By Keith Millett | Jan 31, 2018 | Product of the Month

Free, no-risk assessment

Backup assessments have become one of HPE’s most popular storage services. The process only takes five to 40 minutes, depending on the size of your environment, and we do not collect any personal data. We just gather system process information and provide concrete feedback, but here’s the bonus: We do it free of charge. You don’t even need to be an HPE customer to receive this service.

Each assessment determines things such as the number of backup policies you have in place and how frequently backups run. It determines metrics such as backup duration and maximum backup window, as well as statistics on backup success and failure ratios. These assessments also give you feedback on how many restores are performed and their success rates.

After we analyze the data, you receive a report that gives you a view into how well your backup servers perform. This also provides a benchmark for any future assessments.


Based on this experience, there are five trends we’ve identified that you should be aware of:

  1. Backup windows are a concern

Backup windows are a concern for many organizations we survey. More than half the customers we have assessed have had backups that took more than 96 hours to complete. That’s more than four days! Those long windows can be dangerous to the success of your backups. What’s being done with the data that continues to pour in over that four-day window? What if there is a failure three-and-a-half days in?

The assessments we perform also show that about 10 percent of customer backups take more than 192 hours. That’s more than a week! As a general rule, if it takes more than a weekend for a full backup (or longer than overnight for an incremental backup), you’ve got problems that need to be addressed.

  1. Backup failure rates are high

Almost 37 percent of all backup jobs that we have assessed have success rates of 95 percent or less. This means that more than five percent of backup jobs fail at some point. What’s more, only 39 percent of backup jobs have a better than 98 percent success rate. These numbers are quite surprising and beg the question: Do you know when your backup jobs are successful or not?

  1. Backup architecture is complicated

We partly attribute high failure rates to the fact that traditional backup architecture is complicated to manage. Many organizations are currently experiencing a generational shift in the data center that compounds this challenge. For example, if the employee who has managed backups for the past 20 years retires and their replacement is not used to dealing with five-year-old backup technologies, there will be problems. Often the high failure rate can be traced to the sheer complexity of running backups in large environments.

  1. Some organizations store their data forever

Our assessment allows you to see exactly how much data you keep and, more importantly, for how long. We’ve met with a lot of customers who hold on to data for unlimited periods. In fact, more than 40 percent keep their data 366 days or longer. What does this mean? It means a big chunk of the organizations assessed back up data they’ll never use and pay to keep it backed up, some indefinitely. When we dig deeper to determine if this is a business requirement or is it just happening without scrutiny, many say they hang on to the data “just in case.” When it’s needed for corporate governance or compliance, that’s one matter. However, hanging on to petabytes of data that will likely never be touched again is not efficient and not sustainable.

  1. File servers are often a problem

Nearly a quarter of all backups involve file servers, which tend to be the “problem children” of the data center in terms of the time required to perform backups. Other file systems such as Oracle, SAP®, and Microsoft® Exchange systems can also take a long time. Still, the primary culprit for crawling backups is typically file servers. They can take days or even over a week to back up, based on what we’ve seen in the assessments we’ve performed.


Assessment results can be eye-opening

We’ve worked with many customers who are shocked by what we uncover in their assessment. At first, some want to refute the findings, but once they investigate on their own, they see confirmation of what’s been uncovered. Then they begin looking for ways to improve the situation. Many realize even prior to the assessment that they have backup issues, but have trouble getting these issues prioritized within their organizations. With our assessment results report in-hand, you can go up the chain to senior management and do something about your backup issues before it’s too late. What you don’t know can hurt you, but when armed with information you can prevent disaster before it strikes. Think of this assessment as an independent evaluation that shows you how to get up to current IT standards.

Get your free assessment today

Curious about the health of your own backup system? Concerned that your organization is exposed to unnecessary risk? CTI can perform a free assessment for you to confirm or deny these suspicions. Uncover issues around backup windows and failed backups, and find opportunities for cost reductions—such as important, environment specific information about deduplication opportunities and benefits, and how to safely reduce data backup times. You’ll also receive relevant insights into your current backup environment, such as the amount of daily data being backed up, throughput metrics, total capacity used for backup retention, top 10 backup jobs, and data types being backed up.

Use the form on the right to sign up for a free assessment today.