Every Virtualization and System Administrator deals with having the ability to recover servers, files, etc. and having a Backup Solution to help with recovery will ease the burden. But how do you know which one is right for you? How would you go about choosing the right solution that will help you in your daily tasks?
When choosing a backup solution there are many things to consider based on your physical/virtual environment. What hypervisor are you running, what storage is being used, etc.? The best way to choose the right solution for the job is through evaluation and the more you evaluate the easier it will be to pick the right one for you. During an evaluation process you should consider things such as:
· Compatibility with your chosen Hypervisor
· Ease of installation and setup
· Program ease of use and navigation
· Backup scheduling
· Reporting – is the reporting sufficient enough
· Popular within the industry
· Support for Physical and Virtual servers
· And so on…and so on….
There are many criteria you can use in the evaluation stage and the above examples are but just a few. Composing a list prior to starting to look at software would be the recommended approach, this way you are looking at software that will fit most of your criteria prior to the evaluation/PoC stage.
When you have completed your criteria list and selected vendors for evaluation ensure to install all of them. Installing all of the products allows you to do a side-by-side comparison of the features you are looking for like job setup, ease of use, etc. Being able to see the products and how they work side-by-side gives you the best evaluation experience.
During the comparison stage look at something like ability to conduct SAN based backup versus LAN – how does each solution compare? Can the solution connect in to your SAN fabric allowing faster backups? If you cannot use SAN backups how will it affect the overall performance of the environment? After backups complete is there a reporting structure showing success/failure, length of time, amount of data, etc.? When working with the solution is navigation for job creation/modification simple? Is it cumbersome within the product and/or frustrating creating backups?
There are many things when comparing products to be aware of and answering questions as you go through the products is a great way to evaluate them.
Remember that there are many backup solutions out there for evaluation and choosing the right one can be a difficult decision. Evaluating the ones that appeal most to your organization is the best way to go and using a methodology for testing them is even better. In the end you will ensure your success by choosing the right solution for the job! Evaluate…..evaluate…..evaluate