Ireland is dealing with unprecedented levels of data, with sources like market intelligence firm IDC and University College London pointing to an impossible situation whereby the amount of data that businesses have far exceeds the capacity to store it.
Data backup and the ability to recover important data quickly are two of the most vital parts of an organisation’s data storage infrastructure, yet many organisations fail in this regard. Datapac, in association with TechPro magazine, has published a whitepaper looking at how Irish organisations are coping and capitalising on data – dubbed by some as the oil of the information age. Two key areas assessed were the identification of mission critical data and data backup.
Identifying mission critical data
Not all data is created equal – when considering your company’s data, it’s important to identify what qualifies as mission critical. Typically, accounting details, customer relationship management (CRM) and online transaction processing (OLTP) data all fall into this category. Email is also quite important, particularly when considering the importance of attached documents. Other data may also be important, depending on the industry.
Setting data priorities – tiered data backup storage
Now that you’ve identified what you need, and what you need less urgently, it’s time to consider how it is backed up. Alarmingly, our research shows that more than 20% of organisations are backing up data in unsecure locations. Backing everything up in the same way could mean you’re spending too much money for the ability to recover data that can wait, or putting critical data somewhere that it can’t be recovered in time. This is why tiered data backup storage is so important.
Most modern backup and recovery solutions have the ability to segregate and treat data of varying levels of importance differently. Mission critical data should be backed up frequently and on faster systems that allow quick recovery. Less important data doesn’t have to be backed up as often and can be stored on slower, cost efficient systems. Prioritisation doesn’t have to be confined to mission critical and non-mission critical. There can be multiple tiers to any solution.
How often is enough?
For mission critical data, the ideal scenario is real time backup for many organisations, depending on their risk profile.
Our research shows that more than a quarter of Irish businesses are backing up at least part of their data in real time. As we’ve demonstrated, this ‘part’ only ever needs to be mission critical data, the rest can be left to daily storage options or perhaps longer. A further 63% of organisations are backing up daily, with the rest backing up weekly, monthly or even less regularly. Analyse the data you have and see if it is suitable to leave it to these kinds of timelines – if not, rein it in accordingly.
Identifying RTOs with your provider
Knowledge is crucial when it comes to backup. Organisations need to agree strict Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) with providers so it is clear when data is recovered.
If mission critical data needs to be recovered in one hour, make this clear and agree on a solution that will provide it. The same process goes for tier 2 data and so on. This way, if something goes wrong and recovery is needed, you can confirm to stakeholders, customers and partners, that the information will be available by a specific time.
Here is some core advice to follow to ensure your mission critical data is easily recoverable:
- Identify which data is mission critical.
- Ensure it is backed up securely, either on disks or in the cloud.
- Agree clear RTOs with your provider so you know exactly how long it will take for all tiers of data to be recovered.
- Test the solution in place regularly.
- Speak to an experienced and highly accredited service provider to ensure your business is protected.
Datapac places a huge emphasis on data backup and can help Irish organisations identify and store it accordingly. We’re ready and available to discuss the bespoke needs of your organisation today.
Embracing The Data Explosion
How are Irish organisations dealing with emerging data challenges?
"At Barretstown, we rebuild the lives of children, and their families, affected by childhood cancer and other serious illnesses. We serve 5,000 campers a year and have 1200 volunteers each year. Communication is crucially important and Datapac has helped us to streamline, improve and ensure efficiency."
"Datapac has provided us with a fantastic product and world-class levels of service and support. Whenever people ask me about our experience with Datapac I’m always ready to sing their praises and I would happily recommend their services to any organisation."
"For many years Datapac has been our sole supplier for the maintenance of Personal Computers and Peripherals in Ireland. Through their Service Centres in Wexford and Dublin, Datapac provides excellent support to our businesses throughout the country and consistently meets the SLA targets which we have set. The skill, expertise and experience of their engineers and other technical support personnel are of the highest standard."
“The value of dealing with an HP Gold partner in this process can’t be underestimated. Datapac provide us with a local touch and can cover the full range of our IT requirements, but when there is a specific technical requirement like this, they can bring the specialist technical resources of HP to the table. HP and Datapac had a thorough discussion with us around our requirement - and had really done their homework - and then were able to provide us with a very highly specified test platform for us to prove the application on before we committed to purchase.”
Datapac understands our needs and requirements and has the expertise and experience to follow through on all our requests. Our constant need to reduce costs has been assisted by Datapac's ability to suggest alternative solutions and methods whilst improving both efficiency and productivity. Our partnership with Datapac is akin to having an IT department on site that we simply could not provide ourselves.