Distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC) walked away with two awards at Symantec's Partner Summit held at the Velmore Hotel and Conference Centre, just outside of Pretoria on the 17th of November 2011. The company scooped the 'Distributor of the Year' and 'Consumer Marketing of the Year' awards, making it a double celebration.
The 'Distributor of the Year' award is based on criteria including turnover, certified sales and technical staff and a general focus on the brand. DCC has won this award for the sixth time highlighting the distributors continued focus on the brand and product set. The 'Consumer Marketing of the Year' award acknowledges the efforts of distributors to promote its consumer brands - Norton and PC Tools - in the Southern African market.
"DCC has demonstrated continued commitment and investment in channel development over the last year, resulting in double digit year-on-year growth. DCC's success is testimony to the continued success and drive to continuously build channel loyalty through solid relationships," says Chad Cleevely, Channel Manager, Symantec, South Africa.
DCC has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Symantec that started out many years ago. DCC's efforts were concentrated when it created a focused Symantec Security Business Unit in 2006 and consolidated its Symantec Security and Storage offerings in 2009 to enhance focus and leverage synergies. In addition, DCC is currently in the process of being appointed a Symantec ExSP fulfilment partner, delivering an innovative new licensing model that enables resellers to buy Symantec software on a monthly, rental based model.
Says Fred Mitchell, Symantec Business Unit Manager at DCC, "Having a dedicated Symantec division provided us with focus which can be attributed to our success. In addition, we feature the highest number of Symantec focused staff - 10 in total - and continue to foster brand loyalty with our resellers and retailers."
"Our success in the consumer market with Symantec's Norton and PC Tools brands is largely due to our marketing efforts whereby we plan regular road shows and marketing events with resellers and retailers alike, ensuring the brand is promoted actively."
The recent data outages at international company Research in Motion (RIM), which left Blackberry users across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina without connectivity for days on end and sparked outrage from these users on social media platforms, only serve to highlight how dependent the modern world has become on stable Internet connectivity, particularly through previously non-traditional channels such as smartphones.
The fact is that in today's world, we cannot function without Internet connectivity. In the business environment, we are increasingly seeing a move to online and cloud services, with connectivity allowing access to company networks, documents and files, all of which in the past were housed internally. Without an Internet connection, employees working from home or the mobile workforce would be unable to access any of these features, rendering them unable to do their jobs.
Aside from the move into the cloud, both home and business users rely on connectivity in order to communicate, and new technology has taken the place of traditional communications. Users have become so used to being able to send emails and instant messages and even to make phone calls using Skype or VoIP technology that without these forms of online communication, businesses cease to function. Without connectivity we are truly lost, as communication is the heart of business, and without the Internet our main methods of modern communication are impossible.
Again as demonstrated by the RIM outages, connectivity is no longer a first world luxury, but something that users across emerging nations such as Africa, India and Latin America have come to depend on. In these countries connectivity is vital in order to maintain development and compete on a global stage and is often accomplished using mobile devices.
South Africa is no different, with many users relying on mobile connectivity to access the Internet, communicate and do business. In fact, recent Nielsen research shows that 29 million South Africans use cellphones, compared to only six million personal computer users, and mobile Internet usage is on the rise.
As a result of the prevalence of mobile phones and multiple issues with ADSL connectivity, South African network operators have made steady progress in the 3G space, pushing this connectivity to become more cost effective and usable to a larger proportion of the market. Recurrent theft of copper cabling, which leads to ADSL outages, has also driven hardware developers to innovate automatic failover devices which are able to switch seamlessly between ADSL and 3G connectivity. This failover is again made possible by the competitiveness of the 3G and mobile connectivity space.
The prevalence of 3G connectivity has also come about as a result of infrastructure challenges. Running copper or fibre connections and maintaining these has become difficult, time consuming and costly in South Africa. Driven by a larger user base, mobile connectivity has become infinitely more affordable, and it is now possible for users to run this as an affordable primary connection.
Connectivity is no longer deskbound thanks to the evolution of 3G, and is now accessible to larger numbers of South Africans than ever before through mobile devices, low cost notebooks and tablet PCs, opening up the Internet to the man on the street and increasing our dependence on connectivity still further.
This wireless trend is set to continue, as plans to roll out 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks are set to be put into motion in 2012. Using similar principles to 3G but running off a separate wireless spectrum, LTE offers high speed data connectivity on a mobile network, delivering more than five times the speeds of the current networks. While licensing issues have held back this technology, it is currently being tested and hardware manufacturers are gearing up for the rollout with LTE-ready devices.
