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Is it Time to Upgrade Your Backup Software?

Created: 19 Aug 2009
Monica Girolami's picture
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Efficiency. That seems to be on the minds of many business leaders. Lately I have been thinking about how organizations can improve efficiency. So many businesses are brainstorming how to keep their business operating at its best without breaking the bank.
 
Simple steps can often have a big impact. One thing that is often pushed aside during economic downtimes is upgrading backup software.  But in the meantime, new technologies, such as server virtualization and the latest versions of Windows, have been implemented within the environment and need to be supported by the backup software. 
 
It surprises me how often we find that organizations are operating on outdated backup software by three years or more. When you consider the significant technology improvements made with each new version, organizations are missing out on a number of key benefits that can ultimately save time and money through improved backup performance, faster recovery, support for new technology, and overall reduced management time.
 
Users should ask themselves a few simple questions that will help them determine whether an upgrade of their backup software will be beneficial to their business. For example:
1.       Have you deployed or are you planning to deploy virtualization technology?
2.       Have you upgraded or are you planning to upgrade your Windows environment?
3.       Do you need better backup performance (i.e. speed of recovery) to reduce your backup windows?
4.       Do you have a heterogeneous IT environment? Does your current backup software support a heterogeneous environment?
5.       Are you constantly performing restores of emails?
 
The following tips will help make software upgrades more successful:
·         Audit what is running and needs backup protection in your current IT environment
·         Define and set a Service Level Agreement (SLA) or Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for each critical system
·         Determine what new backup technologies will help meet current and growing demands across new infrastructures
Engage a solution provider to ensure integration with other technologies within your IT environment is successful
·         Explore the advantage up upgrading your current backup software to leverage support for new storage environments, virtualization and new management tools to help easily facilitate operational and infrastructure management across your servers and desktops.
·         Choose backup and recovery tools that allow not only a restore of Exchange but also of Active Directory, quickly and efficiently down to a granular level. With these advanced recovery features, IT can optimize its backup and recovery processes and ensure that their critical data is protected and easy to recover. Ensure your environment can quickly recovery all data, applications and an entire system with ease in the event of a disaster. 
·         Once the upgrade or new technology is implemented, conduct a test to make sure backups and recovery processes are working properly.