World Backup Day 2019 – Experts share their views on why 2019 is an important year for backup

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World Backup Day is a chance for organisations to pause and take stock of their data handling, and ensure they are following best practice. The day has been celebrated since 2011 to help raise awareness of the sheer impact data loss can have on organisations and people. The causes of these incidents are near endless, including hardware or system failure, human error, a malicious insider or a cyberattack.

A variety of IT experts have come together for ITProPortal to give their views on how what best practices businesses need to undertake to look after their data.

Rob Strechay, Senior Vice President of Product at Zerto, on the importance of not settling

“In 2011, World Backup Day began to remind us of the importance of having a copy of our information. And while the significance of this day has only grown in the years since it was first celebrated, backup technology has barely began to evolve. From tape, to hard drive and now cloud, which is really tape in many cases, the target and management has changed, yet fundamentally it is still based on periodic snapshots of information. But in an ‘always-on’ business landscape, how can an organization feel protected with an antiquated backup strategy? The answer is it can’t. Data is the primary currency and competitive differentiator, it should all be protected by continuous replication, which ensures every change, update or added piece of data is always available. This World Backup Day, don’t settle for the status quo of backup, demand more. Demand continuous, with the reassurance that all data is protected up to a moment before anything disrupts it.”

Alan Conboy, office of the CTO at Scale Computing, discusses the need for consistent assessment of disaster recovery and backup plans

“Mission-critical data fuels the speed of today’s businesses, which is why it’s essential that backup and disaster recovery plans are made a top priority. World Backup Day is an important reminder of this reality, with many organizations forgetting a few essentials to a solid backup plan. First, performing backups as frequently as possible often falls by the wayside of priorities, but this is a very effective way to prevent data loss. Moreover, the location of your backup must be kept top-of-mind, the closer it is to the primary data, the better. In addition, cyberthreats like ransomware came about after many legacy backup and disaster recovery plans were created, so it’s important to ensure that IT infrastructure is secure and safeguarded with a disaster recovery plan. Finally, while emphasis is frequently on the recovery point of when your last backup was taken, recovery time is just as important. The bottom line is backup and disaster recovery plans must be assessed consistently to safeguard data and protect organizations from being taken off guard by the next disaster.”

Rod Harrison, VP of Engineering at StorCentric, parent company of Nexsan and Drobo analyses why data backup strategies need to encompass different layers

“In order to provide the utmost protection for your data, it is absolutely necessary in today’s corporate world to have the proper back up and data recovery system. Luckily, archive storage solutions are available to help eliminate data loss as well as provide added layers of security from tampering, corruption and ransomware. These archive storage solutions are additionally able to increase the efforts of driving cost and performance benefits by simply allowing for greater long-term retention of data. For a data backup strategy to reach its highest potential, the strategy should include data protection, enhanced security features and peak performance of storage.” 

Robert Grigsby, Product Director – Cloud at Six Degrees examines the productivity benefits that an effective backup strategy can bring

“Why do you backup your data? Because you’ll face a hefty fine if a regulator requests a file and you can’t provide it? Because you’ve been beaten around the head with scare stories by backup vendors and MSPs about what could happen to your organisation if you don’t? Whilst it’s true that backups should be an essential element of your business continuity strategy, I believe that the paradigm should be shifted a little away from the negative and towards the positive productivity benefits that an effective backup strategy can bring. Today’s backup technology can protect as much or as little of your data as you need, as often as you need, and store it for as long as you need. And what’s more, you can restore anything from an individual file to an entire server. Think of the opportunities this presents to your organisation when it comes to maintaining productivity and momentum. Whether your Finance Director has accidentally overwritten an important spreadsheet, or your HR Manager needs to dig out a file on a former employee, these everyday requests can be facilitated in minutes, not hours or days. Backups aren't just for when the worst happens. This World Backup Day, I’m keen for people to consider the productivity benefits that an effective backup strategy can bring.”

Jason Magee, CEO at ConnectWise considers how MSPs can help organisations with managed data backups

“Losing important data can be absolutely devastating to a business’s operations, customers, and even reputation. But it can be hard for internal IT teams to manage the required technologies on their own. Managed data backups are one of the most vital services an MSP can provide its clients, who depend on them to protect their data, ensure disaster recovery, and maintain business continuity. You never know when a natural disaster will strike your customer, or when they will be the target of a cyberattack. World Backup Day serves as a great reminder for MSPs on the importance of helping clients establish a comprehensive and well-formulated backup strategy that includes proactive monitoring, remediation and advanced troubleshooting. And with the ease and availability of cloud backup solutions, there’s no reason MSPs shouldn’t make it a top priority for clients.” 

Gregg Mearing, Head of Managed Services at Node4 analyses the different areas businesses need to consider

“Backup and disaster recovery solutions provide continuity to businesses and should be seen as essential components of any business’ IT plans, no matter its size or sector it operates in. When planning backups, organisations need to consider: 

It is also worth talking to a managed service provider to see how they could take this off your hands. Sufficient security, capacity, recovery times and meeting compliance needs are all integral to success when backing up, but can be hard for internal team to keep on top of. By working with a backup as a service (BaaS) provider businesses can have peace of mind that, whatever is backing up and wherever the data is stored, it is being efficiently managed and is available on request should the worst happen and a backup be required.”

Jason Wells, Vice President, Global Channels & EMEA at Cradlepoint considers the importance of backing up the network as well as data

“On World Backup Day, many organisations will benefit by shifting their focus from backing up data to backing up their network. No wired connection can deliver 100% uptime – it’s not a question of if your business will lose connectivity, but when. It’s a serious risk: lost revenue; reduced productivity; poor customer experience and reputational damage are just some of the potential issues a business can be exposed to when a wired connection fails. This is where 4G LTE failover comes into play. A wireless wide area network (WAN) failover is a cost effective and reliable solution that provides critical backup connectivity when a wired connection fails. Introducing a wireless WAN link can also go far beyond backup. In agile-focused IT environments, for example those deploying internet-of-things (IoT) technology, 4G LTE offers a simplified lifecycle that requires less IT resources to manage and a lower total cost of ownership. Particularly as we move closer to 5G, this is helping many organisations lay the foundation for a wireless future.”