A single technological development – backup appliances – has resulted in a giant leap in automation in the past three years for all three data recovery functions.

What are we hearing in the educational arena regarding IT today? Use resources as efficiently as possible. Get more out of what we have. Leverage a well-working IT implementation across multiple departments. Balance rising maintenance costs against cost-saving new technologies.

The austere mantras reverberate everywhere.

Backup appliances have found an industry in which they are needed more than ever. Automating data protection and cutting the costs of manual tasks could fit the bill for many school and university IT departments that have not taken the backup appliance plunge. An added benefit? Doing so creates cost savings in data protection while increasing new data recovery expectations.

Data recovery solutions should always include all three major areas for ensuring restores: backup, archive, and disaster recovery. Implementing technology to perform these three key functions separately creates huge divides in both management and successful implementation. Skipping out on any one of these areas will leave the facility both vulnerable and out of compliance.

A single technological development – backup appliances – has resulted in a giant leap in automation in the past three years for all three data recovery functions. Bundling all the components required for data recovery is a thing of the past. The modern solution? IT departments now purchase this all-in-one data recovery solution designed for enterprise-class operations. However, this platform is not relegated to just universities. The smallest school districts share similar requirements: multiple platforms, remote offices, large numbers of users (at every level), separate retention expectations from different departments, and a host of legal rules to follow.

All backup appliances are not made equal

As appliances now constitute a major category for purchasing a backup solution, one thing needs to be made clear: all backup appliances are not the same. The reasons for automating a typical “pieces and parts bundled solution” into an appliance identify the very elements for how appliances are different—software, technologies, hardware, support, and the “other” parameters. Let’s take a look at each of these components:

Software

Software is the ultimate automation transformer of all time. Of course, it is just a bunch of weightless ones and zeros without hardware, but frankly, the software rules.

Consider the software’s database engine and its ability to manage complexity. Users must have a “relational” database in the software. The database must expand into dizzyingly huge sizes. Limits on growth send backup administrators into apoplexy.