The Backup Delusion – Part 2

It’s been a while since my first post on this topic, but there has certainly been a lot of thought and effort put into this subject since then. At first I envisaged this to be a two part post, but I think I’m going to break this up over a couple more posts, that focus on a couple particular area’s that have come to the fore since i’ve begun to seriously think about backups as a hosting provider.

I’ve been running an internal product group that’s tasked with trying to find, test and launch the best overall Backup Application for our diverse client base. As a group we have gone through a process of trying to work out what features and benefits are most important to both us, as a business, and what’s important from a client’s perspective.

backup_sel_matrix_1

We spent some time working on a Backup Selection Matrix that could quantify and rate those features and from there, we would be able to score any Backup Product based on those numbers. In the previous post I listed out some of those features and explained how they effect they way in which, both clients and us as providers look at selecting, developing and deploying products. At the end of that process we where able to clearly graph products against an X and Y axis (as shown below) and from that, clearly get an indication on which products came out on top based on those requirements.

backup_sel_matrix_2

At the sake of not embarrassing some Backup vendor’s I’ve removed the product names from the images above. Suffice to say that some large, well known vendor products fell well short of expectation and rated very poorly. Across the board it was clear that not one product stood out…but some certainly failed and scored poorly.

What it’s allowed the group to do is to quantify against the testing, staging and real world UAT sites which in theory should lead to a calculated decision to be made on which product best fits the requirements.

In the next post in the series i’ll explain why, in some countries such as Australia where high speed broadband is not as widely available as in other countries, we have a fundamental issue with offsite backup technologies which basically cause most large offsite replication and backup jobs to fail…which ultimately renders the offsite backup solution useless…and that effectively puts service providers at risk of credibility issues if expectations are not set based on real world metrics.

The Backup Delusion – Part 1