That one makes you think a minute, doesn’t it? The answer of course is that yes, you probably still need backups. Windows Azure ensures, when geo-redundancy is enabled, that your data won’t be lost if a datacenter does down, but Windows Azure does not keep a history of your data, only a current copy of your data.
Here are some of the many questions to ask when it comes to backups:
- Does your customer need to keep a history of their data?
- Do they have to deal with data governance requirements?
- Are there users that still accidently delete files and need them restored?
- How do you archive your data now?
I talked about how you can use Windows Azure to host your infrastructure and your backups here, but I wanted to make sure to mention the continued need for backups. I ran into a similar discussion when we released Hyper-V Replica, but even with Hyper-V Replica, we still need backups. When you create your storage within Windows Azure, you can choose how your data will be replicated. Windows Azure currently offers Locally Redundant Storage (LRS) or Geo-Redundant Storage (GRS). Windows Azure currently has Read Access Geo-Redundant Storage (GA-GRS) in preview. All three storage options are discussed in detail here, but again storage is for a current image of your data, it does not provide a way to see what your data looked like 6 or 12 months ago. That’s the purpose of the backup.
The good news is that the role of backups really has changed over the years. Backups used to be your only form of redundancy, now redundancy is built into most of the solutions we deploy. But again, backups are still required for most of what we do.
Until next time,