CDW Blog

Strategic data backup and recovery – know the basics and discover how to appoint a new partner

21 July, 2021 / by Ashminder Ubhi

Backup and recovery need a radical rethink because most of the legacy solutions commonly found in businesses today were designed over a decade ago. 

Back then, backup was a low-cost insurance policy for data. Companies used incumbent vendors and patched together solutions, trying to minimise costs by spreading data across different infrastructure and media. 

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Backup and recovery are typically designed for short-term data retention up to one month. Archive is used for long-term data retention with one to seven years being common timeframes. Long-term data retention is especially important in businesses that require regulatory compliance, such as healthcare or financial services.

Given that the amount of data under management has exploded, IT leaders must now do more with less at a time when IT departments are moving to private cloud models with virtualisation and are looking for converged architectures to replace multi-tier infrastructure. 

Until recently, an economically viable choice for archival was tape. For all but the largest enterprises, tape involves manual handling, storing and logging data offsite and the rotation of tapes. Restoring from tape is time consuming, labour-intensive, expensive and complicated because tapes are typically stored offsite, and a single file restore requires a broader system or volume restore. 

In addition, tapes degrade over time and must be refreshed. Tape also lowers the value of data by sequestering it. Typically, tape-archived data is poorly indexed and limited in accessibility. It’s inaccessible to your DevOps teams and your data analysts. 

The challenge of the growing strategic import of data and its use in innovation is driving the requirement for crafting digitally transformed solutions for backup and recovery. This means technology-driven companies are now looking for specialist backup and recovery solution partners who add strategic value to their businesses. 

Here are some questions to ask, to guide a change in backup vendors: 

  • I am currently using tape. How would your system make my life easier? 
  • If I need to make changes, once I've migrated, can I do this? Will it cost me? 
  • What is the security protocol around my files? E.g., are permissions backed up, and restored? 
  • Auditing backup is important to our business. How does your system let me know what has been backed up and how? 
  • What happens when a user needs a file but can't remember where it was, what it was called, or if it was deleted. How do I restore that? 
  • How and where are the backups stored with your system? Is it a multi-site solution? 
  • What's the best solution for backing up and restoring a decade’s worth of data? Can your system do this? 
  • Our organisation has multiple sites with servers at several locations. How do you deal with this? 
  • How many versions are kept? 
  • Does your system do deduplication and compression? 
  • How is the service monitored? 
  • How often do I receive reports? 
  • How much time will be required of my IT staff in co-managing the system? 
  • What kind of personnel training is required?  


You will want to know how well a new solution accommodates the complexities of the environment you currently have, but even more importantly, how well it will support your future environment. 

In Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions Report1, analysts say that heightened concerns over ransomware, the move toward public cloud, and complexities associated with backup and data management are forcing business leaders to explore alternative solutions to rebuild their backup infrastructure. In the report, Gartner identifies Rubrik as a leader and visionary in this sector, listing its strengths as: 

  • Scalability – RCDM is based on a proprietary file system that can scale the appliance both in performance and capacity. Rubrik has reported that it has multiple customers who protect more than a petabyte of backup data in a single cluster. 
  • Ransomware detection and remediation – Polaris Radar monitors the backup environment for anomalies by applying machine learning models that are continuously refined to better align with the changing threat landscape. Backup data is stored in an immutable format, which increases overall resilience against ransomware.
  • Database recovery – RCDM supports near-instant availability of Microsoft SQL databases and Oracle databases through the “live mount” feature, which reduces the overall recovery time objective. 


Delivered by CDW, Rubrik simplifies backup and recovery for hybrid cloud environments. It eliminates backup complexity by integrating data orchestration, catalogue management, and continuous data protection into a single software platform. In partnership, Rubrik and CDW can help enterprises unlock the potential of cloud for long-term data retention or DR and deliver automation with an API-first software platform. 

Find out more


1 Gartner, July 2020




Topics: Data recovery, Rubrik, Data backup