Automatic Backup: A Key Disaster Recovery Component

Frank Ohlhorst
Many people confuse backup with disaster recovery, often with disastrous results. Nowhere is this more apparent than in small business and branch office locations that lack dedicated IT staff. In those locations backup is seen as a chore, usually performed by the lowest position on the totem pole or assigned to someone as a punishment. Ironically, that person has been entrusted with the business's most valuable asset, its data.

Even worse is the fact that backups are often done incorrectly or saved to questionable media - when disaster strikes, as it often does, those backups are rendered useless, creating an even bigger disaster. The secret to disaster recovery lies with the ability to recover the data, and traditional backup is ill-equipped to deal with data recovery, especially during a disaster.

Truth be told, disaster recovery is more about preparation than recovery - recovery as a process that includes multiple steps that have been tested and proven. That said, the first weak link in the chain tends to be the backup process, which is something that is easily fixed.

Recently, I reviewed SonicWALL's CDP (continuous data protection) appliance, a device designed for the primary goal of disaster recovery. SonicWALL takes a unique approach to the disaster recovery segment. They automate the backup process via an appliance, which also can store the data offsite. That automation eliminates the biggest shortfall of most backup systems: the need for human intervention.

Ideally, an IT service provider comes in, installs and configures SonicWALL CDP and then remotely manages the device, completely shifting the critical chore of backup (and data protection) to an IT professional. SonicWALL uses imaging technology for backup, can take snapshots of the data every minute and supports restoration to dissimilar hardware. Those features, especially when combined with offsite storage, offer businesses an assurance that they can recover from a disaster. Read more about SonicWALL's CDP, and while you are doing that, think about how you are planning for a disaster.

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Aug 11, 2011 11:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
Any experience or knowledge on how this stacks up against the Unitrends product? Reply

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