Metiix Blog Managed Backup Services

Data Privacy

Data privacy is the aspect of information technology that concerns the collection and protection of private information about individuals or organizations, in which they determine what data in a computer system can be shared with third-parties. Cloud data privacy issues are concerns for companies either moving towards or who are already using the cloud.

Cloud data privacy laws differ considerably among countries. While the United States has very harsh laws with HIPAA or the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), Germany has one of the most strict policies in the world.

  • Make sure you trust who is protecting your data, the fewer copies you have, the easier it is to protect.
  • When you outsource any of your data make sure they are a secure, reliable company.
  • Encrypt your data. Encrypted data is considered secure and private.
  • Provide a solid firewall so you can prevent others from accessing your data.
  • Keep your passwords strong to prevent unauthorized parties to gain access to your servers. Make sure to have strong passwords on all your computers and laptops as well as ensuring that they are modified regularly.
  • If using financial data, use secure connection for receiving and transmitting credit card information (SSL)
  • Be careful what you or your employees download to your computer
  • Keep your anti-virus software in place and updated.

Metiix helps companies ensure that their data remains private and within compliance using physical safegaurds, encryption, and zero-knowledge practices. Contact us to find out more.

Data Migration

Data migration is the process of transferring data between storage types, formats, or computer systems. It is a key consideration for any system implementation, upgrade, or consolidation. Data migration is usually performed programmatically to achieve an automated migration, freeing up human resources from tedious tasks. Data migration occurs for a variety of reasons: - Server or storage equipment replacements, maintenance or upgrades, - Application migration - Website consolidation - Datacenter relocation

Data growth is often times the catalyst for migration. Other times it is performance, or the lack of it, that drives the migration effort. Maybe it is something as simple as a missing functionality that plays a role in the migration decision. In some cases version 1 of a storage file or system has a certain functionality, but version 2 has functionality that you might rather need or want. Perhaps the format of the data is different with a new version of the overriding software consumer. Often, a new version of the software will require a new format of the underlying data. This may or may not require a migration of formats.

Lastly, Data center relocation rounds our our list of reason to migrate data. Perhaps to consolidate geographically dispersed storage locations. Maybe you want to perform the opposite and move your data to geographically dispersed locations; so as to not put all your eggs in one basket. Lastly, maybe it is data redundancy that initiates the data migration effort.

Data migration may impact business operations when it creates extended downtime, compatibility and performance issues. Although migrating data can be a fairly time-consuming process, the benefits can be worth the cost.

Factors to consider in a data migration project include how long the migration will take; the amount of downtime required; and the risk to the business from technical compatibility issues, data corruption, application performance issues, and missed data or data loss.

Data migration can involve entering the data manually, moving disk files from one folder (or computer) to another, database insert queries, developing custom software, or other methods. The specific method used for any particular system depends entirely on the systems involved and the nature and state of the data being migrated.

There are three broad categories of data movers:

  • Host-based software is best for application-specific migrations such as platform upgrades and for database replication and file copying.
  • Array-based software is primarily used to migrate data between like systems.
  • Network appliances migrate volumes, files or blocks of data depending on their configuration.

The following best practices should be used to protect data during a migration - Backups - Before migration process make sure have backups in case your data migrations fail allowing you to roll back your systems to a known good state.
- Testing - Perform data migration testing. Test your data migration process within a test enviorment completely isolated from your production enviornment. Extract, transform and deduplicate data before moving it. Validate the migrated data to ensure it is accurate. - Understand what data you are migrating, where it lives, what form it’s in and the form it will take at its new destination. - Implement data migration policies so data is moved in an orderly manner. With any process or documentation, audit the entire data migration process.

Metiix helps customers migrate their data using efficient processes and systems software to achieve our customer requirements. Let us help guide you through this process.

Data Deduplication

Data redundancy can occur by accident or done purposely for backup and recovery plans. Repetition of data can cause distortion and corruption of files. Having redundant data makes your backup process more pricey and tedious, while operating less efficient.

One of the earliest approaches to data reduction was data compression. Compression and data deduplication operate somewhat differently. Compression uses an algorithm to minimize the size of the data by reducing the number of bits needed to represent data. Compression reduces the bits by identifying and eliminating redundancy. You are typically able to uncompress the data through a lossless process. Lossless compression enables restoration to the original state of the file.

Data deduplication, one of the newest techniques for reducing data, involves looking for redundancy of sequences and removing duplication within data. Deduplication eliminates extra data by saving an original copy and then replaces the other copies with pointers that lead back to the original. Deduplication looks for redundant blocks of data across a system, or even multiple systems, and replaces each duplicate block with a pointer to the original block of data.

Reducing the amount of redudant blocks of data benefits maintenance, effectively increases network bandwidth, and reduces storage allocation which helps disk cost and also reduces the amount of data that needs to be moved making your data more managable.

Deduplication improves performance and benefits maintenance ensuring the backup runs proficiently. The obvious and probably most beneficial is the decrease in backup storage cost. These savings can be achieved reducing the capacity needed to protect large sums of online data.

Metiix is very proficient in data deduplication techniques and employs this process accross almost all of its data protection services. Let us help you understand the benefits of data deduplication.

Choosing a Backup Service

What do you need to look for in choosing a good backup service? It is important to protect your company from human error, software corruption or even a disaster which can cause data loss.

When choosing a backup solution provider, you have many things to consider. First, you should evaluate your storage needs. Consider the amount of data you have and the expectation of how much data your business will need.

Look for providers that with pricing plans that meet your organization’s needs. Some service providers charge per unit of data while others charge per device that is being backed up; often times combining both to meet your needs. Many service providers allow for unlimited backup at a fixed price. Providers also have yearly or biannual plans, but monthly is typically an option.

Security is another important factor when choosing a provider. Make sure they have top-notch encryption. Encryption ensures that your data is safe, and allows for zero-knowledge by the provider.

Customer service also plays a factor. Many providers boast 24/7 backup support. Alerts are sent via email bringing issues/problems with your servers to your attention right away. Some even provide extra services such as free disk space monitoring.

Metiix excels in customer satisfaction regarding all of these attributes. Lets us show you!

Business Continuity

A business continuity plan is a company’s preparation for unforeseen risks and interruptions. It involves devising a plan by defining potential risks and implementing procedures and safeguards in the event of a disruption. Although odds are low of having a fire, epidemic sickness or system crash, the truth is accidents and disasters do happen. A business continuity plan is vital so you are able to recover quickly and effectively so your organization can continue operations.

Disaster recovery is the process of saving data, preferably offsite, so you are able with able to recover it in the event of a disaster. Disaster recovery planning is a key part of an overall business continuity plan and strategy.

For example, your company sells medical equipment for terminally ill consumers. The sales and shipping department are in the same building. A fire hits and destroys everything in this building. Where will your sales reps make their calls from and where will your employees ship from? Is there a recovery site that they could relocate to. Determining how those risks will affect operations ultimately determines the level of readiness required in the case of a disaster. In the event of a disruption, having a plan provides stability and continuity of your primary responsibilities.

Most organizations review a business continuity plan a few times a year to make sure that it is up to date. Let Metiix help you understand your business continuity options.