Satisfying business needs for minimal downtime is a challenge for most IT teams. Despite tight recovery point and recovery time objectives (RPOs and RTOs), restoring operations often takes longer than the business' goals. Some studies show backup success at only 80 percent, with recovery success even lower. The challenge is increased with today's growth of Big Data, leading to massive increases in the volume of data needing protection. Fortunately, there are steps businesses can take to streamline backup and recovery procedures to more easily meet RPOs, RTOs, and business needs.
Meeting RTOs More Easily
RTOs aim to minimize the time it takes to recover operations. There are several approaches to this, all of which make backed up data faster to access:
- Keep backups onsite. Backups are often stored offsite for security in case of a major disaster, but this means delays in gaining access to them when needed. Disk mirroring allows nearly instantaneous recovery, but requires double the number of disks.
- Keep backups in the cloud. Nearly the opposite approach to keeping backups onsite, backups in the cloud are as offsite as you can get, but are still rapidly available for use for recovery.
- Use differential backups rather than incremental backups. Containing the full set of changes since the last full backup, it's quicker to recover by applying a single differential backup rather than multiple incremental backups. If a single incremental backup is missing or damaged, recovery may be impossible.
- Use deduplication and compression cautiously. Restoring from deduplicated or compressed data can be relatively slow due to the need to reconstruct the original data.
- Use changed block recovery. Some data protection products are able to restore only the data that differs from production. However, this requires the production system to be available for comparison, so can't support a full site recovery.
- Use in-place recovery. This strategy turns the backup storage device into the production storage device, meaning there's no need to transfer data to another device in order to resume operations. This saves the time needed for moving data over the network.
- Differentiate between hot and cold data. Don't keep live data and archived files on the same storage device. By separating them, bringing production back online won't be delayed by the time needed to restore data that isn't needed for current operations.
Meeting RPOs More Easily
RPOs require minimizing the amount of data lost. The only way to achieve that is to take backups more frequently. Snapshots can't protect against disk failures, so replication to a standby server is necessary to provide full recovery support.
Craft a Comprehensive Backup and Recovery Strategy
To craft a comprehensive backup strategy that optimizes your ability to meet RPOs and RTOs, start by fully understanding the business requirements. Then investigate tools that provide the functionality needed to make both backups and recoveries efficient. dcVAST offers support for Veritas NetBackup and for Veeam Availability Platform, allowing us to customize a backup solution in line with your business goals. Contact us to learn more about how you can speed up your recovery process.