Foundations of
Network Storage: Lesson 4 of 5.

In this lesson, we will explore data backup: how to develop
the best backup strategy, whether to use onsite or offsite storage, and what
data you need to back up.

Data backup

Developing a good backup strategy requires thoughtful
planning, from the selection of devices to the determination of backup schema
and other logistical issues. Each step must be carefully analyzed in light of
such factors as staffing, technical expertise, and budget.

In a year that’s seen identity theft and data loss
skyrocket, some well-known organizations have already served as high-profile
examples of the importance of data backup security. In late February, Bank of
America admitted to losing a number of backup tapes in route to a backup
center; the tapes contained the financial information for 1.2 million
government employee credit cards. A little more than two months later, Time
Warner made a strikingly similar announcement—it had lost backup tapes
containing personal information for 600,000 current and former employees.

Can your company afford to lose its data? The obvious answer
is no—no one’s going to admit that it’s acceptable to lose corporate
information. And yet, many companies don’t take the necessary precautions to
ensure it doesn’t happen.

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It’s a well-known fact that backups are vital to the
disaster recovery process. The majority of organizations understand the
importance of backing up information as well as testing those backups. (I said
they understand the importance of testing—I won’t discuss how many actually
practice what they preach.)

But if you don’t take the necessary security measures,
backups can end up causing a disaster rather than preventing one. If your
organization’s network contains personal or proprietary information, you need
to take steps to secure your backups.

Questions to ask

Here are a few questions you must answer as you are planning
your backup strategy:

  • Will
    you be backing up all or just part of your data?
  • How
    often will you back up?
  • Will
    you store your back-ups onsite or offsite?
  • If you
    store offsite, how do you plan to move the backups?
  • Are
    there special legal and regulatory requirements that you have to meet in
    your data back-ups?
  • What media
    will you be using for your backups (tape, disk, etc.)

For more on Data Backup, including free downloads, see page

Data Backup Resources

  • Centralize your backup and recovery systems
    Data is the lifeblood of the enterprise, so its
    backup and recovery strategy should be respected. Centralizing these
    operations ensures software is updated and backups are performed as
  • Data center experts recommend vaulting backups
    Backing up data is not effective if the data is
    not stored offsite. In addition, the data should be vaulted to ensure its
  • Develop an effective data backup strategy
    Backing up valuable corporate data is more than performing a copy to a CD
    or rotating tapes. You must begin with a backup strategy that includes the
    backup system selection and how often it is performed.
  • The future of e-mail archiving
    Because of corporate accounting scandals of the last few years and
    compliance with both old and new laws, IT is under pressure to keep more
    data for longer periods of time and to manage its entire life cycle. An
    expert from Ferris Research talks about what to expect in the
    not-too-distant future in terms of e-mail archiving technology.
  • Resources for better e-mail archiving
    Use these resources to understand the regulations regarding e-mail
    archiving and the solutions available.
  • Take three steps to secure data backups
    Everybody knows that backups are vital to the
    disaster recovery process. But if you don’t take the necessary security
    precautions, backups can end up causing a disaster rather than preventing
    one. This article discusses three ways you can beef up the security of
    your data backups.
  • Issues to consider in deciding where to house
    backup systems

    In light of increasing security issues, deciding where and how to house
    backup systems is likely one of the most critical decisions an enterprise
    can make. Learn about all the elements you need to consider before making
    a final determination.
  • Selecting the best backup strategy for
    Microsoft SQL Server

    Backing up your database server is an integral
    chore for the database administrator. Choose the strategy that is best for
    your enterprise.
  • Offsite backups: A critical tool for disaster

    Maintaining data backups is a valuable aspect of
    protecting enterprise resources, but the data should be stored offsite to
    thoroughly safeguard against an emergency.
  • Disk disaster relief
    Dealing with disk drive failure is an often
    overwhelming adventure. Learn from the TechRepublic community as they
    share their advice for data backup and recovery.
  • Build a high-capacity backup solution on a
    limited budget

    Large data backup systems from companies like EMC
    are way too expensive for most shops, but there are many options available
    for those with smaller budgets.
  • Check and double-check
    The daily activities of an administrator has many
    activities, with backup being just one.
  • Create your own brick-level backup script for
    Exchange Server 5.5

    E-mail is the backbone of corporate communications, so safeguarding mail
    messages is important. Follow this example of creating a backup script for
    working with Exchange.
  • Choose the optimal site for your data center
    This sample chapter, taken from Cisco Press’ Build the Best Data Center
    Facility for Your Business, explains how to choose an appropriate location
    for your data center, from the hazards you should avoid to the physical
    attributes you want.

White Papers

  • Online
    Backup Service Providers: Clarifying the Value Proposition

    After many years of wait-and-see pessimism, the near-ubiquitous nature of
    broadband internet connectivity has helped remote data backup finally come
    into its own. In an effort to capitalize on the newfound popularity of the
    service, hordes of wholesale online-only backup companies have sprung up,
    advertising remote backup services at ultra low prices. Data storage and
    remote data repository companies are also on every virtual corner, hawking
    wildly varied products that initially confuse even industry veterans.
  • Improving
    Backup Performance with Defragmentation

    Did you know you can speed up your backup times
    by as much as 67 percent? Since backup is basically a file-by-file copy
    process, disk fragmentation has a huge impact on backup times. This white
    paper, authored by Diskeeper Corporation,
    outlines tests conducted to determine the performance increase that can be
    realized by defragmenting a drive before backing
    it up.
  • Data
    Protection – Backup has never been simpler

    Discover how the HP StorageWorks VLS 6000 can
    simplify your data storage environment by reducing the complexity of data
  • Achieving
    New Storage Backup Performance Levels

    Download this white paper to read the results of
    benchmark experiments that demonstrate the performance advances that are
    possible with HP StorageWorksUltrium 460 Enterprise Class Libraries.

Course list

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