IBM is Addressing the Increased Complexity of Corporate Data – Shouldn’t You?

As we have stated several times in different posts on this blog, the complexity of data is increasing. Business data is no longer the traditional structured type that comes from ERP and CRM applications. To remain competitive, the business must include unstructured data from POS systems, Social Media, specialized devices and other sources.

The Internet of Things (IOT) is creating more complex data types within the corporate business data environment. Businesses are integrating the IoT with their mission critical applications at an accelerated rate. The data being generated from devices in trucks, shipping docks, and house water meters are being integrated with core business processes for analytics and advanced business processing. So, this data has now become corporate data adding to the data complexity issue.Salvus Data remote backup

IBM addressed this point in their announcement “IBM Redefines Storage Economics with New Software“. This announcement unveiled IBM Spectrum Storage, a new storage software portfolio designed to address data storage inefficiencies by changing the economics of storage with a layer of intelligent software. From that announcement:

“A new approach is needed to help clients address the cost and complexity driven by tremendous data growth.  Traditional storage is inefficient in today’s world where the value of each piece of data is changing all the time,” said Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems. “IBM is revolutionizing storage with our Spectrum Storage software that helps clients to more efficiently leverage their hardware investments to extract the full business value of data.”

In a previous post, we highlight the issue that this increased complexity and the general evolution of what we now recognize as mission-critical data. These increasingly complex data types are rendering your old data backup and recovery plan obsolete. There should be no hesitation to prioritize the review and update of the corporate data disaster recovery plan. Central backup procedures must be reviewed for proper governance and assurance of data resiliency. This data is now mission critical and must be treated as legacy business data, just like Accounting, Payroll, etc. This provides an additional burden on the IT staff in understanding the implications of developing backup procedures for these diverse data types.

A remote data backup and recovery model, such as that from Salvus Data, is a direction that should be considered. Salvus Data develops and remotely executes the business critical backup strategy. With the Salvus Cloud Management Data Backup/Recovery solution, the client has the most up to date data backup processes without the overhead and time to maintain it. In addition, the client has:

  • access to a team that spends their time doing backups 7×24 365 days a year.
  • the option to have Data Backup/Recovery efforts in-house or at the location of their choice.
  • an American partner who understands business needs within the United States.

The Salvus Data Consultants centrally monitors and manages the backup environments more cost-effectively and with increased service levels. For more information contact Salvus Data at 903-201-7233.

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Cloud Data Backup Does Not Have to be All or Nothing

Adoption of the cloud for mission critical business applications is accelerating. But, does it have to be “all or nothing”.

As stated in the post How to Evaluate Moving Legacy Mission-Critical Apps to the Cloud “A recently released survey conducted by Stratus, North Bridge Venture Partners and GigaOM Research found that 75 percent of firms are now reporting the use of some sort of cloud platform, and the worldwide addressable market for cloud computing will reach $158.8 billion by 2013, an increase of 126.5 percent from 2011.”

cloud data backupKevin Parker of Rackspace says “But the real unspoken advantage of cloud adoption—and something not enough people talk about—is that it lets companies adopt modern development techniques, allowing businesses to innovate and reduce time to market. The ability to speed up development lifecycles and to deliver value to market on short intervals—this is how businesses are going to maintain their competitive advantage in this new era of cloud IT.

When the term “cloud” is mentioned, we visualize an “all or nothing” scenario. An example would be data backup and recovery where all the data and the processes are expected to be deployed in the cloud. But, this is not the only model that is possible. A hybrid model may be the preferred in certain cases.

In the case of data backup and recovery, for instance, the data can alternatively remain within the customer’s network and deployed off site at the customer’s choice location. The processes can be managed in the cloud. The data does not have to be in the cloud with the data backup administration. They can be separate. The benefit gained by deploying the data backup processes in the cloud is having the management of the data backup and recovery performed and scheduled remotely by specialists in this field. An additional benefit is to remove the burden of understanding and managing data backup processes from the already stretched IT staff.

There are Data Backup/Recovery Managed Service Providers (DB/R MSP) that provide remote management of the Backup process, along with professional Disaster Backup and Recovery consultation. Contracting a DB/R MSP with the model of remote DB/R management allows the enterprise to maintain their data locally without the need to hire new staff or train existing staff in sophisticated data backup and recovery processes.

For more information on the subject of cloud data backup and recovery management, contact Salvus Data Consultants.

Don’t Forget These Things When Data Backup and Recovery Processes are Being Developed

When evaluating data backup and recovery processes, there are several things to consider.

First, and maybe most importantly, recognize this will be the most mission critical activity undertaken when the company’s data needs to be restored. There is often an inclination to assign data backup to the most junior IT staff member because IT staffs are overloaded. This decision could be detrimental when the time arises to get the data back in production and the company back online. Data backup and recovery must be put in the hands of professionals that understand this complex discipline.Planning Technical Processes

There should also be an understanding that data recovery does not only occur in the case of a natural disaster. Data backup and recovery strategies must also meet company policies regarding regulatory requirements, data breaches, ability to respond to court orders, and more. This requires coordinated strategies and testing. Data Backup strategies must be planned and tested to assure all company requirements regarding data retention and recovery are met.

The design of the Data Backup process has multiple dimensions. These multiple dimensions must all be considered when designing the process, handling of exceptions and the physical network to support the backup and restore process. One dimension cannot be discussed without overlaying the other dimensions to develop a complete solution. The analysis must consider the function of the data, the medium the data is on, the physical location of the data in relation to the location of its backup site, to name just a few.

Recovery time requirements are important. The business requirement may require a certain restore time. In other words, if it takes so long to restore the entire environment that the company is no longer able to remain in business, then what’s the point? A regulatory body requirement is not met, then financially damaging fees may be assessed to the company.

A major part of the backup and recovery process is the physical network. To name just a few of the factors that impact the infrastructure design would be the frequency of the backups, the required time for the restore to be completed for effectiveness, the medium the data resides, the proximity of the backup location to the original site, etc. Networks may be under-powered to meet data backup and recovery requirements.

Another dimension of the Data Backup process is the medium the data resides. All considerations must be applied to each type of data that exists in the computer environment. This is true for the backup and the restore processes of the data.

Outsourcing data backup processes is an approach that should be considered. Outsourcing to an American managed service provider is often the preferred choice; especially if the data can remain within the control of the company and only the backup and recovery procedures are performed remotely by the data backup and recovery MSP.

Data backup and recovery is a discipline mastered by those that specialize in it. Data backup/recovery is a mission-critical process that requires the same attention as the most important ERP or CRM application.

For more information on enterprise data backup and recovery, contact Salvus Data Consultants. Salvus uses Tivoli Storage Management (TSM) remotely to manage your Data B/R plan for you while you maintain control of the data.