Want to see how Biomni can help empower Teams? Let’s talk! Book a time that suits youBOOK YOUR SLOT
Blog – March 2023
The Importance of Back Up Failure Recovery
If your organisation experiences unplanned events in its infrastructure or god forbid is the victim of a ransomware attack, ensuring you can recover your most recent data is critical to avoid business disruption or in the worst scenario even put you out of business.
To avoid surprises it is imperative that you have fail proof processes in place to detect and recover from back up failures.
Today the back up market is very mature and there are a myriad of solutions available to support the process of backing up data, but when you get to scale, employ multiple vendors solutions and/or are forced into implementing multiple instances of a single vendors back up solution more complexity arises. This makes the process of detecting and recovering from back up failures much harder to orchestrate on a consistent basis.
In the context of scale and complexity relying on people alone to manage the process is not a fail safe approach. Augmenting back up teams with software that can assist them in them in the process is important. Helping them so they do not to miss critical events that could lead to service outages, providing advice and automation to assist them with problem diagnosis and resolution. In doing so we can increase the productivity of back up teams, free up their time to carry out other work and allow less skilled team to participate in the process.
Before digging into how this can be achieved lets 1st explore some of the challenges.
Are Your Teams Plugging The Gaps In Todays Tooling?
While back up tools provide a level of monitoring they only provide part of the picture and it necessary to determine the importance of specific failures, why these failures occurred and resolve them in a timely manner.
Very often back ups fail because of incidents or changes that occur outside of failures in back up software, and these problems need to be diagnosed correctly so that the appropriate action can be taken to recover from the problems.
When back up failures occur understand the criticality of the effected workloads and/or the impact on SLAs that may be in place is important order to understand the priority that should be given to their resolution. This context if also missing from native back up tools.
Because there is no one vantage point available that brings the relevant context together in the diagnostic process and then carry out the remedial work. This not only requires knowledge about specific back up tools but also involves access to multiple tools and systems to orchestrate all of the actions required for each incident that occurs.
This work is not only labour intensive but because of the knowledge & skills required it falls in the laps of highly trained back up engineers and it is not possible to exploit 1st and 2nd line support staff to assist in the process.
Struggling With Back Up Reporting Obligations?
In addition to managing the failure & recovery process organisations increasingly have performance and compliance objectives in place, and just like any other department in IT, back up teams need to demonstrate that they are meeting the KPIs associated with these objectives.
If you provide services to customers, and back up is part of the service, demonstrating to your customers that you are meeting your contractual obligations is also clearly important.
While native back up tools provide a level of reporting, this is generally inflexible and does not address the challenge of reporting across multiple vendors back up management platforms and/ or in context of SLAs that you may have in place. Very often this means that custom scripts and reports must be developed and maintained overtime to meet the requirements. The best expertise in back up teams are often called upon on an ongoing basis to do the heavy lifting in this regard.
The Business Impact
There are a number of business implications that result from the challenges discussed above;
1. Important issues can go undetected or are not prioritised correctly, which may ultimately lead to loss of data and failures in critical business processes.
2. Lots of manual labour intensive work is required for failure diagnosis, remediation and reporting. This increases the overall cost of back ups failure management. Expense that could otherwise be invested in other areas.
3. A combination of employee dissatisfaction with the daily work and the limited opportunity for career development can impact productivity and this may ultimately leads to staff churn.
If you are contracted to deliver Back Up as a Service then consequence may be further reaching;
4. Resulting in financial penalties, reputational damage and may even result in lost customer churn.
5. Limiting your ability to free up resources to innovate and develop your service offerings.
6. Impacting margins and the profitability of your service.
Given the material nature of issues they should not be overlooked, but what can you do address them?
Biomni JobR To The Rescue
Biomni has a long history of working in the back up management space through its historical relationship with Veritas. Veritas created an automated self service offering for back ups that is used by hundred of enterprises and service providers across the globe that was built by Biomni.
Through this relationship the Biomni team got to learn directly about the daily operational challenges facing 100s of back up teams.
Many of the challenges outlined above came to the fore on a consistent basis, which drove a set of requirements which became the genesis for what is now the JobR product.
The JobR solution provides 4 important pillars of functionality to address these requirements.
Single Pane Of Glass – Whether you use multiple vendors back up products or multiple instances of a single vendors product JobR brings these together in a single unified view. This incorporates all of the data from back up tools and 3rd party systems so that teams that manage back up failures have all of the context available at their finger tips to prioritise, diagnosis and remediate problems through a single interface.
This includes the context required to highlight the criticality of individual workloads and any SLAs, events (incidents and changes) in related domains that are important to aid the process.
Orchestration & Automation – JobR provides the orchestration and automation capabilities that enables repetitive tasks associated with problem diagnosis & remediation to be consistently executed in software. These can be operator initiated or fully automated in response to specific events.
Knowledge – The JobR product incorporates a knowledge base that is accessible through a chatbot experience. This enables teams that manage back-up failures to leverage vendors specific knowledge or knowledge related to previous incidents to aid them in their work.
Reporting – JobR represents the environments in a single unified data model that provides a common abstraction for reporting across multiple vendors back up solutions. Reporting includes predefined templates along with a Rest API so that the data represented in the system can be fed into any 3rd party tools.
The Impact Of JobR On Back Up Operations
Organisations that adopt JobR realise the following benefits;
1. Fewer back up failures go undetected.
2. Incident management for back up failures is prioritised based on the criticality of workloads & SLAs resulting in fewer service impacting failures.
3. Reduction in the man hours required to manage back up failures.
4. Reduction in the time service managers & executives spend dealing with the fall out of customer issues.
5. The best staff can be freed up so they can perform more productive work and 1st & 2nd line support staff can take onboard more of the process.
6. Eliminates the need for to build custom scripts and reports required for stakeholders and customers.
7. Provide a unified way to measure the performance of your back up vendor solutions giving teams the insight to hold vendors accountable and support decisions on the future direction of vendor selection.
Measuring The Benefits
Using JobR customers are able to realise a number of tangible measurable business benefits;
1. Much lower operational cost through it impact on the time engineers spend working on incidents, by leveraging lower skill resources to perform the work and reducing the time managers spend dealing with escalations managers and eliminating custom developments.
2. Increased job satisfaction and career progression for your teams, along with a reduction in staff churn.
If you are a Service Provider these can also be quantified through
1. Increased customer satisfaction & less churn.
2. Fewer SLA breaches that result in reputational damage and service credits.
3. Improved product & services margins.
4. More time for service improvements and service innovation.
If these benefits sound compelling and you would like to learn more don’t hesitate to reach out to Biomni to dig deeper.
See how Tenjin can improve the flow of information in your business