How to Reduce Enterprise Data Protection Costs With a Five-Step Process to Best Practices

Jan 06, 2010, 08:35 ET from Bocada, Inc.

KIRKLAND, Wash., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- In an era of scarce budget dollars, it is more critical than ever for IT organizations to slash expenses at every step. Data Protection is an area that offers the opportunity for substantial cost savings and improvements in meeting SLAs and regulatory compliance by implementing a systematic approach and delivering data protection as an IT service, according to Bocada, Inc., the world's leading provider of data protection management software and the creator of the Data Protection Service Management process.

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The DPSM process ensures data is adequately protected by laying out core best practices to transform the delivery of data protection services to achieve greater business and IT alignment, maximize operational efficiency, minimize risk and increase customer satisfaction.

Phase 1: Perform a Health Check

A data protection infrastructure health check ensures that administrators have detailed visibility into the health of the backup environment and that backup operations are properly deployed for maximum recoverability. The initial assessment identifies common problem areas, highlights the potential impact of any problem on SLA success, and reveals out-of-date or redundant data protection policies that may be wasting resources or causing chronic failures. Automating the data collection and reporting processes saves time and reduces costs, while immediately providing actionable information to ensure effective delivery of data protection services. Ongoing assessments help reveal the true effectiveness of an organization's processes, exposing actual backup success rates, capacity use, SLA compliance and recoverability. This evaluation enables effective problem management and identifies opportunities for improvement.

Phase 2: Continuous Policy Management

The goals for this phase are to evaluate and modify data protection processes to improve overall operations, reduce backup windows, eliminate unnecessary backups and increase utilization of resources. IT also needs to ensure that retention rates are appropriately set to meet recovery point objectives and that policies are in place to meet SLAs and are aligned to support business objectives and regulatory requirements. Effective policy management cuts costs by increasing resource utilization, reducing trouble tickets and improving SLA success metrics. With regular reviews and impact analysis, policies and processes can be modified to ensure success and recoverability while increasing IT-business alignment.

Phase 3: SLA Management

Delivering on SLAs is critical for compliance and customer satisfaction. A common problem is that SLAs are often implied and not agreed to or signed off. In this case customers are also not aware of the cost of the services. To prevent these issues IT must ensure that all SLAs are fully documented with the cost of services exposed via chargeback reports. Once IT has completed the first two phases of the DPSM process and is confident the policies and processes in place are aligned with business objectives and the backup infrastructure can support SLA goals, they should create a service catalog to publish to users. Communicating what can be achieved and helping end users understand the costs associated with data protection ensures both sides are in complete agreement regarding expectations for recovery. In addition, consistently publishing SLA results promotes better communication with customers helping increase satisfaction rates. Publishing SLA compliance reports to customers ensures improved IT credibility and allows customers to select data protection needs based on services costs.

Phase 4: Change and Audit Management

Without a process to track policy changes IT organizations are at risk for drops in SLA performance and face difficulty in responding quickly and accurately to regulatory and compliance audits. Best practices to implement this phase include reporting on restore activity to measure recoverability rates, reviewing performance against SLAs to identify data protection gaps, evaluating the impact of any policy change, ensuring all policy changes are annotated and establishing accountability and ownership for problem areas.

Implementing this phase of the DPSM process enables IT to expose areas of risk, identify unprotected assets and accurately track problem resolutions and the impact in SLAs. The net effect is increased data recoverability rates, reduced business disruptions and lower audit costs.

Phase 5: Standardizing for Operational Excellence

Standardizing on the above processes enables streamlined operations, reduced TCO, increased IT business contribution and improved customer satisfaction. Following the DPSM process produces strong alignment between business and IT, improvements in data protection performance and increased utilization of all resources. The DPSM process directs IT to automate, consolidate and standardize data protection services as much as possible; always provide proactive notification; use trending, capacity planning and change management; and continuously assess the data protection infrastructure and polices.

Taking these steps produces constant reductions in TCO, improves enterprise data protection performance and improves resource utilization. With better insight into the data protection infrastructure and its performance IT will make better decisions on capital expenditures and deliver higher quality data protection services.

About Bocada

Bocada provides automated insight and visibility into data protection processes, enabling IT organizations to confidently analyze data recoverability, predict risk vulnerability and identify opportunities for cost reduction. Based on patented, agent-less technology, Bocada solutions deploy rapidly and scale to meet the demands of the largest multi-vendor data protection environments. More than 500 brand-name customers and partners worldwide trust Bocada for their data protection operations, including Microsoft, Unilever and Valero Energy. Headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, Bocada is privately held and funded by leading venture investors. For more information visit: www.bocada.com.

All trademarks, trade names, service marks, and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies. Bocada is registered trademark of Bocada, Inc.


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SOURCE Bocada, Inc.



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