For many IT Administrators, even those in large organisations, they are operating within a small, fragmented IT infrastructure. How do you address the challenges they face and meet their complex needs in backup and DR?

Some history

Up until recently, backup meant inserting an appropriately labelled tape in the backup tape drive and hoping that an incremental copy of the target machines is safely copied to the tape. DR involved sending one backup tape a month to an off-site location for secure storage. IT Administrators in both large and small enterprises became very familiar with this approach, and while the technology could be erratic, it provided a measure of reassurance that if the worst should happen there was a fallback option. As regards home users, well, they had limited options beyond keeping copies of critical files on floppy disks and hoping for the best.

Today the options for backup and DR are many and varied with the pace of innovation at an all-time high. Despite technical innovations, Backup and DR is sometimes regarded as a dark art, often a low priority when it comes to IT budget allocation in small and medium enterprises.

What is Driving Change in the Backup and DR space?

Over the past ten years, the primary innovation drivers in the Backup, Recovery and DR sectors have been; massive growth in storage capabilities and with it stored data, server virtualization, imaging technologies, IT Systems Management frameworks, and Cloud storage.

While the move to highly virtualized and integrated infrastructures has been getting the most attention, many businesses IT systems are still only partially virtual or not virtualized at all. The traditional, physical, Windows backup and DR sector have seen less visible coverage, however, the pace of innovation has been almost as high.

Backup to the Cloud is providing an increasingly reliable and cost effective storage option and is almost ubiquitous. The growth of Cloud backup, backup appliances, and hybrid software, has seen many new entrants in the past five years.

Large and Fragmented

When considering the backup and DR requirements of different organisations, the usual approach of vendors and their channel networks is to segment by size, then by level of server virtualization. Solutions are often focused on the highly virtualized data centre, however at Macrium Software we think the needs and complexity of the “local” IT infrastructure is just as important.

Many large organisations have very fragmented IT infrastructures because of branch offices scattered across countries and continents. While these branch offices may be part of an enormous enterprise, often the needs of the local IT Administrator are more closely aligned to those of an SME than a typical HQ centric large enterprise.

Looking after the Local IT Administrator

The data protection needs of the local IT Administrator, who is often isolated from HQ, or is managing multiple SME estates, can be distilled into four key areas. The solution must be straightforward to deploy, be fast, have exceptional reliability, and provide recovery/restore utilities that take minutes not hours. To understand this, one must look at the requirement from the perspective of the local IT Administrator. They will typically be working by themselves without the support of a large team or out of hours support.  They will be wearing many hats, covering all the IT needs from jammed printers to firewall security, and backup and DR. Anything that removes complexity from their responsibilities and provides peace of mind for backup and recovery will win their loyalty.

Because Backup and DR is often a low priority in IT Budgets, the buying decision is pushed down to the IT Administrators in small or fragmented infrastructures. If vendors pay attention to their needs (simplicity, speed, reliability, recoverability), then that solution will be favored.  Typically IT Administrators are likely to share their experiences with peers, through online forums or blogs, therefore the good news about backup and DR solutions will reach the broader community.

Macrium Software is focused on the needs of the local IT Administrator. We offer robust and cost effective backup and DR solutions, backed with excellent and knowledgeable tech support well matched to the needs of this busy IT professional.

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Macrium Software was founded in 2006 when CEO and Founder Nick Sills experienced a personal data disaster and in the process discovered existing backup tools were not as good as he expected. Wanting a software solution that was practical and easy to use, Nick and his team developed Macrium Reflect to create a safe and secure disk image with ultra-fast recovery times should disaster strike.
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