Backups are never the goal. Restoration is the goal!

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30Aug2010

Backups are never the goal. Restoration is the goal!

  • By Andrew Garrett
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Why do we talk about backup solutions? Backups are only a means to an end, an intermediate step towards a situation we hope we’ll never need.

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Shouldn’t we be talking about restoration systems?

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It’s ‘just’ a matter of semantics, but semantics matter! The words we use to describe what we’re doing cast a meaningful shadow over the whole endeavour.

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When we talk about backup systems, our goal is in getting data onto another medium, frequently, reliably, completely – and getting it off-site. Once we do all that, our job is done; We can go home.

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Instead, if we talk about restoration systems, our goal is to be able get the data we need to where we need to have it and have it available to us in a timeframe that meets business needs. Backups become an integral component of our restoration system, not the whole thing.

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When we start thinking about restoration systems, we think about what data the business might need to have restored. We can analyse the cost of being able to restore it, and compare that to the cost to the organisation if that data were to be lost, and make a meaningful decision about whether or not it’s ‘business sensible’ to make that restoration possible.

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Best Practise is to back up almost everything, in case it’s needed. Business Sensible may be something else entirely.

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