One of the major challenges with backing up information in a business environment comes from the fact that you’re backing up a little bit more with each passing day. Exponential data growth is one of the cornerstones of a successful business, but it can also complicate the data protection process in a number of ways.
Exponential Data Growth
Exponential Data Growth is a term used to describe a few basic concepts. As a business continues to grow, it requires faster restores and data protection that happens on a much more frequent basis. This can create challenges as there will come a point where traditional backup methods just don’t give you exactly what you need.
In the past, administrators used to copy data to tape. This not only created capacity limitation challenges, but also performance related issues at the same time.
Many people think that as technology has continued to advance, the backup challenges of an era now passed have gone away. In reality, the opposite is essentially true: not only are they still here, but they’ve also compounded. An explosive growth in data has only made it more difficult to insure adequate data protection.
One of the biggest challenges businesses face when backing up mission critical information has to do with the virtual machines that they have come to depend on daily. As it becomes easier to create virtual machines, they now largely outnumber physical servers that organizations maintain to a large degree. More than that, a virtual machine is not backed up the same way as a hard drive is. Whereas backup software may archive individual files and folders, a virtual machine is backed up as a whole entity.
Another significant hurdle in backing up business data has to do with ever evolving retention requirements. Regulations dictate exactly what needs to be backed up and how long it needs to be maintained. long term retention requirements only serve to increase the total amount of data that a business is responsible for backing up at any given time.
Finally, another big challenge for businesses with regards to backing up involves the many different types of data that they are now working with. In addition to the text documents and spreadsheets that they’ve always worked with, businesses now need to back up high-resolution images, full motion video, audio and more. The ways that businesses are adopting multimedia files into their daily activities has only served to make data retention even more complicated than it once was.