While predicting the future is difficult under any circumstances, particular in areas that change as fast as technology, in all probability we can expect to see existing connectivity trends continue, with faster speeds and increased bandwidth availability the order of the day. We can also expect service providers to begin taking advantage of increased speeds and availability by rolling out content such as video on demand and Internet TV, keeping pace with developments in first world countries.
One thing is certain however, Mobile/wireless telecommunication will play a major role in the future of South African connectivity. In a world where business relies on the Internet to function - our mobile operators are perfectly poised to take advantage of this growth.
Nology was formed in 2001 and is the proud supplier of quality security-driven broadband, networking and communication hardware and solutions. With exclusive distribution rights for Billion, Airlive, VKOM and Works Systems products, Nology is the preferred provider to various retail and wholesale channels. Other popular Nology brands include Yealink, Peplink and ViBE. Nology is committed to service excellence with support being central to this philosophy. The company features a dedicated technical support team and helpdesk that ensures efficient and swift support and maintenance. For more information visit www.nology.co.za
T-Systems in South Africa has been awarded with the international and sought-after DQS body of standards certification. The umbrella accreditation is valid in over 60 countries and forms part of the global movement towards international ICT processes and management standardisation.
The DQS certification includes the:
• ISO 9001 (Quality Management System - Requirements); • ISO 20000 (Service Management System - Requirements); and • ISO 27001 (r Information Security Management System - Requirements).
This brings T-Systems’ number of certifications to five following the
ISO14001 (Environmental Management System - Requirements) and OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management System - Requirements ) certifications obtained earlier this year. T-Systems is the only ICT company in SA to hold these five certifications
Comments Gert Schoonbee, VP Sales at T-Systems SA: “The DQS international certification is yet another step in our efforts to be a leading ICT outsourced provider. It underscores the ethos of our business which is to provide local expertise and insight built on internationally-recognised processes and practices.”
“Our customers in the various and diverse industries we serve such as automotive, healthcare and manufacturing can engage with us confidently, knowing that our services and implementations meet the highest international standards which in turn align their processes with those implemented globally. Locally we are on par now with our international counterpart.”
The ISO 20000-1 standard, like its BS 15000 predecessor, was originally developed to reflect best practice guidance contained within the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework. It equally supports other IT Service Management frameworks and approaches such as certain components of ISACA's COBIT framework.
The ISO 9001:2008 specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organisation:
• Needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements; • Aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and
the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and
ISO 27001 formally specifies a management system that is intended to bring information security under explicit management control. It is a formal specification means that it mandates specific requirements; therefore, organisations that have adopted t ISO 27001 can formally be audited and be certified to conform with this standard.
As the world has become increasingly digital, the creation and consumption of content from email and messaging to photographs and videos to music and movies, has literally exploded, increasing fivefold in just four years and predicted to grow more than 44 times by the year 2020. While this trend may have been driven by business at the outset, with emails originally making up a large volume of digital content, the consumer is outstripping the enterprise and digital content now exists across business, public and private domains.
Our lives have become digitally oriented, and the Internet with its wealth of content has become intrinsic to our lifestyles and the way in which we communicate. And while ‘the cloud’ began as a buzzword in the enterprise space, cloud storage particularly has evolved from the storage of IT content in the corporate cloud, to IP and online content in the public cloud, and even so far as storage of personal content within the personal cloud, as a means of addressing not only storage but also access challenges in the digital world.
The need for storage has grown correspondingly with the increase in digital content, and the average modern household now requires in the region of one Terabyte, or 1000GB of storage in order to maintain personal content. But this does not solve a growing problem that has emerged as a result of an increasingly connected lifestyle and the growing prevalence of connected mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs – users now want to access their content from wherever they are on their personal devices. Added to this challenge is the fact that any content stored on a mobile device is vulnerable, since theft of such devices is a common issue, especially in South Africa.
The public cloud has emerged as a way to solve this challenge, and has become more viable in South Africa as a result of more affordable and available bandwidth. When content is stored in this type cloud, it exists in a data centre somewhere in the world and can be accessed from any mobile device, breaking the limitations of internal device storage. It also ensures content is stored in a safe haven that protects this data should individual devices be stolen or go missing.
However while the public cloud enables users to access content stored publicly wherever they have an Internet connection, these files are often located at an unknown venue which may be anywhere in the world. Aside from the security concerns of this type of storage, it often involves some type of subscription or service fee that needs to be paid in order to access content.
