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Please, please make the data protection product easy to use!

There are many data protection products on the market today, and all of them have features and functions that make them stand out. But, one of the major items you need to consider is how easy the solution is to use. When it comes down to “brass tax,” ease of use is one of the most important items. After all, the person responsible for data protection may not have a huge skill set or the time to spend on managing the solution on a day-to-day basis.

When choosing a data protection solution, look for the ability to manage the system from a single pane of glass. The user interface also needs to be so simple that within a few minutes all daily tasks can be completed. As a bonus, look for a solution that sends alerts to your email and mobile device, including everything you need to know about the previous night’s activity and the status of those activities in a report that’s simple to read and understand.

This simple to use requirement dovetails into historical reporting. If you know what the solution is doing on a day-to-day basis, then you should also be able to tell what the system has been doing for the last few days, weeks, months or even longer. This allows for planning the future with little to no hands on work. For example, if you have a report that gives you weekly growth for the last 26 weeks, you would be able to predict when you are going to run out of space in your solution or when you need to purchase more tapes. It is a very simple example, but it shows that the solution should help you plan for the future as well as operate today. And, following this example, you would be able to budget six months or more in the future for growth—a great advantage when budgets are tight.

The single-server footprint versus the master/media footprint can also make the solution easier or harder to manage as will automatic client software updates that keep IT administrators from spending their valuable time making manual updates to systems across the infrastructure.

With business-wide administration, monitoring and reporting, plus the flexibility enabled by automation, your new solution should create administrative time savings that can measurably reduce the cost of operations. If not, it is time to rethink the solution.

Remember this: Your data protection solution should be an answer to issues not cause more of them.

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