Top Five Pitfalls To Avoid In Your Data Protection Strategy

May 16, 2016
As you navigate the new digital age, your data protection strategy needs to be more than just the basics of backup and recovery. With the shifting tides of data center requirements, you must have a data protection solution you can trust your business and career with. Done correctly, data protection is a critical differentiator for your business by helping to: 

• Eliminate complexity and interrupted access to IT services. 

• Reduce staff inefficiencies and operating expenditures. 

• Enable faster decisions and strategic thinking. 

• Accelerate return on investment. 

Done poorly, it can be costly, waste valuable staff time, and hold the organization back from it's mission and goals.

1. Learn to Adapt, or Risk Going Out of Business 

Transforming from a cost center into a business enabler requires IT to be more agile and responsive to changing business demands. Quickly adopting new technologies whether virtual machines or cloud deployment strategies are one way IT can rapidly address new requirements. However, this can lead to new inefficiencies if point solutions for data protection are utilized. Gartner advocates that “Organizations need a holistic protection strategy, a single platform or solution, to handle the variety of data types and workloads as opposed to integrating a number of disparate point solutions, which proves to be costly and time consuming”.Choose a unified data protection platform with the flexibility and scalability to meet your current and future business needs. Ensure support from a provider of traditional on-premises as well as virtualized and cloud environments with a track record of leadership and capable of supporting evolving technologies. 

2. Stop Killing Your Staff’s Productivity 

Enterprises are struggling with massive data volumes and infrastructure deployments that continue to grow, placing extreme pressure on budgets and staff to keep up. According to ESG, “64% of IT budgets are spent keeping the lights on supporting existing operations and often doing things the way they have always been done before.” It’s hard to support new business requests when so much time is spent on existing routine business processes. Migrating from build-your-own media servers to integrated backup appliances is one way to gain much needed time. 

3. You Can’t Protect What You Can’t See 

Oracle® is the leading database solution for many organizations. However, in many cases, the Oracle application and data protection teams don’t have visibility to each other’s processes. If the application and data protection software are not tightly coupled, then neither team can see what the other is doing. This can lead to blind spots for the data protection team with no visibility to whether backups were completed and where they are stored, while neither group has end-to-end control of data protection. According to Jason Buffington, ESG Sr. Analyst, “those databases are corporate data and therefore they should be protected to whatever the corporate standard is; for retention, copies, etc.” Break down these barriers with an integrated solution that provides both the backup and database admin the same view into data protection, with the self-service capabilities to maximize their efficiency. Look for a solution that allows Oracle administrators to continue to work with the tools they know and love, while providing the comprehensive visibility that backup administrators expect. Create a win-win for both groups and deliver flexible, scalable, fast and reliable application protection. 

4. Stop Paying Unnecessary License Fees 

It seems like every transaction requires a fee, from ATM fees to credit card and checking account fees. In fact, some organizations are even paying software licensing fees for creating additional copies of their own data. It’s only reasonable to pay just for the data you wish to protect. You should be able to make as many copies of your data as you like without a penalty. Unfortunately, many vendors charge for back-end capacity. Every time you make a backup copy, or make a copy for another location, you are forced to pay for more software licensing. This is wrong as the purpose of backup is to have multiple copies in multiple locations! Ask for software licensing based on the front-end capacity you wish to protect. In addition, ensure you have separate software and hardware licensing to provide the greatest investment protection. Independent software licensing gives you the flexibility to transfer your licenses from a build-your-own media server to an appliance and vice versa, or move it to a new or larger appliance. This dual approach means you can say goodbye to unnecessary software licensing fees and having to repurchase your software license every time you upgrade the hardware platform. 

5. Do Not Protect All Data Equally 

Today, organizations have very little visibility into their data infrastructure, unable to discern what data is important or not. This creates significant inefficiencies as all data must then be treated the same, whether it is customer data or an employee’s cat videos. It is very difficult to think strategically and improve data protection effectiveness if all data has to be protected equally. Organizations need to have visibility and insight into their data to make better decisions about how to manage and protect it. Knowing where the data is located, the type of data, who owns it, and how old is it are all important factors. This knowledge can improve staff efficiencies and reduce costs, especially primary and data protection storage. Look for a solution that already has insight into the type of data you have, to avoid exorbitant indexing fees. And choose one that integrates with your backup solution so you can easily keep up-to-date as your applications and data continue to grow.

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