We asked almost 500 IT professionals for their most challenging Backup and Disaster Recovery Questions. Here’s what they said.

November 17th, 2020


On November 5, Virtual Systems presented a Live Event with Veeam titled “The Biggest v11 Sneak Peek Event, Ever. We decided to give it an “anti-webinar feel” as an alternative to virtual presentations where attendees join, listen to a presenter, and maybe multi-task or doze off. Feedback was terrific! — about 450 people registered for the event and asked over 325 questions to make it the most interactive event of the year. We incentivized questions by giving away huge prizes (like thousands of dollars and next-gen gaming consoles) for good questions and the questions helped shed some light on what IT professionals are struggling with when it comes to Backup & Recovery challenges. Here are three themes:

1. What are the basic building blocks of good backup architecture?

It’s common for IT staff to inherit someone else’s backup & DR project and not be familiar with it so here’s a primer on the building blocks:

Think of your data needs stretching across a continuum, from “hot” data that is copied in shorter retention periods but is readily available for spin up in another location to data that holds longer retention periods on the cooler/cold side of the spectrum where data is stored or archived for longer periods. The tradeoff for those long retention periods is that live recovery of the application is slower (even though file recovery is still fast).

good backup architecture

It may also be helpful to think about the way you deploy your solution along the same lines as the way you advance through college courses. Level 101 is backup (backup everything. Make three copies on two different types of storage and get one copy offsite). Level 201 is implementing replication, or hot standby for your important VM’s to recover quickly. Then develop retention policies and decide how long you need to keep different data volumes. Finally, your Master’s classes give you the ability to fine-tune and take advantage of additional features like using your backup data to create testing sandboxes.

2. How Can You Protect Data from Ransomware?

Another big theme that IT professionals have is protecting data from a ransomware attack. Attacks are occurring more often and taking a bigger toll. Veeam reports that 93 percent of organizations are attacked every year.

The best answer we can give you to address potential data loss to ransomware is to prepare for the worst. Don’t prepare for “if” it will happen, prepare for “when”. A big part of that preparation is practice. Once you’ve got backup jobs and replicas going offsite, practice an event where your primary site goes down. Practice rolling back your environment to the moment before ransomware may have been delivered. If this is intimidating, leverage our team. We walk customers through this process every week and it doesn’t cost a thing for our customers.

3. Can I Backup Linux?

Although we had numerous questions about backing up Office365, Windows and Mac, there’s a trend toward more businesses shedding Microsoft licensing costs and using Linux. This transition can save large organizations thousands of dollars in licensing fees and reduce their reliance a commercial platform versus using open source solutions.

Veeam is addressing this trend by providing Linux-specific features including a Linux file restore feature that doesn’t require a helper appliance and a hardened Linux repository with a landing zone that you can configure to be malware-proof and set policies that make data immutable, aka unchangeable.

Also, you can reassure your users that immutability isn’t exclusive to Linux backups. You can set flags that make any data at rest immutable so that even a cloud provider couldn’t delete it.

So Many Backup and Disaster Recovery Questions, So Little Time

The idea of building a short-lived mini-community inside of our Live Event was a huge success. We couldn’t answer all of the questions that participants had during the webinar but our team is offering one-on-one dialogue to everyone who asked a question and we’re paying out $50 Amazon gift cards to registrants who want to continue the conversation.

To learn more about Veeam v11 updates and what users want to know, watch the webinar on our YouTube channel.

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