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Protecting business-critical data under tight fiscal constraints

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Exponential data growth brings with it many tough challenges for modern business. IT teams are struggling to ensure data availability under tight fiscal constraints.

The unreliability and intensive management of traditional tape-based backup has forced backup administrators to create manual, error-prone processes in order to protect their data. Consequently, other critical objectives, such as supporting distributed environments and complying with regulatory requirements, are at serious risk of compromise.

Online backup, offered as a managed service, answers these challenges by leveraging existing server and network infrastructures to securely and efficiently protect servers and desktops against data loss. Its ability to immediately move backed up copies of data securely off-site, away from any potential site disaster, is a key differentiator. Greater security and reliability, and easier, more centralised administration, suggest that online backup is the right choice for businesses that are serious about protecting their business-critical data.

But is online backup really more cost-effective than traditional backup methods?

IT Challenges: it’s ugly out there
In order to appreciate the cost advantages of online backup, it is important to first of all understand the issues that businesses face in protecting their business-critical data. The reliance on data and application availability has created internal and external challenges for business owners and their IT teams. As data volumes grow rapidly, IT personnel are asked to manage more projects. They struggle to support more computers and people across distributed environments because of the disproportionate amount of time spent on managing backup tasks. These issues can be aggravated by company expansion or acquisition when additional time and resources are needed to create, integrate and standardise new processes.

External forces add to the backup-related challenges that organisations face. Heightened awareness of business continuity and regulatory compliance has led to increased investment in data protection activities: companies spent an estimated $5.5 billion to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley alone in 2004. But while compliance and headline-grabbing disasters are often credited for the increased focus on business continuity, the truth remains that it’s the more mundane, everyday issues that need solving if one is to maintain optimum data availability.

Traditional tape backup or even local disk-to-disk data protection is no longer a match for these daunting challenges.

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