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There are a number of obvious business benefits for business to ensure regular data protection is completed and recovery assured, not least issues of business continuity, corporate governance and costs. As companies demand new approaches to meet more stringent recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs), this article will explain the value of adopting a unified approach to data protection and management.

Business continuity, which is core to disaster recovery, demands a need to access and recall data or information to support the restoration or recovery of various corporate assets (individuals' data, client records, readings, applications, complex systems and remote sites). Higher still on most business' agendas is corporate governance (more typically and commonly misreferred to as compliance), that is, ensuring information is retained for a period of time relative to an organization's retention criteria.

In both cases the key to either governance and/or recovery is the preservation and the access to information that resides within the data set and anywhere within the company.

Backup and recovery is about delivering what a company really needs: to browse and find data, select as little or as much as is needed, and then recover it quickly and efficiently to where it is needed -- in other words, reliable data recovery with maximum cost-efficiency and minimal specialized training to facilitate the recovery.

Many businesses are only just starting to understand the advanced data management capabilities they will need to exploit the benefits of distributed file systems and other aspects of application-like operating systems. Support for many of the advanced functions needed to automate and manage the scale and complexity of today's data infrastructures could previously only be achieved through clunky bolt-ons.

Traditionally when management capabilities have been grafted onto backup tools they are usually expensive extras forcing users to manage and monitor functions from separate screens or interfaces. Furthermore, the nature of older tools often limits the range of functions that can be controlled (via their primary interface). So it would not be unusual to see administrators having to access a range of GUIs and CLI to completely manage their data protection processes.


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