3 Mistakes Enterprises Make in Backing Up and How to Improve Your Enterprise Data Storage

by Jaap van Duijvenbode on May 2, 2016

Once upon a time, all of the enterprise's data was stored in a centralized location, usually in a database that was neatly housed in the mainframe computer. Backing up was a cinch (if a bit time consuming) because IT could just back up the old mainframe and -- poof! That was it. Updates and patches were also centralized and quite streamlined. Eventually, those processes were nicely automated, too.

Today's IT environment is quite different. Workers save a lot of their documents and files directly to the desktop. Mobile workers either store their data natively to the device or into a cloud (sometimes even to a public cloud, bringing all of the woes of Shadow IT). These issues clouded and complicated enterprise data storage, and inevitably, backing up the data.

What are the top mistakes enterprises make with backups?

1. Trying to Retrofit Backup Solutions into a Broken System

If the storage solution is broken, any backup solution you turn to will also have flaws. Fix the storage system, and then address it with the right backup solution.

Obviously, from the situations described above, just backing up your databases and calling it a day won't work. It leaves out too many data sources and data stores. The absolute first step in a good backup solution is to centralize the data. Eliminate silos. Get rid of Shadow IT, and assure that a good mobile use policy dictates that data is to be stored in the central location -- not natively on a mobile device or in an insecure public cloud.

2. Neglecting to Address User Concerns

It seems as if the best solution is to enact a companywide policy banning local and public cloud storage. But this will only serve to drive Shadow IT deeper underground, where the hopes of you centralizing your data for a cohesive, comprehensive backup solution fade to black. In reality, these 'solutions' that end users come up with are just the easiest ways they have to do what they need to get done. At the end of the day, they simply want to be able to do their jobs effectively and efficiently, without a lot of hullabaloo.

What you need instead of a draconian policy is a good solution(s). Give them easy, effective ways to communicate, collaborate, store, and share documents. Then, with better solutions in place, you can begin enacting policies to enforce the use of a practical, realistic solution. The obvious choice here is a cloud environment, where workers can store and easily access their work. It can be shared and collaborated upon, but it can also be secured and backed up properly. It's a win-win solution for both the workers and the enterprise.

3. Using Only an On-Premises Backup Solution

The further removed your primary data stores are from your backup storage, the better. Disasters aren't always limited to your facilities. Many disasters can affect an entire city, or even an entire region.

The other mistake made by too many enterprises is backing up only to on-premises stores, such as tapes. There are numerous problems with this approach. First, as data sets grow both in terms of size and in importance, tape and other physical storage solutions become inadequate. Second, tapes are generally bought together in bulk. That means that when one set of tapes begins to fail, all of them start failing. Within a short time, all of your backups could be lost -- and Murphy's Law dictates that's when you'll undergo the failure of a critical piece of hardware or a data breach, leaving you in a serious bind. Lastly, it's unwise to keep your backups anywhere near your primary systems, because any event that damages or destroys your primary stores will inevitably get to your backups, as well. The solution is utilizing the cloud, where you can separate your data storage and backup solutions physically and virtually.

To learn more about centralizing your data storage and enabling users safely and securely, while developing a smart backup solution to fit your cohesive data storage infrastructure, take a look at our customer success stories.

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