Recently I received the question:
“With all of the failover and redundancy we now have in place, do we still need backups?”
That’s an interesting question, but I hope you’re immediately saying “Yes! we still need backups”.
I agree that our new High Availability and Redundancy solutions do a very good job of ensuring we don’t have data loss, but there’s more to backups than just your current data set. We have to think about things like compliance or recovery of older versions of a file. If you work in a world where you have to keep years of legacy data, your backup solution is probably the most cost effective way to do that. Even if compliance is not a requirement for your business, do you ever need older versions of files? Have you ever accidently or intentionally delete a file that you wish you hadn’t deleted?
You can configure your Windows Clients and Servers to keep previous versions of files, but they consume space on your spinning drives. Yes, drives are cheap, but how many old versions do you want to keep online and for how long?
So far I’ve talked about the obvious, immediate reasons for backup, but what about a catastrophic DR event? What if you just have your data mirrored within your datacenter and you lose your datacenter? That’s where offsite backups are necessary. The typical backup solution gives you the ability to backup to tape. To protect your business from a datacenter impacting catastrophe, you just need to make sure the tapes are stored offsite. Now you’ve protected yourself from a datacenter loss and protected your legacy data. Data Protection Manger (DPM) also includes the ability to store your backups in the cloud. DPM is able to move your backups offsite automatically so you don’t even have to deal with the physical tapes.
I don’t see a time when we won’t be doing some type of backup. Either we will need to maintain a history for compliance, accounting, large scale disaster recovery, or other business specific purposes. Even as we continue down this cloud computing path, be sure to investigate the backup solutions that are available for your legacy needs.
Until next time,