5 metrics you need to know about your backup and recovery system

Enterprises need to gather key data to determine whether their backup and recovery plans match up with reality.

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Finding out whether backup and recovery systems work well is more complicated than just knowing how long backups and restores take; agreeing to a core set of essential metrics is the key to properly judging your system to determine if it succeeds or needs a redesign.

Here are five metrics every enterprise should gather in order to ensure their systems meet the needs of the business.

Storage capacity and usage

Let's start with a very basic metric: Does your backup system have enough storage capacity to meet your current and future backup and recovery needs? Whether you are talking a tape library or a storage array, your storage system has a finite amount of capacity, and you need to monitor what that capacity is and what percentage of it you're using over time.

Failing to monitor it can result in you being forced to make decisions that might go against your company's policies. For example, the only way to create additional capacity without purchasing more is to delete older backups. It would be a shame if failure to monitor the capacity of your storage system resulted in the inability to meet the retention requirements your company has set.

Cloud-based object storage can help ease this worry because some services offer an essentially unlimited amount of capacity.

Throughput capacity and usage

Every storage system has the ability to accept a certain volume of backups per day, usually measured in megabytes per second or terabytes per hour. You should be aware of this number and make sure you monitor your backup system’s usage of it. Failure to do so can result in backups taking longer and longer and stretching into the workday.

Monitoring the throughput capacity and usage of tape is particularly important. It is very important for the throughput of your backups to match the throughput of your tape drive’s ability to transfer data. Specifically, the throughput that you supply to your tape drive should be more than the tape drive’s minimum speed. Consult documentation for the drive and the vendor’s support system to find

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