I sat down with Adam Sidoti, an internal Partner Account Manager with Arcserve, to discuss the top 5 survival tips for data protection. According to him, the top 5 survival tips are –

1. Understand your risks with data volumes and virtualization.
2. Prioritize appliances and data sets.
3. Understand their current data protection landscape.
4. Quantify the data protection infrastructure.
5. Be educated about RPO/RTO.

Me – So, Adam, can you tell me a little bit about the first survival tip, “Understand your risks with data volumes and virtualization?”

Adam – It is recommended you take a step back, evaluate what systems you are managing, the amount of data growth you anticipate, the type of data, and how you are looking to back up, such as – disk, tape, both. It is important to understand your risks, so you can prepare for any data loss and have a plan of action to avoid downtime, recover the data and avoid business disruption.

Me – What do you mean by “Prioritize appliances and data sets?”

Adam – Basically, not all data is born equally. It is recommended that you look at and evaluate mission critical applications and key business processes. Also, you want to think about your service levels so you can measure them and predict them. This brings me back to the importance of “understanding your risks.” If you understand them, you can predict how to avoid downtime.

Me – How does a partner or customer “Understand their current data protection landscape?”

Adam – First, they would want to look at how many backup solutions they are using across how many locations, and then they should think about when the last time they did a disaster recovery test was. They should be considering if they can simplify their enterprise backup solutions and if they can really meet their SLAs. This will help them understand their landscape.

Me – Please explain how you “quantify the data protection infrastructure.”

Adam – You would need to look at the estimated data growth and see if it could pose a storage issue beyond your data protection. This could lead into additional costs that should be considered. You should understand how many critical processes there are because if too many, they can lead to complexity, extra cost, missed SLAs, etc.

Me – How would you educate people about RPO/RTO?

Adam – Let me explain what these terms mean. RTO is “recovery time objective,” which simply means how long before your systems and data are back online after a disaster?. And, RPO is “recovery point objective,” which means the largest tolerable period which data might be lost, i.e.: minutes, hours, days, etc. In order to educate partners and customers about these, I would discuss their business requirements. What do they want to achieve? I would define their service level agreements and consider how that relates to their actual business requirements and not just their technology, meaning what do they really care about? How will it affect their business? The bottom line is to continually test the backup and disaster recovery plan to ensure that the plan you have in place is truly effective.

Me – Is there anything else you would like to add?

Adam – Data is growing exponentially, so addressing your data protection plan is critical. You can overcome your data protection challenge by understanding your current plan, and making sure it truly protects you in the way your business needs.

Thank you

Arcserve Unified Data Protection

Arcserve UDP is our most comprehensive data protection solution. It includes industry-proven backup, replication, high availability and true global deduplication. With protection for virtual and physical servers, it allows you to manage your entire data protection plan within a single, unified interface.