"Ransomware poses one of the most serious threats to businesses today," says Thomas Biesmans, Technical Consultant at Inetum-Realdolmen. "The risk is huge." If an attack with ransomware encrypts all data and makes it inaccessible, there's nothing a company can do. A solid backup is indispensable to avoid situations like that. What's important here is a watertight backup strategy.
"A strategy like that is always a trade-off," says Thomas Biesmans. "Think of it as an investment, an insurance policy." The trade-off that businesses have to make here isn't always easy. They must examine what data they could potentially lose. Next, businesses also have to decide how much risk they are willing to cope with: how much data are they willing to lose, and if something does happen to data they don't want to lose, how quickly do they want it back? The next step is to put the strategy into practice with the necessary solutions.
High degree of maturity
Commvault is a leading player in the backup and recovery market. "The product supports a very wide range of applications – one of the broadest within the business," says Thomas Biesmans. "Plus, a backup is only part of the solution. There's no such thing as 'one size fits all', but Commvault comes very close nevertheless. The company also offers a solution for archiving and data management." Since Commvault supports a large number of applications, backup administrators no longer have to write backup scripts themselves. "That makes managing backups easier. This approach also ensures that errors don't happen during the creation of the backups."
"Commvault is software – and so it requires servers and storage. "That's another advantage," says Thomas Biesmans. "Because of this, it works completely independently of the hardware it runs on." Some backup application suppliers use proprietary hardware, called appliances, which doesn't always make it easy to tailor the solution to the evolution of backup needs.
"By contrast, Commvault is a highly scalable product that can be installed anywhere: on-premise, in the cloud, on Linux, Windows, and so on. That allows you to always choose the best fit." A further benefit is the choice of integration with numerous storage solutions. "This also makes it possible to centralize storage snapshot management. That way, you create an extra layer in your backup strategy." After all, storage snapshots provide additional security.
Commvault primarily caters to the very large companies. But is it also a viable solution for smaller organizations? "Commvault has made great strides in simplifying the management of its product. Thanks to the extensive web console, the solution can now also be deployed by smaller companies. The real obstacle is often not the product, but in the company's IT team. Some teams expect the backup solution to do its job and they don't have to bother with it anymore. Unfortunately, reality is different. You always need someone to keep an eye on backups. And Commvault is a product that you have to be somewhat familiar with."
"The essential nature of a backup solution, however, is that it can restore the desired data quickly and easily if necessary. Very often, these are small, everyday problems: an employee accidentally deleting a file or an email, for example. "Indeed, an important part of the backup strategy is that you define the granularity of the restore process: as to how and at what level you want to enable it," says Thomas Biesmans. "You have to define what you expect in terms of item restore."
When setting up the backup design, the company can specify that it can restore an environment as a whole, such as an entire virtual server, but also that it can retrieve items – preferably from the same backup – such as a file, a folder or a drive, an email or a mailbox. Thomas Biesmans: "This way, you don't have to restore an entire virtual server every single time – and spend a long time waiting – only to eventually retrieve a small item from it." One benefit of Commvault in this regard is that the software creates an index while performing the backup. When starting the restore process, this makes it possible to quickly navigate to the desired item.
Whereas performing a backup is typically very easy, the difficulty usually lies in performing a restore. "This is a process you need to test regularly," says Thomas Biesmans, "to see if the backups are complete and if a restore process can be performed with them." With Commvault, these tests can be automated. "Performing a manual restore periodically can be very resource intensive. By automating the process, you can offload some of that work to the product itself."
Inetum-Realdolmen is a Commvault Authorized Support Partner (CASP). "What this means is that we have the necessary knowledge in house," concludes Thomas Biesmans. "To be eligible to operate as a CASP, you have to obtain the necessary certificates. The major advantage is that as a CASP, we offer an additional added value to our customers. We're a local point of contact, which means that customers don't have to submit their questions to Commvault's support teams in the United States or India."
Could this be a good solution for you, too?
To find out which backup solution is a 'best fit' for your organization's data protection, management and restore needs, Inetum-Realdolmen offers the Backup Roadmap. You will receive a personalized roadmap. Click here for more information. If you have any questions about this technology review or would like a roadmap, please contact our experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.