The personal cloud has emerged as a way of combining the best of both worlds, enabling users keep content under their control, secure in their homes, while still allowing files to be shared, media to be streamed and various devices to access content anywhere, anytime and ensuring that content is not stored on individual devices to protect this content from theft.
Using innovative new Network Attached Storage (NAS) aimed specifically at the consumer, users can now ensure that their content is backed up safely at home, and remains accessible from anywhere. These consumer NAS devices plug directly into the wireless router to provide a shared storage platform for computers, tablets and smartphones regardless of operating system, keeping all media centrally accessible and allowing both wired and wireless streaming to devices in the home and outside of it.
Aside from enabling access for connected devices anywhere, anytime, the personal cloud has multiple other benefits. By creating a personal cloud storage network, users can access far more storage capacity than mobile devices typically ship with, allowing for the storage and access of much larger files and greater quantities of content. Backup also becomes a painless procedure, with wireless technology and automated backup ensuring content on devices has been stored in the central personal cloud. And as more and more home entertainment devices begin to incorporate connectivity, the personal cloud can even be used to create a connected home for the streaming of content from a central point to any device within the house.
When it comes to creating a personal cloud, there are several considerations consumers should look for in a NAS device. These include ease of setup and ease of use, high speed performance, compatibility across various operating systems and automatic backup capability. The NAS should also allow for web-based access to content stored on the device, so users can stream content from anywhere without having to use a public cloud server.
As content creation and consumption continues to expand and users become accustomed to anytime, anyplace access, the cloud has emerged as the answer to solving storage and access needs. While the public cloud is has its uses, consumers also demand higher levels of security and personalisation, and this is where the personal cloud comes into play. By creating their own personal cloud users can not only share and store content from anywhere in the world, they can also link PCs, smartphones, mobile devices and home entertainment systems through the NAS device to stream content and create the next evolution of consumer connectivity – the connected home.
WD, one of the storage industry's pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company designs and produces reliable, high-performance hard drives and solid state drives that keep users' data accessible and secure from loss. Its advanced technologies are configured into applications for client and enterprise computing, embedded systems and consumer electronics, as well as its own consumer storage and home entertainment products.
WD was founded in 1970. The company's storage products are marketed to leading OEMs, systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital and WD brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company's website (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.
Western Digital, WD, the WD logo, My Book, and WD TV are registered trademarks in the U.S. and other countries; My Book Live, WD 2go and WD TV Live are trademarks of Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Other marks may be mentioned herein that belong to other companies... As used for storage capacity, one terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment.
Smart buildings are not a fad; they offer proven advantage. Technology contracting, an emerging best practice for construction of facilities, literally builds 'smart' into the supporting infrastructure of a building.
It's doing away with traditional multi-contractor autonomy, centralising management and responsibility for the planning, implementation and commissioning of complex supporting systems. The benefits are considerable, says Johnson Controls Systems & Service, a leader in this sector.
"Technology contracting is a money and time saving, risk reducing option,"
says Neil Cameron, General Manager: Systems & Services at Johnson Controls Africa. "It delivers truly integrated systems that allow a building to function as a single cohesive entity, maximising the benefits to be had from intelligent systems - such as - lowered cost of ownership, ease of management, minimised energy usage and emissions, and a lower carbon footprint."
Like the architect that designs a structure with engineering, eco and aesthetic principles and purpose in mind, technology experts have an enterprise-wide perspective on technology. They also have the authority and technical expertise to make decisions and influence how the information technology network, as well as comfort, communications, life safety, asset tracking and business applications will be chosen, installed and operated.
Says Cameron: "In a traditional approach to the design and construction of a building, a number of independent consultants contribute to the creation of a building spec. This may include any number of increasingly hi-tech technologies - like CCTV, HVAC, fire alarms, lighting and electrical systems, communication and building management platforms.
"While each system may be selected on merit and fit with customer requirements, each will usually be implemented by an independent supplier; each will have its own (sometimes proprietary) operating system that will need to be upgraded; and each is likely to be maintained by a separate service provider. Without a single integrated architecture, systems are difficult to synchronise, and costs are duplicated over the lifetime of the systems.
"A technology contractor, on the other hand, provides a single source of responsibility for all supporting technology systems, can balance first and lifecycle costs, eliminate system and infrastructure duplication, converge individual systems into a technology solution, and can guide implementation to maximise efficiency and cost effectiveness."
