Thursday, May 28, 2009

Make Certain Your Backup Solutions are Complete

Backup solutions are the foundation of data protection, and the first line of defense in case of system failure or data loss of any kind. Backup solutions are the most basic
Protection for computer data in case of a system failure of any kind. Data is saved onto media separate from production systems so it can be retrieved if and when production systems go down, or data is lost for any reason.

But there are vital tools that can, first, make sure that backups are performed in a timely manner, and second, catch data that may not have been backed up in case of accidental deletions. These solutions round out a backup system and, in fact, complete it.

Because of the sheer amount of data needed to be stored and the time required for backup, fast data transfer rates are constantly being addressed. While advances such as Network-Attached Storage (NAS) have greatly assisted in dealing with this problem, one basic hindrance to fast data transfer is file fragmentation. When dealing with gigabytes of data in files that might exist in tens, hundreds or even thousands of fragments, the
I/O and network traffic necessary to transfer it is considerably-and unnecessarily-increased. Such situations slow backups substantially, and can also result in aborted backups that do not complete in the limited time allowed.

A common hindrance to backups, however, despite ever-advancing technologies,
is file fragmentation. Fragmentation already causes problems in day-to-day file access, as a file split into hundreds or even thousands (it's more common than you might think) of fragments is going to take considerably longer to access. Multiply that by all the data files in all an enterprise's computer systems-because a backup procedure must access all of those files-and it can be seen what a nighmarish problem file fragmentation can be
to backups in terms of backup time.

The best way to ensure that backups occur rapidly and within their allotted times is to employ a defrag solution that is always working, that allows for a drive to be consistently in a defragmented state. A product such as Diskeeper meets this qualification.

Another product to fully round out a backup scheme is Undelete, which provides real-time data protection in case of accidental deletions. If a file is saved to a local drive, such an accidental deletion can be recovered from the Windows Recycle Bin. But today, most files are saved remotely to a file server, and accidental deletions are completely lost. IT personnel must then engage in a time-consuming search through backup, restoring the version of the file that existed at the time the last backup was performed.

Once the file is restored from backup, there is more added time, however, as now the user must bring that file back up into the state it was in when deleted. Worse, if the file has been created since the last backup, it must now be re-created from scratch.

Backup solutions are essential-and so are these vital tools to make them complete.
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