Edwards, a contributor for IBM's Big Data Republic blog, there are three approaches companies can take in order to prepare for the complexities brought on by massive volumes of information.

Approaching the big data demand
"Meeting the goal of reliable big data backup and recovery requires careful planning and a willingness to, well… think big," Edwards wrote. "Local and remote copies, virtual snapshots and replication are three approaches businesses can use to safeguard their big data."

Possessing both local and remote copies, which are usually a mix of disk file backups and database utility backups, are essential for any effective solution. With a local copy, businesses have quick access to an on-premises storage solution. Having an additional remote copy at an off-site data storage facility will safeguard businesses from any potential situations where data can be compromised. Remote copies through vendor-provided tools require considerably less time and effort to create server backups.

A virtual snapshot method works by preserving the complete state of a company's server, which offers fast copy and data recovery times. Some drawbacks, according to Edwards, is that this could be a time-consuming operation and it requires larger storage capacities. However, managed service providers that offer cloud backup solutions erase this problem by handling both the time it takes as well as the storage requirements.

Lastly, data replication methods develop and store entire sets of database images at an additional location on a real-time basis. Often an off-site data center, it provides a safe haven if some type of disaster were to threaten a business. The main benefit of this method includes automatic backups that are stored in secure data storage facilities. Additionally, the recovery point objective restores data up until the time of the disaster.

"Recovery processes must be regularly tested to ensure that full data restoration can be achieved at a moment's notice, if necessary," Edwards noted. "Such drills can also be used to train new or inexperienced staff in recovery procedures."

While these three approaches are essential for successful data backup and recovery methods, they may not be as practical for businesses that lack an experienced and knowledgeable IT staff. Third-party vendors implement all of these approaches into their solutions, relieving the stress that's created from time and money constraints when organizations orchestrate in-house alternatives.

Categories: Cloud Backup, Data Management, Data Protection, Disaster Recovery, Online Backup, Server Backup