The result is a best-in-class integrated technology system at a lower first cost, and a more efficient long-term operation. All of this is designed to seamlessly accommodate future advancements in technology. Thus the building or project stays ahead of the technology curve, no matter what the future holds.
Technology contractors, like Johnson Controls have both the technology and industry insight and global experience to put together systems that integrate easily and can be managed centrally, deriving maximum benefit for building owners, occupants and companies.
A good example is a recent win. In June 2011 Johnson Controls was awarded two contracts totalling $168m for work on the New Doha International Airport project in Qatar. The contracts include installation of the perimeter intrusion detection systems, as well as cover the design, supply and installation of terminal operation centres and the Qatar Airways Operation Command Centre.
Says Cameron: "With convergence of technologies and communication platforms, the opportunities to improve the comfort of users, ease of management and cost equations associated with facility operation and maintenance are significant. Structure and infrastructure are melding to drive a new paradigm in building construction, enabling companies to better leverage investments in these facilities and ensure their longevity."
About Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in over 150 countries. Our 154,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimise energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2011, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognised Johnson Controls as the
As the single point for the clearing of all cheques and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) transactions in the country, the Central Bank of Kenya clearing house can ill afford any database downtime. Sybrin Systems teamed up with RDB Consulting to deliver high availability and uptime with Oracle's Standard Linux database and fully redundant servers.
Sybrin Systems, a company that specialises in payment processing solutions, mainly across Africa, was awarded the contract, adding to their high profile client portfolio. The solution involved 41 banks using Sybrin Systems'
Client Participation Module, providing an interface to their Central Bank Clearing Module, running off high end clustered servers with Oracle's
Standard 11g database. Sybrin Systems enlisted Oracle experts, RDB
Consulting, to assist with the server configuration aspect of the project.
Sybrin Systems, with the assistance of RDB Consulting, delivered the required solution, ensuring that the Central Bank of Kenya's clearing house continues to function smoothly and seamlessly, since going 'live' on 17 October 2011.
"The challenge we faced with Oracle's database was squeezing maximum functionality out of an Oracle Standard configuration (due to the customer's budget), using scripting and special configurations to provide the required level of redundancy to satisfy the client's requirements. Oracle Enterprise, on the contrary, comes standard with such functionality," says Brendon Paul, Director of Sybrin Systems.
"This required a highly specialist skill, and at that particular point in time we didn't have the correct resource available, so we called on RDB Consulting to provide the expertise required on demand. RDB Consulting has a solid reputation for excellence and came highly recommended by Oracle, so they were the natural choice for the Oracle configuration component of the project," he adds.
The implementation was not a straightforward one, as the servers could not simply be installed. Coding needed to be written to deliver live backups from the database to the data recovery site. RDB Consulting delivered the scripting required to achieve the necessary redundancy coded into the system, linking the live server with the backup server at the live site as well as the server at the data recovery site, providing high levels of failover to ensure maximum uptime even in the event of a problem.
"Sybrin Systems had already provided the hardware and software, so our skills were needed on the testing and implementation phases of the server configurations. As a first phase, RDB Consulting created a stable server environment in South Africa for Sybrin Systems to test the system on. Once testing was completed, the servers were shipped to Kenya, then put through exhaustive redundancy tests and thereafter stabilised before going 'live',"
says Gerrit-Jan Albers, Service Delivery Manager at RDB Consulting.
"The configuration delivered by RDB Consulting is in line with best practice and recommendations from Oracle, and was designed to provide the necessary high availability found in a Data Guard installation, so that if one node fails, it can fail over seamlessly to another synchronised node without affecting service. We have also signed a six month support contract to provide monitoring and remote maintenance to ensure maximum uptime is achieved at all times," he adds.
Thanks to a team effort on the part of Sybrin Systems and RDB Consulting, the Central Bank of Kenya has greatly reduced the risks associated with downtime on the clearing system. The site went live without a hitch, and there have been no problems with the implementation or configuration to date.
Tilt, pivot, swivel, adjust your viewing height or even change your screen display from landscape to portrait quickly and easily. Get customisable large screen viewing with the innovative new Philips 241P3 24-inch LED monitor, available from distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC).
This large, eco-friendly professional monitor features an ergonomic base with built in stereo audio and an onboard USB port for added value. It delivers brilliant full high definition (FHD) display with a super high contrast ratio and superior colour reproduction thanks to consistent brightness across the screen.
