Make sure there is enough data backup space, capabilities in a solution before adoption.

Tips to help avoid data backup mistakes

Stephen Perkins

When properly kept up with and utilized, data backup can be a great tool for individuals and companies to fortify their business continuity plan and keep their information as safe as possible, but there are a lot of areas where things can go wrong if an organization is not careful. Bill Andrews of Network World wrote that correctly projecting redundant storage needs is one task administrators have trouble with. 

"If you ask the right questions upfront and analyze each aspect of your environment that impacts backup requirements, you can avoid the consequences of buying an undersize system that quickly exceeds capacity," he said. "First, it's important to understand that this sizing exercise is different than the process of sizing a primary storage system."

There are a few things to consider here, he said, including:
- Which data types the company is collecting, as this could impact deduplication efforts and alter what kind of system the business needs
- The ratio of retention is important as well, something each business must figure out individually due to compliance rules
- Data backup rotation will also affect what size of backup is needed, as this will change how much disk-based backup is being sent
- The type of tool being used should also be considered, and Andrews said organizations should try to find a tool that calculates the size of the system needed

"It is very common to see an organization acquire a disk backup with deduplication system and, in a few short months, have it fill up because the system was undersize, retention was longer, the rotation scheme put more data into the system, the deduplication method had a low deduplication ratio, or the data types were such that they could not deduplicate well," he said, adding that for this reason, companies must be careful as they move into new solutions.

Balance price with capabilities
George Crump wrote on InformationWeek that the first thing small and midsize companies should be looking at with a data backup app is whether they can afford it. No matter how good a solution is, if it doesn't fit within the company's budget, it can end up causing more problems than it should. He said companies should also figure out what capabilities they are getting from the new data backup technology, adding that this is especially important if there is no secondary site to send data to.

Categories: Data Protection