Developing a Cloud-Based Data Backup Strategy for Higher EducationFebruary 11, 2020
Just as with every other sector, higher education grapples with mounds of data from countless sources that are critical to operations. This includes everything from student and faculty information to intellectual property related to research contracts. All of this critical data requires disaster recovery services to ensure that the data remains secure and accessible within and beyond the network edge.
Much higher education institutions are in the process of data center consolidation across central and satellite campuses with a cloud-based data backup part of the strategy. Over 60 percent of higher education institutions are looking at incorporating cloud computing into their IT strategy according to a survey conducted by MeriTalk. As part of that shift, many of these institutions are making college backup and DR decisions around cloud-based storage solutions.
The foundation of a good cloud backup strategy is picking the right storage tier for the different workloads and determining the purpose of the match. Internal IT teams have the best understanding of the different workloads and how critical access and usage needs are. Navigating the scope, complexity and varied options to backup and disaster recovery (DR) can often require the support of a disaster recovery company to pull together a comprehensive DR strategy.
The first step of determining if specific workloads, data, and applications will need a tertiary copy requires frequent access by users will shape the hot or cold storage picture for each workload. Institutions of higher learning will need to have a clear picture of their goals and processes for backup and DR to ensure they can stay on track and within budget.
The next step of making decisions regarding what tools to use for migration is very important, as most universities will need true interoperability between their cloud solution and backup software. Support from the right disaster recovery company can help make the decision far easier since they have deep experience with different organizations using a variety of tools.
Decisions around cloud storage tiers should encompass solutions that allow for frequent and infrequent data access, which is often referred to as hot or cold storage options. While hot data storage is optimized for frequent access and generally costs more, it’s foundational to workload and data access that is critical to the university or college. Datacenter services providers that offer broad interconnect options to cloud providers are often the best partners in determining the best backup and disaster recovery solutions for a given scenario and organization.
The archive tier is the foundation of hot and cold storage and often comprises tape replacement. This fits into the typical 3-2-1 backup rule for data safety where you keep at least three (3) copies of your data and store two (2) backup copies on different storage media, with one (1) of them located offsite.
The ideal data center services provider can deliver disaster recovery services that support university IT teams in decisions for offsite storage via cloud-based backup. This can be a crucial first step for higher education institutions looking to host applications in the cloud as part of a broader cloud strategy.
Making backup and DR decisions go far beyond the IT team as it involves the discovery and gaining input across the institution’s various departments. By enlisting the support of a proven disaster recovery company, universities and colleges can assess current needs and build a DR strategy that also meets tomorrow’s needs.