More efficiency when backing up and restoring, equals numerous benefits. Namely more bandwidth for other operations and less risk of downtime. Nothing stifles productivity more than a slow recovery from a server crash. With our brave new world of cloud computing, there are more backup optimisation tricks than ever. So here’s a rundown of some of the best.
Go image based
Numerous small files can be a performance death sentence when backed up one by one. Things like emails and small application files, burdened with meta data, can take an age to restore. If you’re working with numerous files - say in the millions – use image based backup. It’s far more efficient to back up and restore this many files at volume level than at file level.
Hybrid being defined here as both local and off-site backup. At the very least, it’s necessary for the sake of spreading your risk; otherwise one fire could easily destroy everything. Most restores, however, are usually needed after smaller mishaps like user errors or hardware failures. For this reason, local backup and recovery is advised as it’s speedier.
Use a powerful server
This is a slightly more obvious point but worth stating anyway. Cutting edge technology is pretty much destined to perform more efficiently. You may want to consider an upgrade if you’re say, running a Pentium II. Even if it seems “just fine,” Backing up critical work data is a far cry from backing up your home photo library. Older systems simply can’t cope with the levels of data most businesses are handling. It’ll cost an extra couple of grand, but will pay dividends more in avoiding lost productivity.
Only backup what’s critical
Another potentially obvious point. Be picky about what you devote your bandwidth and storage space to. Talk to your clients, make careful selections and draw up considered exclusion rules. A simpler way to approach this is considering how different files would make you feel if it they were accidentally deleted. Consider skipping backup on anything that wouldn’t be a catastrophe if deleted.
Beat the bottleneck
Many businesses make applications like e-mail and printing share a network with their backup. This is a huge mistake. This causes congestion. Plus, many employees are working around the clock, making overnight backup harder. The answer is installing a separate backup network. Reasonably affordable and at the very least it’ll free up bandwidth on the regular network. That should boost productivity and minimise complaints.
Finally, remember this. It’s important to test out your restoration strategies on test servers. You’ll also want to note the length of time taken to restore and resume normal functionality. This will help you prepare for the worst. The aim is to be certain that your data is both backed up AND easy to recover. Otherwise any previous advice in this article will be worthless.