"This product has been designed with the professional user in mind. The height adjustable base allows for 130mm of vertical movement, and the screen angle can be pivoted on both the x and y axis to achieve the ideal individual viewing angle. With the 90 degree screen rotation the display can also be switched to portrait should this be required, and a host of added features enhance the user experience," says Tyrone Young, Country Manager, Philips Monitors.
SmartImage technology analyses the content displayed on your screen and gives you optimised display performance. At the touch of a button, you can dynamically adjust the contrast, colour saturation and sharpness of images and videos for ultimate display performance. The Economy mode option offers superior power saving capabilities, with running consumption as low as 12 watts.
Stylish, intelligent touch controls respond to your lightest touch to adjust monitor settings, and the on-board USB port allows you to conveniently connect your plug and play multimedia devices such as USB memory devices, cameras, portable hard drives, webcams and printers. Dual VGA and DVI connectivity allows dual screen display to be set up in a matter of seconds.
"The Philips 241P3 addresses an underserved market segment. The majority of today's large screen LED displays have a fixed base, and are aimed at the consumer market. This monitor offers the ergonomic features desired by the professional user with value adds such as built in speakers and a USB port and all of the environmental, power saving and viewing benefits of an LED screen," says Bruce Byrne, Visual Communications Specialist at DCC.
The Philips 241P3 is EPEAT Gold and Energy Star 5 rated, mercury, halogen and lead free and ships in 100% recyclable packaging to minimise carbon footprint. It is available immediately from DCC's resellers.
New 3D Visualization Application Provides Unique View on Corporate Network Infrastructures
12 December 2011
LOOPHOLD Security Distribution has announced the availability of Barracuda Networks' Barracuda NG Earth 2.0, a new 3D-visualisation application that provides an array of information on centrally managed Barracuda NG Firewalls used in distributed network environments. Barracuda NG Earth is part of the Barracuda NG Control Center and free of charge for customers using the Control Center Enterprise or Global Editions.
Says Martin Tassev, MD at LOOPHOLD Security Distribution, "Central management of VPNs can be complex and having a real-time, simplified view of geographical maps make administrators lives much easier."
Easy, Fast and Clear
Barracuda NG Earth allows administrators to easily manage multiple fire wall locations (specifically VPN tunnels based on Barracuda NG Firewalls) using hotkeys and drop-down menus on the navigation bar at the top of the graphical display. Using Barracuda NG Earth, administrators can view:
. Detailed product information such as firmware version, model and serial numbers, system status and local device time, as well as configuration settings.
. Physical and political maps showing national boundaries, country names and capital cities to improve clarity and navigation.
. Drop-down list navigation to easily switch between locations and view the respective site-to-site tunnel and status in real time.
Barracuda NG Earth 2.0 requires minimal system resources such as hard drive space and memory. Administrators who prefer using lightweight subnotebooks and netbooks can use Barracuda NG Earth reliably on these devices to view detailed information on the go.
The extremely simple handling, clarity and low system resource requirements make Barracuda NG Earth a unique management tool for centrally managing global VPN connections.
For more information about the Barracuda NG Firewall, Barracuda NG Control Center and Barracuda NG Earth, please visit http://bit.ly/NG_overview.
App Offers Secure SSL VPN Connectivity to Corporate Network Resources for Today's Mobile Workforce
08 December 2011
SonicWALL, a provider of intelligent network security and data protection solutions, has announced the availability of its Mobile Connect App on the App Store for download to Apple devices such as iPad and iPhone. For users of SonicWALL's SSL VPN and Next-Generation Firewall product lines, the new SonicWALL Mobile App enables anytime, anywhere secure remote access and connectivity from Apple devices such as the iPad and iPhone to all network resources. A single unified SSL VPN client, Mobile Connect is supported across all current SonicWALL Secure Remote Access (SRA) and SonicWALL Aventail E-Class SRA, as well as SonicWALL TZ, Network Security Appliance (NSA), E-Class NSA and SuperMassive E10000 Series firewalls. Mobile Connect runs on iOS 4.2 and higher.
The SonicWALL Mobile Connect App provides users "VPN on Demand" and encrypts traffic whenever users attempt to access protected internal resources.
Further capabilities are added when Mobile Connect users communicate through a SonicWALL firewall. Network administrators can enable Clean VPN (SonicWALL Gateway Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware and Intrusions Prevention scanning over VPN
connections) to afford iOS users the same level of protection as if they were on the internal network, and ensure that communications relayed through the iOS devices are clean of malware. Additionally, network administrators can utilise SonicWALL Application Intelligence and Control functionality to identify which iOS apps should receive critical bandwidth. This assures performance for key business, education and medical applications, while throttling down other bandwidth intensive applications not deemed important to the enterprise or school.
