We’ve been talking a lot about effective software deployment and management throughout this blog series. But there’s one critical element we have yet to discuss: data protection and data recovery.
Today, everyone wants be connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That means when applications are down, it’s costing someone dearly. This is especially true with critical applications like Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, Active Directory and Oracle. It’s critical that you understand these four steps to squash downtime:
Realistically, everything in your enterprise can’t have near-zero RPOs and RTOs. The good news is, you can pick and choose. A critical e-commerce database may merit very aggressive recovery objectives because the business simply can’t afford to lose any transactions or be down for long. However, a legacy internal system may be assigned less stringent recovery objectives, since the data doesn’t change very often and it’s less critical to get back online.
The trick is knowing which is which. This does not require applying a different technique to every individual application or dataset you have. You should look for commonalities and group applications and data according to how critical they are to your business, how often they change and their retention policies. You will undoubtedly have to make some trade-offs to limit the number of data classes you have. For all of our medium-sized businesses out there, the ideal number of classes is between three and five.
Involve your business line managers in the process from the beginning. This is the step where many IT professionals fall short. Setting recovery objectives without consulting them is the number one cause for misalignment between IT and other departments.
Once you have identified all your IT assets, mapped their dependencies, and grouped them together based on their criticality and recovery objectives, it’s time to choose what tools and techniques to use. The good news is that a wide array of solutions is on the market today. Just make sure that what you choose offers the appropriate level of protection. Over-protection can really cost you, and it introduces unnecessary complexity. Under-protection can be equally bad since it will put important business functions at risk.
The best way to choose the right backup and recovery software is to think like a business leader. Choose a solution that offers the best value — one that doesn’t cost your firm needless money, introduce unnecessary complexity or put important business functions at risk.
Always involve key stakeholders from your business units. Work with application owners and business managers to reach agreement about the company’s priorities and the service-level agreements (SLAs) your team will provide. It’s also critical to enlist an executive-level sponsor who will get behind you and the project.
Here are Some Tips for Success:
To learn more about successful application and data management, be sure to check out the latest chapter in our e-book, “Technology Tunnel Vision, Part 3: Expanding control of your application environment.”