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Backups are Boring Though?

I guess against the cutting edge of modern technology, that backups might seem like a less interesting subject? Whilst what is exciting and what isn’t, is quite subjective, most people understand the value of taking backups and protecting their key data. Certainly, if you’ve digital photos of your wedding day, or family photos you want to make sure there is no risk of losing them. If you’ve not got these backed up, take this as a prompt to go and do it now!


Traditional backup technologies have been a relatively time-consuming process, certainly anything that involved tapes or other forms of removable media which has meant that the temptation to skip further time demanding activities such as checking and testing, has been the downfall of many. Furthermore, the incentive to backup everything is lessened, in favour of just backing up the most critical components.

More data, more effort

With the current uptake in smart IOT devices, and greater detail in analytics we’re seeing more data being generated than ever before. Also, many of us now have smart phones now, and having a high-resolution camera in your pocket all the time, means a picture can save a thousand words, so we can easily grab a quick snap and send this to a colleague.

We are generating more data per person on the planet than ever before, and this data can be critical in the success of our organisations. This should not be an obstacle to overcome in choosing which is the most critical and most deserving of being backed up. Equally, if you are backing everything up, it shouldn’t be on a lesser frequency because you’re having to do more of it and it’s taking too much time and resource.

Resources are always constrained, and with more people working remotely its common to now have less resources to achieve more. We’ve evolved away from having many specialists in our teams, to a fewer number of generalists who have a wider range of responsibilities

The rule of three

Often during discussions around protecting mission critical systems and data, I get asked what the best approach is to taking backups and protecting data. My answer is always the same “Simple – The rule of three.” The principal of this is quite simple, and hopefully easily committed to memory.

3 - Three copies of the data. One being the primary instance of the data, one backup and one secondary replication.

2 – Two different forms of media. For example, one hard drive, one tape, or one cloud copy.

1 – At least one copy of the data held off site away from the first instance, and the primary backup. Simplicity is not to be overlooked either, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen poor backup implementation simply because the technology is too complex, or too cumbersome to be effective.

I’m not going to go into the security of backups for this article, however, be cognisant to apply various levels of security plane on who can access your final and last copy. One admin account does not fit all!


The cloud is the silver lining

Despite the rising popularity of cloud-based technology and storage, I still regularly see hesitation and resistance to the adoption of cloud services within control system environments. However, cloud can be a powerful tool as part of a very robust backup strategy. The main features are that it achieves offsite data replication, and an alternative media forms in one go. Furthermore, using cloud services, you don’t have any further hardware to purchase and then maintain.

So, in principle, the overall maintenance effort is almost zero, along with less rack space consumption, and less It’s also going to be significantly more available and resilient than your own hardware due to the sheer size of their infrastructure, and with entire teams of highly certified professionals managing the cloud infrastructure, the security levels of the service are going to be very robust too.

Blending both local and cloud technologies is where you can achieve a great deal of protection with minimal hardware and completing the rule of three. Hybrid cloud setups offer a great deal of protection, whilst being very low in effort to operate due to their autonomous nature.

There are no tapes or discs to transport offsite and rotate on a daily/weekly basis.

A good night's sleep

There is no reason to lose sleep at night worrying if your data is truly safe or worrying about getting that phone call at 2 am to say something has gone wrong. Proteus was developed with a modern control system in mind and is delivered as a 24/7 managed service. This means the team at SolutionsPT are constantly monitoring and checking the backups of each protected machine, and will be in contact with you should there be a problem.

Using a hybrid cloud technology, we can keep the data protected both locally and also stored offsite too, and using our efficient data management we keep network traffic to a minimum so it doesn’t disrupt the day-to-day network operation.

We fully automate the daily testing of all protected systems, so we can give you complete confidence in our ability to recover any systems we are protecting. What this means for you as a Proteus customer, is that you have an almost zero touch fully monitored business continuity and disaster resilience solution protecting your critical control systems.

When was the last time you checked your backup and spun it up to prove it worked? Let’s hope your first time is not when you ACTUALLY need it. With statistics varying according to resource, you have less than a 50% chance of recovery. Isn’t it time to stack the odds in your favour?

Proteus is a fully managed service that is being monitored and supported 24/7 by the SolutionsPT. This means you can focus on your business objectives without worrying about data loss.

If you want to see how Proteus can help you sleep better at night, then please click below.

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