Tactics - the techniques that make achieving your companies strategy possible.
Depending on what your strategy is, there are numerous tactics that can be utilized to achieve your IT continuity goal. Whether you are trying to protect against physical or logical failures, below are just some of the tactics that can be used individually or in combination to get the results your looking for.
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Archiving is the ideal way to organize, protect and reduce the amount of resource you data consumes. Remember that backups are for changing data and archives are used to store static information. Since most data is static, the utilization of an active archive is the ideal way to reduce backup windows and reduce the costs of expanding primary storage. We highly recommend moving static information from the backup stream and into an active archive rather than implementing data deduplication alone.
Automated recovery keeps your businesses running smoothly, even if you require 24/7 operation, by monitoring key system and application parameters and detecting and automatically remedying failures. Automated recovery can also notify you should defined key resources reach critical conditions, prior to failure. Automated recovery frequently includes automated resource management, ensuring your enterprise runs efficiently with maximized use of resources and applications.
Backup and Recovery
Backup and Recovery processes are the cornerstone of every IT continuity strategy. It is also the absolute minimum tactic to implement to protect IT assets. Having a backup process in place the facilitates the quickest possible recovery with the least amount of headache can be challenging to implement. A combination of archiving, disk and tape backup can ensure fast reliable backups and the shortest amount of time to recover from a failure.
Continuous data protection (CDP), also called continuous backup, is a storage technology that backs up all the data in an enterprise whenever any change is made. The benefit of CDP is that it preserves a record of every transaction that takes place in the enterprise, so that if the system becomes infected with a virus, or if a file becomes corrupted and the problem is not discovered until some time later, it is always possible to recover the most recent clean copy of the affected file.
Clustering refers to physically connecting and coordinating servers so they can perform common tasks and removes the single point of failure. If one server stops functioning, a failover process automatically transfers its workload to another server and protects its data. Some methods of clustering also leverage load balancing, which distributes a workload across a network of linked systems to handle spikes in demand.
Data deduplication is the process of examining a data set or I/O stream at the sub-file level and storing and/or sending only unique data. The definition of what is duplicate data is predicated on the method used to evaluate, identify, track and avoid duplication. The duplication process includes updating tracking information, storing and or sending data that is new and unique and any disregarding data that is a duplicate. Although data deduplication appears to be an effective way to mange the amount of data being backed up and the need to continually add primary storage resource, in practicality we are finding that it isn't.
Tape-based backup has traditionally been seen as a reasonably reliable, relatively low cost data protection solution. While the throughput and capacity of tape devices has improved over the past few years, recent drops in the cost of disk storage have made disk-to-disk storage a viable alternative to tape-based solutions, with cost and performance advantages.
Disk-to-Disk (D2D) and Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape (D2D2T)
D2D and D2D2T involve doing the backup/restore operations using disk as the backup media (or as a staging area for later off-load to tape). The key benefit is that the backups and restores can be done extremely quickly, and that even higher performance technologies such as snapshot copies can then be used.
Disk staging writes backup data to a disk cache before sending the data to its final destination, either disk or tape. The purpose of disk staging is to use all available media to best advantage. When staging a backup to disk, administrators first copy the target data onto the disk cache then move the backup image to tape. Disk staging enables administrators to complete backups faster, shortening the backup window and thereby affecting business applications less than a direct backup-to-tape method would.
Data replication is a technique for copying data from a source to a target location in a consistent and repeatable manner. Replication has played an important role in enterprise IT for quite some time, but has been remained a challenging technology due to its complicated processes and scripting requirements. This is changing as a new generation of tools becomes available to automate replication processes.
Security (Data Protection)
Security (Data Protection) is a broad category but it is critical to maintaining IT continuity in every organization. The importance of firewalls, virus protection, authentication and intrusion prevention are just a few of the tactics that need to be implemented to ensure the proper level of IT continuity is maintained. Security should be addressed in conjunction with an IT continuity strategy and not treated as a separate independent function as it has been historically.
Snapshots achieve nearly instantaneous disk backups by leveraging snapshots, which freeze the data set and take a point-in-time image of data, which is then copied to local or remote disk storage. The key benefit is that backups and restores can be done at an extremely fast pace with virtually zero impact on operations. Snapshots are an important emerging business continuity strategy, but require a comprehensive knowledge of how they work with business operations, as they change business processes and require constant management.
In general, Server, Desktop and Storage virtualization create a layer of abstraction between the operating system and the physical servers, PC's and disks used for data storage. The virtualized servers, desktops and storage is then location-independent, which enables more efficient server and storage utilization along with better server, desktop and storage management.