Very loosely, we were instructed to delete everything pre dot com bubble bursting (2000), keep everything post and now we are fast running out of data centre disk allocation space, err?
In fact it’s wonder we manage to do anything given the amount of information we need to process. As a consequence we are now facing a greater threat – too much information. There are somewhere between 60 to 160 Billion mails sent around the world every single day. These emails include attachments such as reports, presentations, letters and pictures. In spite of the limitations such as privacy and too much unwanted mail, email is the best way to communicate efficiently, quickly and cheaply. The danger with email, as with any other way of sharing information, is that too much information simply clogs the system up and become a bottleneck to productivity.
Here are some useful top tips that may help:
- Understand the new business user – organisations must better understand the challenges employees are facing when navigating the world of information management. Look at when and how employees are accessing their information, make sure that data is indexed and categorised, and that intelligent archiving and search tools are available
- Prepare the infrastructure – with the relentless flow of information only set to continue, IT infrastructure must be able to cost effectively manage the increasing requirements for storage by implementing solutions able to dedupe and archive appropriately, automate processes and monitor and report on system status across all different devices and environments
- Prepare people – create IT policies that educate employees on how to manage their information – from email practices like limiting the ‘CC’ and ‘reply to all culture’, to saving only the latest document version and overcoming the fear of the delete button. Help employees understand the company’s information retention strategy so they know what information is recoverable. This will empower them to take charge of information control and maintain productivity and efficiency
- Keep security front of mind – it seems like an obvious statement, but reinforcing company security policies around mobile devices could protect against significant and damaging data loss. Make sure employees know the company processes and take advantage of technologies that enable the IT department to see where the most important information is, at all times
- Encourage staff to switch off – with the information era in full swing and with more and more opportunity for employees to stay connected at all times, it’s important that organisations support staff welfare and encourage them to switch off every once in a while
Seriously consider optimising your storage to reduce overall front end storage usage. Improving capacity can be done through integrated archiving and deduplication as well as tiering your storage. Archiving moves old data to a separate store so you don’t have to backup the same data day-in, day-out – forever. Deduplication only backs up data (at a block level) once, using a pointer to the unique data. So you can both reduce the amount you backup as well as dramatically reducing your backup window with archiving and data deduplication.
But, I hear you say, if I implement deduplication technology what are the benefits? Well, Backup Exec can help with that too. Read all about the Backup Exec Deduplication Assessment Tool in Part III.
- Unite Virtual and Physical: Powered by Symantec V-Ray technology, Backup Exec 2012 enables visibility across both virtual and physical environments for fast and efficient backup and recovery while eliminating the need for specialised point products.
- Eliminate Backup Complexity with a New Administration Console: A newly redesigned administration console will provide users with fast, concise management and monitoring capabilities.
- Integrated Disaster Recovery: With bare-metal disaster recovery and Backup Exec’s “no hardware DR” built in, organizations will be able to easily recover a failed system to a physical server, or to a Hyper-V or VMware guest.
- Capacity Licensing: New capacity licensing model for Managed Service Providers (MSPs), mid-sized and lower enterprise organizations will provide easier purchasing and maintenance by capacity as an alternative to existing a la carte pricing.
- Small Business Edition: In less than 10 minutes and with just three simple steps, Backup Exec 2012 Small Business Edition will install and configure backups so small businesses with limited IT experience can protect their data with ease. The new Backup Exec Small Business Edition will bundle Symantec’s data and system recovery technology into one affordable solution with a single license that’s designed specifically for a growing business.
We’ve produced a really smart little app – well, it’s not actually an App quite yet, but will be pretty soon – that helps anyone who doesn’t know what all the agents and options for Backup Exec actually do: http://www.symantec.com/redirects/backup_exec/beguide/
I’ve been meaning to do this forever but now I am delighted to announce the newly available website. Launched at VISION EMEA, Barcelona 4-6 October, in a nutshell, this is Backup Exec Guide “Made Simple”. For customers, partners … anyone interested in backup frankly, it drills into each Agent or Option and explains what it does.
This publication is designed to give an overview of Backup Exec 2010 R3. It is aimed at all professionals working in or with Symantec Backup Exec and Symantec System Recovery to improve general knowledge of Symantec’s Data Protection strategy and wider Information Management capabilities. Using this document you should be able to build availability solutions and data protection strategies for all types of organisation.
Maximise the potential of Symantec Backup Exec
Whether you want to go straight to Agents & Options or whether you want to search by Backup priority including Virtualization, Storage Management, Disaster Recovery, Application Recovery or Management & Platform Support, there is a route for you.
The portable website has been designed to be accessed in multiple ways. We will shortly be announcing the BE Guide Mobile App available for iPhone, iPad and Android. More-to-follow.
