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Is it time to change your backup system?

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#time #change #backup #system

It’s likely your current backup solution has warts. In fact, very few people like their backup product. And when a charming sales engineer from Acme Backup highlights 10 new whiz-bang features on their recent demo, it’s tempting to make a switch. I get the itch – I’ve spent my career in data protection, so few folks get more excited about a seemingly good new backup product. But before you sign that purchase order and risk a resume-generating event, ask yourself if the shinier tech truly warrants disrupting your organization’s safety net and going through a messy platform change.

Why companies rip out backups

After advising many organizations on their backup migrations, I distilled the core drivers to these gems:

  1. Performance: Backups/restores are too slow
  2. Usability issues confuse admins
  3. Fear of inadequate security
  4. New workloads aren’t supported
  5. Competitor FOMO
  6. Total cost of ownership

Sometimes each of these reasons is valid enough on its own to warrant a change. But here’s the ugly truth: the first three nearly always have simpler fixes than a risky platform swap. Because swapping backup products is so risky, the reasons for a change need to be ironclad. Let’s take a closer look at those reasons.

It’s just not fast enough

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fixed “slow backup software” with better configurations – cleaned up snapshots, reduced unneeded redundancy or scope, tweaked multiplexing or network settings. If you think shiny new products inherently perform faster, you might be surprised. External issues such as bad disk layouts, cluttered repositories, and overtaxed hardware will tank speed no matter what software you run.

So before you blame the platform, scrutinize your architecture with a pro. Calling support for performance tuning might seem old school, but it avoids sales team BS. Also consider professional services to really dig in and see what’s going on. If genuinely better software exists for your use case, benchmarks will reveal it, but don’t assume switching (by itself) will speed things up.

I hate this interface!

Bloated UIs and byzantine configuration choices plague our industry. But before migrating to a new product over a lousy user experience, have you considered whether you’re part of the problem? I know it’s not popular to say, but often the reason a product doesn’t work the way you want it to is that you’re trying to make it work like the last backup product you had. This is again a good reason to consult support and/or professional services to see if a configuration streamlined to the way this product works might make things better.