When thinking about data protection, it can become overwhelming quickly. When transferring your data protection to storeitoffsite.com from another backup environment, there is a process of planning, and implementation. Offsite backups consume large amounts of bandwidth during the seed operation(initial copy). There can be further impact with extremely large data sets, additions of new backup feature types, and job scheduling window conflicts.
An order of data importance needs to be planed to match a customer’s existing data protection scheme. Only then should new features and advanced protection be implemented.
I have outlined below how storeitoffsite.com suggests new customers handle this operation. And while each customer's environment is unique, this basic outline should assist you with your process.
- For each location you need to protect, outline the types (files, SQL, email, etc) and location (which server, desktop, or laptop device) of the data. Write this information down.
- For each type and location of data, determine the importance of that data, from most to least critical. You goal is to protect the data most valuable first, and avoid wasting resources on lessor/non-important data.
- For each location, outline the limits of bandwidth. Define the limits for data transmittal (your uplink speed) as that is the item that will most affect the time it takes to move data offsite. A good rule of thumb is that for every 1Mbps of upload speed to the internet, you can move @10GB of data in a 24 hour period.
- Certain types of protection, like SQL or Workstation Protection, require temporary storage space. You should determine what available storage you have in your environment. Also, locally connected storage like a hard disk is much faster than NAS storage, and will allow your backups to run to completion must quicker.
- Determine and document the amount of change that happens at each site daily. This will give you insight on if your bandwidth is capable of the changes your company makes on an average day.
- Match your existing data protection level FIRST. Modify accounts to perform FILE backups first, until all critical data offsite and backups are running routine. Once you achieve equivalent protection, move into the advanced features.
- Implement advanced data protection like bare-metal, VMWare, and Workstation Protection. Make a plan on how you get the data seeded, and then make adjustments to ensure consistent and routine protection. If bandwidth is an issue, then you may need an storeitoffsite backup appliance (RBA) on-premise.
- Make improvements to your infrastructure. Instead of using slow, network-access NAS devices for shared storage, add a disk to your machines. You will increase data throughput 10x or more thereby reducing backup windows for advanced backups like bare metal and VMWare. Add bandwidth to reduce transfer times, or implement on-premise RBA devices for quick LAN speed backups.
- Use the reports and the logs to determine what is happening. Look for error messages as they will indicate what needs to be addressed. Much of the time the logs have the answer, and they will help you to resolve issues quickly, allowing you to move on to the next configuration.
- Engage SIO. We have been doing this since 2000 (when offsite backups really became a technology). It may take some time and some adjusting, but we’ll work through the process with you.
- Be patient. Rushing and quick-clicking causes needless mistakes. Take your time, diagram it out, and see what your plan looks like. Data protection is simply numbers, and understanding what those numbers represent is half the battle.