Find out which Backup Exec Agents and Options are right for your business using this new interactive guide – simply click either to select a business priority or view our complete list of Agents and Options – simple, easy and effective – have a play today.
Adding to the Guide all the time
We will be adding content to the guide as we go – this will be of a technical nature to keep an eye out for updates.
1. BE SP2 Release
There are a number of fixes around GRT including up to a 90% decrease in the time taken to run an incremental GRT backup. Please see the following technote which provides links to and details around the changes and fixes in SP2
Release notes are here:
2. You know I keep banging on about AD … well it’s not just me:
Optimizing Exchange and Active Directory Backup and Recovery – Thursday, 28 May 2009, Written by Pat Hanavan
… and Pat seems to express the whole subject rather better than I do …
3. Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 8.5 Technical Exam and Assessment
Although each product varies in complexity and depth of technical knowledge, all Symantec Technical Specialist accreditation exams (not to be confused with customer certification), are designed for partners and cover core elements measuring technical knowledge against factors such as planning, installation, implementation and high level troubleshooting. Symantec Partners: See Symantec University for Partners and product Training Path to access the exam and recommended courses.
4. Backup Exec 12.5 Video Product Review by David Strom
The video highlights the key features/benefits of the product.
youtube.com – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DhrpeQ9jAM
Date Posted: February 23, 09
You might have had a really (really) good backup strategy 2 or 3 years ago, but does it stack up today? Every vendor you’ve ever heard about is always banging on about backup and recovery being even more tricky than it was yesterday; and how it is now ever more challenging than it ever was, and, frankly it was pretty trick then … what with data growth going crazy, sprawling physical and virtualised environments, shrinking, nay, shrunk backup windows (what’s backup window?), and escalating storage management costs.
Gosh, haven’t we heard it all before? But, it is certainly true that the age old conventional backup solutions have not kept up with the data protection requirements, as well as the growth in data itself forcing substantial investments in hardware and dramatically increased administrator workload.
You might already have a good data backup strategy in place. But if your server hardware were lost or your building suddenly off limits, could you access your data and maintain business continuity? It doesn’t take much to wipe out a critical database of information. Any backup is only as reliable as its ability to restore business data, applications and systems when they are needed most.
A data protection strategy sets out how we go about minimising data protection risk. It has to be concerned with ensuring maximum effectiveness or it remains a pointless exercise. But end users I speak to in organisations large and small are still not convinced that they have reliable backup solutions in their environments – or perhaps more accurately that the backup solution isn’t quite covering everything …
There are also analyst rumours that virtual machines will outnumber physical servers in 2009. The adoption of x86 servers is making virtualisation a crucial factor, but at the same time making traditional backup solutions redundant.
We’ve put together a backup strategy assessment tool – why not have a go at it to find out how robust your Data Protection is?
Links to assessment tool: http://www.emea.symantec.com/mybackupexec/assessment/
Backup Exec Sites:
La France: www.symantec.fr/mybackupexec
Italia : www.symantec.it/mybackupexec
It used to be good enough to have your Monday tape and your Tuesday tape and what you did was … hmm, not working so well in today’s media rich business environment. VPN has meant I can work through my business network anywhere in the world – and WiFi more or less anywhere cable free and create stuff that isn’t necessarily in the right place to be backed up onto my Monday tape, or Tuesday tape. The only place I may struggle to work is on an aeroplane (which may also be a barrier that’s coming down) … and yet I’m writing this at 37,000 feet somewhere North-West of Munich.
Given that the messaging infrastructure and business file and print servers still seems to be separated by the red sea, a PDA to give me email may be good enough. Where a few years back more of our important business information resided centrally and less on laptops or desktops, or at remote offices, this now means that the chances are you are likely to be still totally reliant on dedicated IT equipment or several small-scale backup solutions? Or perhaps remote machine backup is not catered for at all?
This can be costly and could ultimately damage your business and its reputation. How comprehensive is the coverage defined in your current backup policy? Have you actually gone through the process of working out where your company data actually resides and then match the results to the level of data protection across your business? If end-users are geographically isolated, thereby inhibiting data management and backup, or if you are having to deal with the rapid growth in the volume of data that needs protection you might want to reconsider more advanced backup solutions to provide an effective backup and recovery platform across your IT environment, desktops and remote devices.
A backup solution that was highly effective 5 years ago (Backup Exec 8.6 included) may not be sufficient for your purposes now. It doesn’t have to be financially crippling. As existing Backup Exec customers on maintenance you can automatically upgrade – anyone on 10d needs to get moving at 10d end of lifes in April – and anyone can upgrade from previous versions of Backup Exec or other backup solutions for substantial discounts.
