You have to plan your data protection. While this might seem like an obvious statement, most people don’t think about it until after they have a solution in place.
Did you sit down with your database administrator to get their requirements? Did you actually vet those requirements? Come on, you know they’re going to tell you they need full hot backups every night and to keep that data forever. Give me a break. They have no idea the cost and burden that puts on the infrastructure and the daily batch processing.
Planning is key
Before you go to the data owners, create tiers or pools that have some simple rules. Then, make the owners choose between them or argue why they should be different.
For example, let’s take an environment that has email, a few database instances and flat file data (user data). You would create a simple set of rules that the owners have to choose from in order to make it easy for them.
Here are some example rule sets:
- Email active pool: full nightly and retain for 90 days
- Email archive pool: once a week, keep for one year
- Email log files: run every hour and retain for 90 days
- Database active pool: full every other day and retain for 90 days
- Database archive pool: once a week and keep for one year
- Database transaction logs: run every hour and keep for 48 hours
- Flat file data: retain for 60 days
- Flat file archive: once a month and keep for one year
Now when you go to your database administrator they have a choice to make. Are they okay with a 90-day retain time? If not, they need to keep it for one year, and you can explain how the archive version has that covered. If they are not happy and want everything kept for one year and not just a copy once a week, you can ask them to justify the extra cost of the infrastructure needed to store five times more data. The simple decision to retain data for one year can have huge implementation and cost ramifications.
The example above is very simple, and in most cases you would need a few more categories, such as production versus development, to make it a viable roadmap for your business. But, the premise is sound. You must make decisions from an overall standpoint before you start planning a data protection solution.
If you do not do this one simple thing, your data protection solution becomes a data protection problem.