Don’t Let Backups Slow Down Your Business

Most businesses today are 24×7 operations, at least having websites and email servers that are up and functioning around the clock. This dependence on technology and data means downtime has a major impact on the business.

As a result, backups are important to being able to keep the business running. But bringing servers down to create backups or even experiencing performance slow-downs due to long-running backup processes are unacceptable. It’s equally important to create backups that can restore services rapidly and meet tight recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives.

The traditional backup approaches combining incremental backups with a periodic full backup may not provide the most appropriate backup solution any more. If your backup strategy is failing to minimize the impact on production servers, it may be time to consider some newer backup strategies.

Strategies for Effective Backups With Low Production Impact

There are multiple approaches you can use to implement a backup approach that lets production servers keep running:

  • VM-aware backups. There are some unique backup problems due to the use of virtual machines (VMs). One of the biggest is that while each VM is an isolated, self-contained unit, they run within a shared physical server. As a result, backing up a VM can have impacts on the performance of unrelated systems. VM-aware backup strategies use tools that avoid these problems.
  • High-performance storage. Because the usual goal is that you won’t need to access your backup files, they typically aren’t saved to expensive, high-performance storage. But this can mean slowing down the writes that create the backup and the reads that restore data in a crisis. In addition, backup processes can be improved by using storage that easily scales to keep up with the growth in your data.
  • High-bandwidth networks. Your network speed will also affect your backup time, especially if you’re backing up to the cloud. Make sure your network can handle the size of your backup. For cloud backups, consider using dedicated connections that eliminate the impact of the public internet on your backups.
  • Compression and deduplication. One way to reduce the time it takes to create backups and the impact on production is to reduce the volume of data backed up. Backup software with compression and deduplication features reduces redundant data and makes backups faster as well as smaller. Be aware, though, that these features make restoring data take correspondingly longer.
  • Automation. Manual procedures are inefficient and error prone. Your backup procedure should be almost entirely automated, with jobs kicked off automatically and monitoring that alerts you to any failures. Periodically review your backup schedule to make sure the jobs are scheduled at the optimal time for each application.
  • New backup methods. Consider using continuous data protection, snapshots, and image-based backups to improve your backup performance.

Prescient Solutions backup and recovery services help businesses in Chicago and Schaumburg stay up and running 24×7. Contact us to learn how our IT consulting and managed services team can create a backup strategy that minimizes the impact on your production systems.

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