Best Practices: Sorting out remote-office backup


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There are plenty of good options for protecting remote-office data, but some careful analysis is required up front.

Protecting data locked inside data centers has always been a central focus for IT, but we seem to be repeatedly reminded of just how porous the data center has become. Lost backup tapes and misplaced laptops demonstrate that even the most rigorous data protection practices are no longer sufficient.

An important part of the "beyond the data center" challenge is remote-office or branch-office (ROBO) data protection. In the past, companies either ignored remote-site backup or dealt with it half-heartedly as effective and reasonably affordable solutions simply didn't exist.

During the lax pre-regulatory era, "out of sight, out of mind" might have worked, but today's emphasis on corporate governance has made it clear remote data can no longer be ignored.

Along with this higher visibility, the number of potential solutions for remote data protection has multiplied. Despite the many technology options, implementing a successful remote-protection operation remains a significant undertaking given the complexities of establishing and deploying consistent data policies, and monitoring and managing multiple locations.

Remote control
With so much focus on consolidation--in terms of reducing the numbers of data centers and devices managed within data centers--the first consideration might be to seek opportunities

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for consolidation among ROBOs. In the June 2007 issue of Storage, Brad O'Neill (see "Consolidating remote offices") reported on a survey related to ROBO planning. The results showed a clear split over how firms are approaching this issue with slightly more than half (51%) preferring to retain most or all of their remote deployments and the remainder opting for various levels of consolidation.

This was first published in September 2007

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