>Backup and Recovery and Enterprise Architecture

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Anyone who has lost information on their computer knows how important backing up your computer work is, and organizations spend large sums of money to back up corporate information assets.

ComputerWorld, 4 February 2008, reports that “Corporate IT Warms Up to Online Backup Services.”

It used to be everyone backed up their own data, but now things are changing with major storage vendors entering the online backup market.

Now the benefits are beginning to outweigh the costs:

  • Cost savings on specially skilled personnel and equipment for backup and storage administration function
  • Productivity gains from outsourcing the systems administration and backup
  • Unlimited corporate storage capacity

The information security officer at the University of San Francisco states: “If you asked me three or four years ago [about backup], the economics would say, ‘build it yourself.’ However, as storage vendors enter the online storage business and work to address IT concerns [such as pricing and security], ‘I can’t imagine anyone doing it themselves.’”

Gartner says “the technology is slowly becoming more attractive to large companies, thanks to move into the hosted storage business by EMC and storage and backup rivals such as IBM, Iron Mountain Inc, Symantec Corp., and Seagate Technology LLC.”

IDC predicts that sales of hosted backup storage services will reach $715 million in 2011, up from $235 million in 2007.”

Vendors are moving quickly to address the following issues:

  • Acceptable pricing
  • Security including encryption and authentication
  • Bandwidth

So are hosted backup services worth the cost?

The vice president of operations and compliance officer of Lisle Savings Bank says “I’m not going to say it cheap; it’s not. [But] we felt what are paying for is really insurance against losing data. I used to cringe when anybody deleted a file and I had to find the tape.”

The IT director of a Fort Worth, Texas law firm noted that “the move to the hosted service quickly blunted management concerns about disaster recovery in the tornado-prone area. The online option also ensures that backup tapes will not have to be stored by a vendor that could carelessly allow them to be lost or stolen…It’s the wave of the future, if it’s not already here.”

From a User-centric Enterprise Architecture perspective, we must ensure the security of business and technical assets. This includes the confidentiality, availability, integrity, and privacy of corporate information. One way to protect vital information assets is through robust information backup and recovery services.

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