Looking to make a change to your backup software? Avoid the pitfalls!

With how quickly technology is moving, is your data still protected how the business requires? Do you need to invest additional budget to fix the problem, or is it time to look for another solution? What and how do you choose?

Often times companies are un-clear as the right path to help address these questions.  There are several options available to companies today. Do you hire a new employee that has the skills to assist in evaluation? Do you leverage a service provider that has performed hundreds of the these types of projects? Do you take a risk on cloud based services?  Each of these options are viable solutions, but what is right for you and your organization?

Recently, a regional hospital decided it was time to change backup applications.  Below are some lessons they learned and some important questions that often times get over looked or never answered during the selection process. The opportunity costs to change a core component such as your backup software can come at a high price.  It is important to understand what your growth rates are, not only from a data perspective, but also server counts.  Over the last three years the hospitals server count had grown at a modest 20%.  However, the amount of data stored for retention purposes had grown at 258%! Understand what data you have to backup and how long you have to retain that information. Most importantly understand how long you have to recover the data. When was the last time you performed a recovery test? An industry standard is for every 1 TB of primary storage added to the environment there is a 5x impact on how you store it for recovery.

Understand if you change backup software there could be hidden costs, such as additional servers, storage, tape and off-site costs. When was the last time you reviewed your retention scheme for your backup environment?  Are they in alignment with business goals or governance requirements? Here is a list of questions that often times get over looked, if you can’t answer all of them, it might be time to hire an expert.

What is the business reason requiring me to change my backup software?

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