Organizations have been using somewhat outdated tools to backup their information for years, with InformationWeek contributor George Crump recently pointing to tape backup as an antiquated tool that some organizations still heavily lean on. With the bandwidth of the enterprise cloud being a huge advantage, he wrote that moving the backed up data from tapes to the cloud can bring some big benefits for organizations.
"Cloud vendors typically leverage deduplication and compression to minimize the amount of data that is sent across the wire," he said. "And it works – very well. But for deduplication to work, an initial baseline backup needs to be completed. This can take days or even weeks – during which time you risk data loss."
The response to this from vendors has been the hybrid deployment, which Crump said enables an appliance to be placed in an dedicated storage space and then the most recent backup plus another full backup can be placed both on site and in the cloud. Without any kind of bandwidth limitations, this can help the first move to the enterprise cloud happen very quickly. It will also replicate the initial backup, so even with the initial backup taking some time, another backup will be stored very safely.
This initial backup is where businesses will have to be extremely careful, since if they do not safely store their second backup and something goes wrong with the enterprise cloud move, the data could be gone forever. Migration is always one of the hardest parts of the move to the cloud, but if organizations plan effectively and make safe moves, it can be done well.
Understand the importance of data
Technology professional Jake Robinson wrote on Data Center Knowledge that when moving applications from a physical data center to the cloud, no matter if it is for backup or another critical app, businesses must make sure they understand just how important the data is in each situation.
"There's no easy way to shrink down the data, so you need to evaluate the weight of the data in the app you're considering migrating," he said. "Especially if you're a high transaction company, or if it's a high transaction application, there would be a lot of data to replicate. The data of the app constitutes 99 percent of the data gravity of the application."
Another best practice is to identify how the apps are connected. If there is quick connection needed between apps, Robinson said an "all or nothing" move may be the best approach, but if there is only tight connection between a few apps, it may be better to move them in bunches. Each organization will need to understand where their data and apps touch within a business to know all of the risks they may encounter, which is vital when sensitive data in backups are part of the move. No enterprise cloud migration has a one-size-fits-all strategy for it, so each organization will need to figure out which migration method works best for them.