Sep 17, 2014

5 Signs Your Backup Solution Needs a Major Upgrade

As your app or business grows, your backup solution needs to grow with it. The availability and the integrity of your data is paramount to your success. That’s why your data needs to be protected and backed up at all times. But in the excitement and rush of company growth, it’s easy to forget to revisit your data backup solution.

The consequences of letting your backup solution stagnate, however, can be devastating. Imagine that the plane you’ve been riding has just caught fire. You grab your parachute, and are about to jump out of a plane when you look down and realize: This parachute was created with your 10 year old self in mind, NOT the way you are now. An out-of-date backup solution is just about as useful as that old parachute in times of duress.

To help you avoid that situation, here are five signs your backup solution is due for a major upgrade:

1. You’re paying overage charges for your backups

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. If it’s been six months worth of overages charges, it’s probably time to find a backup solution that can better keep up with your needs. But what if you’re not sure?

One exercise you can try is asking yourself “How often do I get charged overage fees? How many times has it happened in the past 3 months, 6 months and year?” If you notice an upward trend in the number of overages charges, you may want to consider checking out alternatives.

Another important question is to ask “By how much am I exceeding my limit?” If you’ve only been charged overage fees for a couple months, but each month racked up $1000 or more in overage fees, then looking for an alternative solution sounds like the best route.

2. You have too many files (> over 100k) on your servers

Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to the number of files you have and your backup solution. If you have hundreds of thousands of files on your servers, it’s likely that each full backup you’re doing is taking a very long time. After all, traditional backup solutions look at each and every single file each time they are run, no matter if it’s a full backup or an incremental. So the more files, the longer the backup.

The problem is that if you have a large amount of files, you likely don’t have the time to wait on week-long backups. What if your files are changing all the time? Then there’s a good chance you’ll make a change to a file your backup will miss, because it already looked. You also run the risk of the backup never finishing, or your backup file getting corrupted. The longer it takes, the larger the chance for a mistake.

3.  You need a shorter recovery point objective (RPO)

Traditionally, full backups happen once a week, with incremental or differential backups happening on the other days of the week. This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, unless you’re making tons of changes every day or week. After all, a few changes a day adds up.  If something goes wrong, you risk losing – at worst – up to a week’s worth of data and – at best – the data that has changed since the last incremental backup. Files could go missing entirely, or the newer versions of files could be missing from your backup set.

Basically, if you find yourself wishing you could rewind your environment to 15 minutes ago, instead of 24 hours or longer ago, it’s a good sign it’s time to move on to a solution that can.

4. You don’t have compression and encryption of your backups

Not all backup solutions are created equal, and certainly not all backup products include compression and encryption. A backup solution that includes compression is a great asset for any business, as compressing files reduces storage costs. Encryption, on the other hand, is a nice-to-have for some businesses, and a need-to-have for others. If you’re backing up sensitive information or intellectual property, a backup solution that includes encryption is a must.

5. You aren’t getting application agents included, like MSSQL, MySQL or MS Exchange.

Simply put, if you fit the criteria above and are paying separately for MSSQL, MySQL or MS Exchange for your backup solution, you’re burning money. With hefty costs paid per machine for every application license, application agents can add a huge bill on top of the cost of your backup solution.

If these five signs sound all too familiar, then there’s a good chance your backup solution has run its course. Although there are many backup solutions, one backup solution that addresses exactly these issues is Idera Continuous Data Protection. To learn more about Idera Continuous Data Protection, check out the recording of our webinar, “Rethink Your Backup Solution with Idera Continuous Data Protection (CDP)”. If you think Idera Continuous Data Protection could be a good fit for your business, chat now to speak with one of our hosting experts.



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