C:\ or not to C:\ that is the question

The title as you can see makes a play on words based on the Shakespeare Play Hamlet. I am not an English major by any stretch of the imagination, but the next line right after the famous “To be, or not to be” quote is, “Whether ‘tis nobler in mind to suffer.” You are like where is this guy going, I thought we were talking about Backup and Disaster Recovery.

Fine, here we go. Our old school backups or the way that we are used to doing things is that we can pick and choose which file or folder you want to backup and exclude the rest. We can still do that for the most part on some of the backup products on the market today. However, is that the most efficient way of backing up your data? Think about it. If you have to do a recovery outside of just a regular file level recovery, on a backup that was piecemealed and has a bunch of exclusions, what will that look like? How efficiently will I be able to recover a system or even can I at all?

In the past we didn’t back up the C:\ for various reasons: we didn’t have the space, it’s no big deal to reload another OS up, and so on. Now in the days of compression and deduplication things have changed. We can now backup our data and reduce the total footprint even though we are backing up “everything”. This means the need to do backups the same old way has changed. Now we can do quick image backups at the volume level that captures everything at one shot, OS, applications, data, drivers, settings, etc. This gives the ability to create, perform, and administer backup jobs much more efficiently.

Also the need to pull a full backup job every week has changed as well. Now we can get that full, base-line image of your systems or VMs and then build on that with incremental backup jobs that are just capture the data that has changed. This give you the ability to not only capture data faster, but it also gives you the ability to take backups more frequently to give you different RPOs than you have had the ability to have in the past.

With this new way performing backups you are not losing the functionality of restoring individual files or folders like you have in the past, you get that plus the faster, easier to administer backup process. So now you don’t need to worry about whether you need to backup C:\ or not. You are now backing everything up and in the event you need to do a full system restore or just a file you have all of that information right there at your fingertips in your backups.

So let’s not “suffer” because “that is the way we have always done it” or “that is just the way it is”. Let’s look at our backup and recovery strategy and work to improve your overall RPO and RTO. We can help. Check out our data protection solutions.

About the Author
I am a Field Solutions Consultant for Quest's Data Protection products. I help customers discover what their needs are in their backup and disaster recovery environment and help overhaul or fill gaps...