The data that flows actively through an enterprise production environment represents only a piece of the digital puzzle – archived information and assets held in backup systems comprise a significant portion of a company’s entire data portfolio. While these secondary holdings are crucial to completing daily objectives and ensuring smooth audit processes, they can become a burden on an organization if not optimized for performance and accessibility. These measures are especially important when it comes to disaster recovery, as backup environments play a vital role in data restoration and integrity.
Backup and DR converge
There has always been a close link between data backup and disaster recovery, and many decision-makers still believe these two components to be interchangeable in the boardroom conversation. According to TechTarget, however, there are subtle yet important differences between them that can make or break a company’s entire continuity outlook. The source explained that while backup can be boiled down to the duplication and storage of data, disaster recovery is defined by the way in which these assets deliver results in a crisis situation.
Of course, the relationship between backup and DR has evolved drastically over the past decade, with organizations discovering the importance of continuous data protection the hard way – business interruptions such as natural disasters and human-induced network outages have reiterated the crucial role that both of these features play in overall enterprise resilience. Tech Target explained that while tape-based backup is still relied upon by modern corporations, advanced solutions provide greater precision, speed and accessibility for restorations. Here are some main downsides to tape:
- Tape may offer a haven for backed-up data, but it can suffer from the same damaging incidents that negatively affect primary production assets.
- Restoring data from tape is a long, drawn-out process that runs the risk of human error and makes information vulnerable to further loss.
- The capital expenditure required for tape procurement and maintenance mirrors is hampered by steep price tags and the demand for constant upgrades.
- Monitoring and other manual processes are necessary to ensure that tape provides relevant data in a worst-case scenario, depleting additional resources.
Entering a new era of DR
Thankfully for today’s IT leaders, tape-based systems don’t have to be the primary DR strategy employed by the enterprise when a business interruption strikes. Companies can now turn to virtualization technology to enable up-to-the-minute snapshots, replications, file deduplications and other streamlined methods that reduce risk and speed up restoration times. These techniques move away from physical recovery processes by utilizing virtual machines – software that takes an image of the server environment for fast and customized recovery demands.
While organizations can still deploy tape to support their archived data – a smart move for any business with a wealth of older information that must be preserved – decision-makers should lean more heavily on virtualized systems to support their recovery strategies. With guidance from a third-party provider that has mastered the science of continued data protection, an organization can finally step into the future of converged backup and recovery.