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Back up desktop data

Ezine

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Addressing compliance concerns

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Some backup service providers (BSPs) offer compliance features such as:
Indefinite retention of the most recent version of any file saved in any active PC account.
Automatic deletion of files more than 10 versions old.
Corporate clients with thousands or tens of thousands of desktops have greater latitude in choosing the configuration of their archiving solutions. These include:
Setting data retention policies in accordance with company standards.
Removing expired data from the system.
Meeting Department of Defense levels for shredding old archives using technologies such as EMC's Centera.
Out with the old, in with the new is the refrain sung by storage administrators switching to new solutions such as continuous data protection (CDP) and backup service providers (BSPs) to protect their users' desktop and laptop data. Why the change in tune? Data on desktops and laptops remains at the fringes of data center control and outside the scope of many organizations' protection plans. That's because traditional desktop backup methods are difficult to administer, complex and of questionable value.

NetMass Inc., a McKinney, TX-based BSP, says that more than 60% of the companies they approach only back up and recover data stored on their central file servers. An administrator with the U.S. Dept. of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says failing to protect his users' desktop data exposed his organization to problems ranging from high data recovery costs to project delays.

Emerging CDP and BSP desktop protection technologies address these issues by:

  • Minimizing upfront and ongoing costs
  • Allowing IT or a third party to take full responsibility for backups
  • Increasing data availability and recoverability
  • Reducing network traffic
  • Simplifying administration
  • Protecting distributed data
  • CDP benefits
    CDP technology offers a new and effective way to tackle the age-old problem of backing up desktops. Traditional backup products generally schedule backups to run once a day, require tape drives or file shares to be accessed at the same time by multiple backup jobs, and choke the network with backup traffic. New CDP products allow administrators to back up data throughout the day and reduce network traffic.

    Veritas Software Corp. began to recognize this trend away from traditional once-a-day desktop backups in 2003 based on feedback from its users. It found users weren't using desktop backup products due to their complexity, cost and the unwillingness of either administrators or users to take responsibility for the product or the success of the backups.

    This was first published in January 2005

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