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Optimize Backup Operations with a Recovery Services Plan

Refine processes and procedures to win backup success.

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  • Few organizations are wholly confident in their approach to backup and recovery. While many feel assured that backups are taking place, they are less sure that they will be able to recover the data they need from those backups.
  • Many organizations are assuming unnecessary risk by not investing in their backup solution. It often takes the occurrence of a significant disaster before an organization realizes its backup is worth the money, but by then it's too late.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Organizations approach backup from the wrong direction. The emphasis should be on recovery rather than backup. This slight shift in posture can not only lead to a better backup and recovery solution but can help to better convince stakeholders the value of the work the backup team does.
  • Data loss is rarely the result of a natural disaster and more frequently caused by human error. Nevertheless, organizations build their backup solution around the former and, as a result, do not have a solution that fits actual need.
  • A focus on procedures and processes is a more significant driver of backup success than technology. Focusing efforts on requirements gathering, planning, and documentation is a more effective, cost-efficient path to backup success.

Impact and Result

  • Better protect your organization's valuable data with an approach to backup that is based on actual need, rather than a brute force solution that is driven by the backup window.
  • Identify where to spend and where to save by matching recovery objectives to the value of your data.
  • Create SLAs and SOPs that transform backup into recovery services, clarifying for users their shared responsibilities in ensuring recoverability and improving service offerings.

Research & Tools

1. Determine backup and recovery objectives

Determine requirements and strategize a best-fit backup and recovery solution.

2. Evaluate the impact of technology on backup procedures

Assess recovery capabilities with a gap analysis.

3. Document standard operating procedures for backup and recovery

Ensure clear guidelines and ensure the recoverability of backed up data.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

Call #1 - Communicate the value of backup optimization

The value of backup is often misunderstood when it comes time to set the budget. Understand the value of optimization and communicate its worth effectively to your stakeholders.

Call #2 - Determine recovery requirements

Backup operations are driven by your recovery requirements—not the backup window. Determine your organization’s real recovery needs and set meaningful recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs).

Call #3 - Evaluate the impact of technology on backup operations

Discuss and analyze where your present approach to backup may be coming up short. Discuss ways in which different backup and recovery technologies can help you achieve your goals, and where they may mean adjustments are necessary.

Call #4 - Provide recovery assurance with SLAs and SOPs

Treat backup and recovery as a service you provide to your users. Clearly communicate everyone’s role and responsibility in making sure backups are effective, and lay out clear processes to ensure that your approach can get the job done.

Onsite Workshop

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Module 1: Communicate the Value of Backup Optimization

The Purpose

  • Identification of backup and recovery challenges faced by most organizations
  • Identification of resources that require backup and recovery services
  • Identification of issues in the present backup and recovery workflows

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Defined value of backup and recovery that justifies expenditures
  • More developed sense of what is at risk with a mis-provisioned backup environment
  • Strategies for communicating the value of backup and recovery to stakeholders




Inventory critical systems and data that are being backed up

  • List of data assets

Map current backup procedures

  • Risk assessment

Determine what’s at stake with a risk matrix

Module 2: Determine Recovery Requirements

The Purpose

Determine recovery requirements

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Development of recovery requirements for core data sets
  • A better understanding of the value of a tiered approach to backup
  • A plan for tiered backups that better aligns costs and required quality of service




Identify mission critical business activities

  • Documented list of core business activities and related systems

Identify critical applications that support business activities

  • List of system dependencies

Identify dependencies

  • Documented recovery service tiers

Rank recovery needs of core applications and determine service tiers

Module 3: Evaluate the Impact of Technology on Backup Procedures

The Purpose

Determine how technology will affect backup operations

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Assessment of capabilities and shortcomings of the present backup solution
  • A developed sense of how storage and backup technology can be used to enhance recovery capabilities
  • Avoid domain disputes by clearly assigning ownership of backup and recovery roles




Assess recovery capabilities with a gap analysis

  • Recovery capabilities gap analysis

Build a backup schedule from the RPO up

  • RPO-driven backup schedule

Assess risk and reward of data being protected

  • Documentation of domain ownership

Clarify ownership of backup tasks

  • Risk and reward assessment for backed up data

Module 4: Turn Backup into Recovery Services with SLAs and SOPs

The Purpose

Create service level agreements and standard operating procedures that optimize recovery service capabilities

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A strategy to better communicate the value of backup and recovery to stakeholders and users
  • A standardized approach to backup and recovery that can help improve confidence in the solution
  • An agreement that outlines end user’s role in ensuring recoverability




Document the present service level agreement for data recovery

  • Backup and recovery SOPs

Plan the recovery response workflow

  • Recovery SLAs
  • Recovery response workflow

Member Testimonials

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The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited

Guided Implementation




Search Code: 59324
Published: August 13, 2013
Last Revised: August 13, 2013

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