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Crump: A robust data protection strategy includes more than backup

A data protection strategy means having a plan for backing up and recovering an organization's information, but it's important to know how long that a restore will take -- and application stakeholders all know how long it will take, as well.

"The application owner is assuming you're going to get it up and running instantly, and you're assuming you're going to get it up and running as fast as you possibly can. And the problem is there's generally a pretty wide delta there," said George Crump, founder of Storage Switzerland, to his Storage Decisions audience.

He said that most environments that his firm encounters have about three "really critical" applications, but most don't require what he called "zero-second" recovery times.

The focus should be on planning a robust backup and recovery strategy, so long as it doesn't get overly complicated.

"I work under the philosophy that all backups fail at some point. And generally when you need them the most. So let's make sure we have redundancy, but not too much redundancy," said Crump.

He noted that focusing on an overall plan can help make better use of resources.

"It allows you to expand beyond just backup … and start talking about things like replication and snapshots … it allows you to bring more of the tools that should be at your disposal, including some of the tools that are in primary storage, to leverage as part of this overall process," he said.

He said administrators should look at their existing tools that are already in use to manage data, such applications dealing with unstructured data or file sync, as part of a data protection strategy.

"Let's leverage those tools where they make sense. But let's not do overly redundant work. … Let's make sure we have redundancy, but not too much redundancy," he said.

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