Sure the Muppets are lovable, but who wants to feel like a member of the Muppet cast when it comes to their backup?

This is my first excerpt from my Don’t Be a Puppet of Your Backup Strategy whitepaper. Click here to download my full whitepaper for instant gratificationIt’s free!

Backup, despite the breathless hyperbole of many in the industry, is simply a form of insurance.  What’s important about your backup strategy is getting your systems and data protected in the most effective and affordable manner possible.

Ensuring that you focus on your company’s profitability and success rather than that of your backup vendor can be realized through just a few key principles:

  • Backup without recovery is worthless
  • Operational expense drains focus and resource from your business
  • Virtualization support can’t just be an afterthought
  • Heterogeneity isn’t just hard to spell – it’s even harder to support

In this posting, I’m going to focus on the first bullet point, which is how backup without recovery is worthless.

Backup without recovery is worthless

Sometimes it can get lost in all of the hoopla that the point of backup isn’t backup at all but recovery.  If you can’t recover your data, there is really no use in going to the trouble of performing the backup in the first place, is there?

There are two relatively inexpensive backup solutions for which recovery is problematic: tape and online backup. Gartner Group reports 50% of tape backups fail to restore while Storage Magazine reports 77% of tape users have had tape restore failures.  Tape is a “Russian roulette” approach to backup and recovery – you’re just never sure when you’re going to get surprised when you pull the trigger.

Many businesses are very attracted to the allure of online backup.  If you have no more than a few gigabytes of data, most online backup vendors are a great deal.  Despite the widespread reports of cloud-only-based online backup vendors losing user data, the truth is that online backup has reported recovery rates much higher than those of tape.  The trouble with this type of backup is that recovery of even small amounts of data is slow….really slow.  Numbingly slow.  Achingly slow.

To protect one terabyte can easily take months to upload.  That’s okay – after all, during that first time period you can put in place alternative backup methods (not tape, I hope!) until you get all the data into the cloud.  The real problem occurs when you walk in one morning to hear your hard drive clicking and your computer refuses to boot.  Can you really wait months to get that data back?