What can be done to protect critical data?
Most organizations today make it a high priority to protect data, and it is critical to choose a data protection solution that meets your needs. Data is typically stored on a number of different kinds of media, including disk and tape. However, to protect data, you must do more than simply store business data at the organization location. Most data, especially data that is critical to the firm’s success, such as customer data, must reside at more than one location.
The data protection solution you choose will help manage the process you use to get data offsite. There are a number of ways this can be accomplished. One widely used option is to send daily/weekly tapes of data to off-site locations (can be either another corporate location or a firm that specializes in this, such as Iron Mountain). Another technique is to link multiple data storage devices using a storage area network (SAN) so that data can be backed up to multiple storage devices (ideally, some of the devices on the SAN will be in another physical location for diversity). Backing up data into a cloud storage infrastructure is growing rapidly in popularity; the key here is to ensure that security into the cloud environment is strong to prevent any unauthorized activity on the data. Real-time high-speed data replication to an alternate site can be costly, due to the network bandwidth required and the cost of the replication technology, but it has been shown to be an effective technique for capturing data in situations where the time needed to recover data in an emergency is one hour or less. Replicated data at a secure, alternate location should be identical to the original data, in terms of original data files and databases and incremental changes to same. This ensures that, if the primary location’s data files and databases are damaged or corrupted, complete and up-to-date copies are quickly available to resume business operations with minimal downtime. Available data replication technologies ensure that you can protect data that is critical and it will be readily available when you need it.
When selecting a data protection solution, be sure to match your approach with your business needs.
This was first published in February 2012