The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Data Backup - 6 Strategies to Get Time Back in Your Day

To tweak a quote from the classic Sergio Leone film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, “there are two types of people in this world: people who save time and people who fail.” 

In data protection, and indeed all of IT, saving time on data backups is critical and cannot be wasted. As a theoretical matter, time is the platform on which everything in your computing environment runs — with each passing second, there is more data; there is more activity happening in your organization that needs to be routed, categorized, saved, backed up, accounted for and attended to.

But as a personal matter, time is equally important. Let’s face it, we would all rather be doing other things — personal or work related — than tending to an overly complex or unnecessarily labor-intensive backup environment.

So here are six ways to save time on a daily basis in your backup and recovery environment.

The Good

Good time-saving strategies involve looking toward the future. Ideally, you want to save time now and position yourself to save time down the road by:

  1. Embracing new technology. Specifically, investigate products that allow you to automate previously time (or resource) consuming processes. Current examples can include compression and deduplication, but vendors are always innovating. Stay up to date on the latest technologies that may be able to help you now and in the future.
  2. Planning for the future. In your day-to-day life, you need to have a firm grasp on your current environment, and you need to install processes that achieve your goals now. But do not overlook the fact that data growth is a near constant in today’s IT world. You will need to grow, and you will need to scale. It’s a fact, and it can’t be overlooked. Planning for the future will keep you from scrambling when you reach certain milestones.

The Bad

Bad time-saving strategies involve short-sightedness. Like a bad fast-food meal, you may feel full after eating it, but you will soon be hungry again, and that meal provided nothing but empty calories. You should avoid:

  1. Passing the buck. Especially if you are part of an organization that has instituted multiple IT teams for different functions, try to avoid passing problems or potential problems to other teams. While taking more responsibility may seem like it takes more time, in the end, you can ensure whatever needs to be done is being done right the first time, preventing the need to go back and redo it the right way.
  2. Sandbagging. A popular term in the sales industry, sandbagging is when you hold off on executing a particular tactic immediately in order to close at a time that is viewed as more beneficial by executives. For example, if you know you are going to need to expand your storage capabilities to comply with a new compliance regulation that will go into effect in six months, don’t wait. Sandbagging until the last minute always results in unnecessary stress and some kind of inevitable and unexpected problem that ends up costing you more time.

The Ugly

Bad and ugly strategies are pretty similar, though for the sake of discussion, let’s define ugly strategies as those that make you look bad, be it in the eyes of your executives or your customers. This includes:

  1. Chasing features. The flip side of the good strategies, being overly aggressive with introducing new, specific features in your environment can lead to a very complicated system. A dozen different vendors, applications and platforms jammed together usually means increased complexity. Unnecessary complexity means unnecessarily wasted time.
  2. Doing nothing. Of course, the ultimate strategy that will make you look bad is to bury your head in the sand and avoid solving problems and challenges as they arise. It will certainly save you time in the short run, but it may be so effective that it gives you all the time back in your day, which of course means you will soon be spending that time filling out unemployment paperwork.

You want to be good, right? You certainly don’t want to be ugly! For additional tips and details on ways to save time and money on backups, check out this ebook