A 5 part blog series by Zensar Architecture Centre of excellence

Part Four – Data backups, archiving and server backups

We have been looking at key areas to focus to establish business continuity in part 1 and part 2. One of the major factors in business continuity is how soon and effectively you restore any data losses after a major incident. This is where regular data backups help address your RPO and RTO as seen in previous part (Part-3).

There is a subtle difference between archiving and backup of data. Archiving is done to persist data in the long term so that it can be searched again for investigations in future. However backups are purely focused on restoring the data after a major data loss incident. To effectively implement these an organization needs to have clearly defined policy. What should a backup and archiving policy define? – It will define aspects like what data, what size.

There are two important pre-requisites that you will have to ensure are in place such as,

  1. Data lifecycle document – It defines what are various sources of data, who or which system creates data, who has ownership, what type of data or categories – transactional, master/reference data or customer data etc. How is data purged, how is deleted, how the integrity and references handled etc.
  2. Data ownership is clearly defined with clear role and responsibilities stating who can access and maintain data. Who can conduct audits, who can do reporting etc.?

The graphic below shows important aspects that needs to be considered while defining a backup and archiving policy.

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With the availability of latest and greatest tools and mechanisms now it has become easy to create automated backups and archives, use cloud for reliable remote storage and choose various types such as full, incremental or differential backups with various frequencies.

Similarly server images are backed up to ensure the seamless/continuous business operations. They are at various levels such as operating system levels, platform levels such as database, application servers etc. and also at virtual machine and host levels.

Zensar Architecture Centre of Excellence offers expert advice and consultancy around business continuity measures including data and server backups.

Part One

Business Continuity in IT Landscape

Part Two

High availability architectures

Part Three

Disaster recovery measures

Part Five

Platform and Software upgrades

The Author

Vijaykumar Dixit– Vijay has over two decades’ industry experience and over 15 years in IT. Vijay is a TOGAF9.1 certified practitioner and Oracle master certified JavaEE architect. He holds bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a PG diploma in advanced computing. He is currently part of Zensar’s Architecture Centre of Excellence.

His areas of expertise are enterprise architecture, solution design-consulting, SaaS product development and cloud computing. He has helped clients define & setup technology road-map, establish architecture governance and best practices and achieve increased return on IT spend by promoting Service oriented architectures, cloud migration and applications portfolio review and rationalization. He has been a key contributor in Java based enterprise solutions development and also has a sound background of DotNet (Microsoft), Open source based bespoke development and COTS based integration. He has worked for blue chip clients such as Boots PLC, TNT Logistics, Carphone Warehouse, Verizon & Government organizations such as ONS and NHS in the UK and Liberty, Discovery etc. in South Africa.

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