Customers on Backup Exec 11d and 12 can upgrade directly to 12; Backup Exec 10d & older versions then you will have to uninstall previous version and reinstall 12.5 … alternatively you can wait for Backup Exec Information Manager due out in April to automatically upgrade from 9.1 onwards to 12.5. For Backup Exec System Recovery 6.5, 7.0 & 8 you can upgrade directly, for LiveState Recovery 6.0 to LSR 3.0 you must uninstall previous version and reinstall 8.5.
Most important in today’s economic climate is IT’s struggle to manage, control, streamline and provide services to the business. With increasing pressure to do more with less (don’t you love that phrase!), IT needs to reduce risk exposure by improving productivity, driving savings and consolidating suppliers through a standard set of management tools that helps exploit IT assets.
Inevitably over the coming months we will see some massive changes in our working environment. Organisations that are forced to reduce overheads or make massive structural changes are at risk of stretching resources just a little too thin. Conversely, organisational consolidations may suffer from exponential growth of email systems, increased numbers of servers or storage hardware to manage, with minimal resources to do so.
Consequentially organisations need to maintain the status quo by rapidly securing their new technology landscape. But whichever it is, the pressure to do more with less will only increase. So, in today’s uncertain climate, how can IT address the key business risks and opportunities, discover cost savings that are achievable by addressing spiralling utility costs, the data centre power shortage, and the evermore heat-generating equipment.
Organisations are faced with making sense of IT that has, for several years, grown out of control with increased resources that are inefficient and underutilised as well as dispersed and constrained by increased workloads and new deliverables or simply lacking in the skills required to maintain business objectives. Organisation therefore need to plan to address possible risks in the future.
IT’s role needs to be reassessed and be more, centralised strategic, innovative, at a lower cost; as well as being less distributed. How? With Backup Exec and Backup Exec System Recovery providing tools such as centralised granular management – saving in time, cost and resources.
Why buy/upgrade now?
· Optimising data protection for physical and virtual servers (VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V) through new Backup Exec Virtual Agents.
· Take advantage of improved server utilisation through streamlined backup of physical and virtual servers from one single backup application
· Reduce complexity heterogeneous of data recovery
· Meet strict recovery point objectives and service level agreements
· Recovery of critical data in seconds with patent‐pending Granular Recovery Technology (GRT)
· Continuous data protection for Exchange, SQL, file servers and desktops and laptops ensures backup jobs are continuously protected allowing businesses to restore data back to virtually any point in time.
· Infrastructure management – single, central console to run inventory, deploy Backup Exec version upgrades and patches
· Microsoft 2008 – Support for the Complete Windows Server 2008 Portfolio. Backup Exec can be managed from within single EBS Admin Console. Enhanced SharePoint Recovery
· Get the benefit of cost containment, enhanced recovery and execution across physical and virtual environments in the growing Windows and Unix/Linux server arena.
Keep your business up and running - by discovering backup and storage management inefficiencies you can cut costs, while making sure that your data is fully protected. Highly beneficial at a time when budgets are under strain.
It is really useful to go through the process of trying to find out:
- How well your data is protected
- If you are missing backing up critical data
- How prepared you are for increasing data volumes
- Whether your strategy supports business growth or lowers performance
- If you are taking advantage of the most cost-effective solutions available
It never ceases to amaze me how well we don’t know ourselves. To quote Polonius, “unto thine own self be true”; the more honest you are with yourself the more accurate and the more useful the results will be. We know our business, don’t we? We know that we are doing the best we can, aren’t we? It’s not like someone is trying to catch you out – give it a go, there are some pretty simple questions you can ask yourself just to get going, simply because the world has moved on, the drivers for improving backup and recovery operations are ever stricter:
- How can you keep business-critical applications running, delivering improved ROI, while complying with regulations
- How can you justify spending in times of budgetary constraint by demonstrating the quality and effectiveness of your systems
- What is the best way to convince business users of the importance of investing in backup solutions, before data is lost, while also establishing what should be backed up – and why
- How confident are you that you can cover all your IT service requirements? If you are not very confident – how not confident are you, 25%, 50%, or do you stick to all your business service agreements?
- What level of backup reporting do you have that allows you to justify future IT investment to optimise your recovery time objectives? Is there a requirement for reporting metrics, occasionally, or more regularly?
- How confident are you that your main business managers understand the importance of backup? Most of us take backup for granted but how confident are you that your backup policy covers all areas of the business?
Are you confident that you have the right backup and recovery systems in place and are getting the most out of them? A backup and recovery, or storage, assessment will highlight areas of weakness but also help to identify where Backup Exec can improve efficiencies and save you money.