Now more than ever, having an efficient backup strategy is essential. According to an article on The Whir, worldwide server sales in 2014 were up 2.3 percent from 2013, rising the overall expenditure to $50.9 billion and the overall units shipped to 9.2 million. With the world investing this much money in servers, it's clear that having a reliable backup strategy is important. Any time you invest a significant amount of money in something, it only makes good business sense to protect that investment to the best of your abilities, right?
As we've outlined in previous posts, the old methods of backup just do not cut it anymore. Performing a full, traditional backup means putting a lot of stress on your servers. As your backup windows start to grow further and further apart, your risk of losing data grows exponentially.
Along with increasing server sales, more data than ever is being created. With such an obvious emphasis being placed on data creation and storage, why wouldn't you protect it to the most efficient way possible.
Let's take this huge, unfathomable amount of storage and data that was sold and created over the last year and scale it down to a single company (your company) to show why it's important for the industry as a whole to start adhering to efficient forms of server backup.
Don't tax your servers
The best way to protect data is to back it up often. That's obvious. But if you're constantly performing full, traditional backups on your data, you're going to tax your servers and severely hinder their performance level. As your data continues to grow, this will become more obvious.
Think about it... Let's say a full backup takes 30 minutes. That's 30 minutes of compromised performance from your server - that's fine, we'll take that. But a month down the line, that 30 minutes could turn into two hours. Six months from now, you could be looking at five hours.
Can you afford five hours of decreased performance from your servers every few days? At the very least, it will be extremely annoying and probably cause you to decrease the frequency of your backups. Now, you're putting days, weeks, or even months of data at risk because you don't want your servers to be strained for extended periods of time every few days.
Incremental backups at the file level allow you to backup only files that were created or changed since your last operation. This is a step in the right direction, but still presents some issues. Only backing up new files or files that were changed will decrease the time that it takes to backup your data.
However, when backing up at the file level, the operation still has to search the entire server in order to locate those new or changed files. Basically, even though you're not backing up everything your servers are still going to be compromised during the operation.
Give your servers a break
The best way to protect your data without taxing your servers is to run backups at the block level. Like incremental backups at the file level, after an initial snapshot, only files that were changed or created since your last backup will be sought out. However, the difference is that the operation isn't forced to search your entire system for said files. Instead, it reads the data from the blocks as they appear on the disk.
As you can imagine, this goes a long way when it comes to preserving your system resources. In addition to preserving your resources, backups at the block level provide you with continuous data protection as they can be performed as frequently as every 15 minutes!
The news of the increased expenditure on servers is simply more evidence that data is continuing to grow at a mind-blowing rate. With more and more data being created every day, its important that you're able to back it up and protect it as quickly and efficiently as possible. Sure, you could risk it all by performing long, taxing backups once a month, but why would you? There's a better answer out there. We're already spending $50.9 billion on servers, why would we want to lose more on data loss and downtime?
- Have You Outgrown Your Current Backup Solution?
- The Big Three: Components of "High-Performance" Backups
- Developing a Cost-Effective Backup and Disaster Recovery Strategy
Want to learn more about backup? Download "The Big Book of Backup!"