Data protection is critical. Unfortunately, many businesses lean on ineffective methods to back up and recover data. Some rely on file-based cloud solutions that offer some level of protection, but really can’t guarantee you won’t lose data. Others take more comprehensive data backups but do so too infrequently to significantly impact the risk of data loss—and that’s to say nothing of downtime. It’s just not enough. A better alternative uses continuous data protection software. Rather than relying on less reliable methods, continuous data protection solutions offer a number of benefits you just can’t get elsewhere. Let’s look at what continuous data protection is, then we’ll dive into the reasons businesses are adopting data protection solutions like these.
What Is Continuous Data Protection?
The keyword is “continuous.” Rather than taking backups once a day, once a week, or (for some businesses) not at all, data is continuously backed up in order to greatly reduce the amount of data a business can lose. When used in conjunction with off-site or cloud replication, continuous data protection software also gives businesses quick ways to recover should Mother Nature, hardware failure, or user error bring systems down.
How Continuous Data Protection Reduces Data Loss
When it comes to backup and recovery, there are a handful of recovery objectives that help businesses plan. Recovery point objectives (RPO) relate to how frequently businesses back up their data, whether it’s every few minutes or every few days. It’s a great tool for determining how much data a business can stand to lose. To help meet RPOs, continuous data protection gives you the option to create backups as frequently as every 15 minutes. By using a full disk backup as the foundation and quick, incremental backups for subsequent backups, resource usage is minimized along with the bandwidth required to transmit those incremental backups to an off-site location. The result is well-protected data with almost no loss in productivity.
Creating Redundancy With Replication
As noted, continuous data protection isn’t necessarily about the individual data backups, it’s also about where they are replicated. Many businesses will store secondary copies of backups at their primary data center or co-location facility, or even in a recovery cloud like StorageCraft Cloud Services. Since the latest backups are always streaming to a second location, businesses get a second layer of protection should primary backups become corrupt, deleted, or even destroyed.
Minimizing Downtime With Continuous Data Protection
This is where recovery time objectives (RTO) come into play. Continuous data protection involves backups and redundancy, but how quickly you can recover is crucial as well. RTO is a metric that helps you determine how much downtime you can afford to lose. And, when downtime costs can be as high as $5,600 a minute, it’s easy to see why it’s important. Luckily, businesses using a recovery cloud like StorageCraft Cloud Services can recover a full system—or even a full network—from the cloud in minutes. That makes it easy to reduce downtime and hit even the most aggressive recovery objectives.
The Value of Monitoring and Testing
Continuous data protection software can make it easy for businesses to do two things that are easy to forget: monitoring and testing backups. Without a simple way to monitor backups across the network, admins won’t know whether a backup failed or succeeded. It goes without saying that a failed or corrupt backup is basically useless. But even if backups are successful, it’s still wise for admins to occasionally test them to make sure data is accessible. Solutions like OneSystem give admins the ability to monitor backups network-wide, as well as quick ways to verify the integrity of backups.
There’s no substitute for great continuous data protection software. Using the right solutions and clear recovery objectives, it’s surprisingly simple to reduce data loss and downtime. If you’ve been searching for an effective data protection solution for your business, book a demo with StrorageCraft, where you’ll find tailored data protection solutions that work for businesses of all sizes, from local stores to global enterprises.
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