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Q&A Series – Why having a data backup strategy is critical – Scott McGregor

Scott’s passion lies in technology and education. As Hybrid IT Consultant and a key member of the Somerville team, Scott’s focus is on designing, implementing and managing robust backup strategies for a diverse range of organisations and educational institutions. In his time at Somerville, Scott has developed a reputation for excellence in all areas of private, public and hybrid cloud-based IT solutions.

Q: Scott, thanks for your time. Can you give us a brief run-through of your background at Somerville and what your role entails?

Scott: I’ve been with Somerville since 2007, when I started as a systems engineer before moving into a solutions architect position. Recently, I’ve taken on the role of Hybrid IT Consultant, where my focus is on helping customers understand how backup-as-a-service (BaaS)  is critical to them protecting their school or business and that it doesn’t need to be a resource hungry task

Backup tends to be a time-consuming burden that internal IT teams would rather not deal with, but it is so important for any organsiation to have the right back-up strategy. Above all, the outcome of having complete and secure backups is that our customers can be confident their data is safe should a disaster or breach occur. So our BaaS offering fits well with most of the organisations we work with.

Q: What’s the most important element to a backup strategy?

Scott: Regardless of the organisation, a good backup strategy requires a strategic plan around your data, and consideration of how and where your data will be stored. In particular, following the 3-2-1 rule is key to a solid backup strategy and functions for all data types across any type of environment:

  1. Keep at least three versions of any critical piece of data.
  2. Store your data versions on separate pieces of media.
  3. Keep at least one backup copy offsite.

With those three safeguards in place, data will be protected in the event of corruption, loss or a breach. If you’re not running the 3-2-1 backup and there’s a fire or theft, your data will go the same way as everything else onsite. Likewise, if there’s a problem with the hardware, you’re likely to lose your data without the 3-2-1 rule. Having an offsite copy protects you from hardware and disaster failures.

Q: What are the common mistakes that organisations make with their backup strategies?

Scott: A lot of organisations back up everything as opposed to critical data sets, which makes the process unnecessarily burdensome and time-consuming. If you don’t have good visibility over your data, you can’t build a backup strategy that’s designed to protect the most important data sets. Similarly, if the security and backup approach isn’t correct – storing backup data with primary data, for example – then data may not be adequately protected.

Q: If an organisation wanted to implement a BaaS solution, what would the process look like?

Scott: Typically when we work with organisations to implement BaaS, we start by doing an audit of the environment as it stands and map out the workloads and data sets. From there, we put together a proposal about how it should be mapped out, and then how it will be implemented, recovery times, where the data will sit, etc.

We can also provide backup solutions that aren’t wrapped in an “aaS” (as-a-service) model. For example, we can have components of the solution that are standalone, and pricing doesn’t always have to be on a consumption-based model. However, one advantage to being on the Somerville Gateway is that we don’t have to move as much data, so it tends to be more cost-effective and less time intensive.

Ultimately though, our goal is to provide a solution that’s tailored specifically to the organisation and their unique needs.

Contact Scott today to discuss your back-up challenges and how you can implement a best-fit strategy or to discuss any of your Hybrid IT enquiries.

Ultimately though, our goal is to provide a solution that’s tailored specifically to the organisation and their unique needs.

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