Ransomware costs skyrocketed to over $7.5 billion in 2019. Threats from malware, social engineering, and various cyberattacks are ever present. Thus the need for bullet-proof data protection has never been greater. But there are dozens of options in the realm of backup and disaster recovery. And, with the risks so high, choosing the wrong solution can result in a crippling data loss. Choosing well can result in business-as-usual even if disaster strikes, and the peace of mind you get from knowing you’re covered. So, to help make your choice easier, here are five must-have features to look for in backup and disaster recovery software.
Rock-Solid ReliabilityBackups are useless if you can’t recover them. That’s why backup and disaster recovery software must, first and foremost, be reliable. In fact, reliability alone is why many admins choose agent-based backup solutions over agentless solutions. Reliability is also why many admins favor image-based backup solutions, which typically create a more reliable backup compared to other methods. It’s also wise to look for solutions that offer automatic backup verification. That way you can be positive your backups will work when you need them.
Comprehensive Data ProtectionYour backup and disaster recovery solution should adapt to the mixed, hybrid environments common in enterprises today. In the past, that meant using several vendors for data protection. Now there are effective solutions that do it all, as well as many compelling reasons to standardize on one vendor. These days, any BDR solution worth its salt should let you protect virtual machines as easily as physical machines. It should also support multiple hypervisors and operating systems. For many businesses, data is scattered across primary data centers, remote or branch offices (ROBO), or even employees home offices. That’s why your backup and disaster recovery software should make it easy to back up data no matter where it’s created.
Quick, Flexible Recovery OptionsWith downtime costing as much as $5600 a minute, many businesses still don’t factor potential losses in when it comes to data protection. It’s not just a matter of creating copies of data, it’s also about making sure your business doesn’t lose productivity if primary systems fail for any reason. Sharp admins will look for quick, flexible recovery options. Effective backup and disaster recovery software should allow you to boot backup images as a virtual machine (VM), recover to dissimilar hardware or virtual environments, and even spin up a machine or whole network from the cloud.
Scale-Out Storage CapabilitiesMore sophisticated backup and disaster recovery software not only protects data but enhance how you store and access it. While once considered a nice-to-have feature, explosive data growth has made scale-out storage a no-brainer for many companies. According to StorageCraft’s Global Research, 64% believe their business’s operational costs will increase. Scale-out storage can help. Since scale-out storage treats disparate storage devices as one centralized pool, storage space is optimized and admins can add more space when needed and not before. When it’s time to grow, scaling is as easy as popping in new drives. Though not inherently a backup and disaster recovery feature, it’s still wise for admins to consider a solution that marries backup and disaster recovery with the data optimization offered by scale-out storage.
Simplified Remote ManagementEven with backups created in lots of places you should still be able to manage them from one place. Whether you’re installing a backup agent on a remote machine, monitoring backups across your organization, or replicating backups to a recovery cloud, it’s much easier if you have one tidy dashboard from which to do it all. Look for backup and disaster recovery solutions with management tools that let you set policies, drive aggressive service level agreements (SLAs), and give you the ability to manage backups, replication, and recovery from anywhere.
Last ThoughtsWith cyberattackers continuing to threaten businesses with more sophisticated and targeted attacks, it’s essential for businesses to take actions that reduce their risks. Backup and disaster recovery is one of the most effective defenses you can put in place against ransomware, hardware failure, or user error. For backup and disaster recovery software with all the features we’ve mentioned (and plenty more), take a look at StorageCraft’s line of data protection solutions.
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