Says Martin Tassev, Managing Director at LOOPHOLD Security Distribution, distributor of SonicWALL solutions, "The explosion of mobile devices is upon us and the trend of Bring your Own Device (BYOD) is impacting organisations'
security where CEO's to sales resources are increasingly using their iPhone or iPad to access information on the corporate network. SonicWALL's solution addresses the security concerns that these ever-popular devices could introduce into the corporate network, further enabling and empowering the mobile workforce."
For internal users of iOS devices, IT administrators are already able to utilise SonicWALL's Clean Wireless (data encryption and Gateway Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware and Intrusion Prevention over WLAN networks) as well as SonicWALL Content Filtering services to meet compliance and policy requirements. Now, with the Mobile Connect App, users and organisations can be protected while traveling and accessing networks from public hotspots.
By deploying the SonicWALL Mobile Connect App, companies can take full advantage of the power and innovation of iPad and iPhone-simply and securely. IT organisations can now support iPad and iPhone users by giving them secure access to network resources, including shared folders, client-server applications, intranet sites, email and more.
The SonicWALL Mobile Connect App is available for free from the App Store on iPad and iPhone or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.
In today's digital age, regulations around data retention are becoming of increasing concern to businesses of all sizes across industry sectors. While the duration of requirements for retention may vary from industry to industry, the South African Revenue Service requires that documents be kept for a minimum of five years for tax and auditing purposes, which means that often large amounts of digital data must be archived for at least this minimum prescribed period.
Aside from legal compliance issues, the ever increasing amounts of digital data are placing added burden on backup solutions. This data often contains business critical information, which means that adequate backup and recovery solutions have become vital technology in ensuring business continuity in the event of disaster.
However, taking a blanket approach to backup and archiving of digital data is simply not a smart option, since the sheer volumes of information sent over digital channels can cost organisations a fortune in storage space. It is vital to decide which information is relevant and which is not, so that only important information is backed up. It is also important to ensure that data is not duplicated, as storing multiple copies of the same information takes up unnecessary storage space.
The latest backup and archiving technology can be of great assistance, with advances such as deduplication, ensuring that multiple copies of data are eliminated and intelligent archiving solutions automating the indexing process to create searchable archives on a highly granular level, ensuring that documents and data that are stored can easily be located if necessary.
Technology, however, can only do so much on its own. In order to ensure effective and efficient backup of data, policies need to be put into place to set the parameters for what is being backed up and when, and how often to run incremental backups as opposed to full backups. Policies should also dictate what happens to the backed-up data, whether it is archived on disks or on tapes and whether the backup data is stored on or offsite, and for how long this data must be stored depending on relevant compliance legislation.
These policies should cover not only data such as emails and business critical documentation, but also aspects such as identity management profiles and access control information, in order to ensure security. If the system crashes and needs to be restored from the backup, this data is crucial in ensuring that security breaches resulting from unauthorised access do not occur, since all of the information relating to who is able to access what information can be immediately resumed during the recovery process.
When it comes to best practice around backup and archiving, setting up the correct policies is a crucial step. It also needs to be remembered however that the policy document is not a static object, and needs to be continuously updated to ensure that it is in line with the current requirements of the organisation, both in terms of business and compliance needs.
The latest technology is also recommended as part of best practice, since advances in solutions can provide more efficient backup that uses less space and costs less money in the long term, and can help organisations to ensure that the right data is being backed up at the right time through an automated system that eliminates the potential for human error.
Testing the restoration functionality on a regular basis is another vital element. It is all very well to have masses of data backed up, but organisations must be able to restore this data quickly in the event of a disaster, to make sure that the business is back up and running in short order to minimise lost productivity.
Finally, when it comes to implementing any backup and archiving system, it is always advisable to speak to an expert in the field. This will help to ensure that the right system is put into place, that the solution is set up correctly for maximum efficiency, and that policies can be put into place that are effective for each individual organisation.
Backup and archiving are a vital part of the modern business, but if the wrong products are used or solutions are not correctly implemented, this aspect of IT can end up attracting unnecessary expense. Following best practice and the advice of a skilled and experienced expert can help organisations to ensure that the right data is always securely backed up and can be quickly restored if necessary, minimising damage to the business.