The Key Pillars of Data Protection for SMBs

Graham Paterson, Senior Vice President, EMEA for Tandberg Data

Many SMBs want to reduce (and simplify) the overall number of data protection approaches they have in place. This is the point that SMBs also recognize they need to start making some changes to improve their outcomes. It can be helpful to think of data protection as having a few key pillars: backup, archiving and off-site storage. I’ll cover each of these pillars briefly below:

  • Backup - When SMBs consider their backup needs, it usually translates into this: Having a second copy of their "critical" data. Backup is used for short-term data recovery. Backup success often means having easy access (for quick restore) of data and files that have been previously copied, typically with local disk or tape storage that effectively combines reliability and portability at a reasonable cost.
  • Archiving - Archiving falls under the category of long-term storage. SMBs need to look for hardware/software combinations that allow them to easily and affordably retain their data for long periods. Archived files can be kept for decades. Keeping more than one copy is essential to properly safeguard data. Tape is typically used for archiving because of its affordability, archival life (30 years), reliability and portability.
  • Off-site storage - This third pillar of data protection moves toward the vital component of disaster recovery. To keep their data safe, SMBs need to be able to move a copy of their data to a different location that's wholly removed from their primary site of business. A popular method for affordable archival or off-site storage is the use of removable disk or tape media that incorporates innovative new technologies and offers a range of capacity, scale and automation.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

SMB customers need to separate the good from the not-so-good solutions in this crowded market. Numerous offerings look great on the surface, but remain weak in the following key areas:

  • Capacity – Many solutions still don't let SMBs affordably store enough data
  • Scalability – They don't scale well as SMB data sets grow
  • Speed – They don't perform fast enough for either backup or restores
  • Quality – They appear to offer the required functionality but do not have the indispensable reliability and durability to protect mission-critical data

A trusted solutions provider can guide SMBs through the confusing maze of data storage options and help them avoid pitfalls.

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