More and more organizations are geographically dispersed, from branch or satellite offices to remote workforces operating from home. That means more and more corporate data, which doubles in volume every 18 months, is being created outside of company headquarters. Much of this data is mission-critical and must be protected and backed up regularly.
However, remote office/branch office (ROBO) backup is much different than data backup at the primary data center and presents a new set of challenges. ROBOs rarely have the dedicated IT staff, infrastructure, bandwidth, clearly defined best practices, and regular testing that exists at company headquarters. As a result, application performance and user productivity tend to suffer. ROBOs will often compensate by deploying their own solutions on a smaller scale, but having disparate systems becomes difficult to manage and scale. ROBO environments are typically less secure, making them more susceptible to data loss and compliance issues.
When developing a ROBO backup strategy, organizations need to understand the potential impact on business operations if the backup strategy fails instead of waiting for something to go wrong. Approach data backup as you would with your primary data center. Classify and prioritize data. Plan for the worst and identify the various causes for disaster, including server and storage failure, human error, data corruption, natural disasters, and security breaches. Define recovery objectives for all applications and data by analyzing the how long it would take for operations to be impacted if data or services are lost. Then determine how prepared you are to meet those objectives and regularly test your backup strategy so you can plug any holes.
Traditionally there have been two general options for a ROBO backup strategy. Onsite backup typically involves software that backs up data to disk, which is faster, or tape, which is cheaper. A centralized backup model uses remote backup tools to back up ROBO data to a centralized site over the corporate WAN.
An increasingly popular third option is cloud backup. Cloud backup uses software to automatically gather, compress, encrypt and send a copy of data via the Internet to a service provider’s offsite server. Instead of purchasing and maintaining a backup system and worrying about under- or over-provisioning storage capacity, an organization pays a monthly fee for virtually unlimited capacity from a service provider. Scalable, elastic resource allocation makes it easy to handle uneven data usage patterns and high data volume, and the organization only pays for storage used. Cloud backup is also ideal for organizations that lack the IT staff, infrastructure, budget and bandwidth required for centralized backup.
A service provider’s security is typically far superior to ROBOs, and the provider’s infrastructure is monitored 24/7 and tested frequently. On-demand data restoration supports optimal recovery objectives, and users have the flexibility to access data on any device from any location, which is especially valuable for ROBO users. New software and functionality can be added or updated instantly without requiring a ROBO’s limited IT staff to worry about each rollout.
ICG’s managed cloud backup solution keeps ROBO data secure and accessible while reducing capital and operational costs. Let us show you how our flexible, scalable solution brings the reliability and performance of primary data center backup to your branch offices and remote locations.