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Why Admins HATE Their Backups

by | Sep 15, 2020 | Informational

Many of us hate our backup environments.  That’s because backups kind of suck, even with a backup product as great as IBM Spectrum Protect.  As I said in another post, it’s the thing that everyone needs, but no one cares about, and most definitely can make your life crappy.  Ask any backup admin, and I know they’ll agree.  Go ahead; I’ll wait.  Yep, they said the same thing, didn’t they?

There are plenty of reasons why backup admins hate their backup environment, and many of them have to do with monitoring and reporting.  Let’s take IBM Spectrum Protect, for example.  It’s a fantastic product – arguable the best out there – but, there are too many items to monitor in Spectrum Protect.  Like most tools, IBM’s Operations Center (OC) feels fragmented and misses the big picture.  Even IBM themselves has said, “In some cases, you might want to use advanced tools to collect specific monitoring information.”

This topic has been on my mind a lot lately.  I led the development of the monitoring & reporting agent for SP that makes the life of a Backup Admin exponentially better, which launched in August 2020.  The Galileo team and I started development by going through every single backup headache we’ve ever had.  Believe me, we hate our backup environments, too.  From there, we interviewed dozens of clients to find out what makes them want to stab themselves in the eye.   Here are the most common challenges we’ve found:

8 Reasons Admins HATE Our Backups

  1. We don’t always know what’s happening and when it’s happening because there isn’t an effective overview of the workflow.  E.g., Tape mounts, peaks in performance, insufficient space, or administrative processes.
  2. Most problems in backups become apparent long after an incident occurs.  By that time, our useful troubleshooting data is gone.
  3. It isn’t easy to see all of our backup jobs as unique applications in the enterprise. We see a big blob of work happening 24×7, but what is the state of just the exchange backups? When did THEY run? How did that workload perform?
  4. We are never really confident in our restores.  Could we recover if needed? Did we get everything?  Will we meet our RTOs?
  5. The lack of reporting and long term visibility into our environment are FRUSTRATING.  With any of the products previously available, there were always steps for updating and keeping the tools happy.  We have to rely on handwritten scripts for proper analysis and insight.  If we want long-term trending for capacity planning, we have to transfer my results to a spreadsheet and manipulate the data there.
  6. We’re unsure how or when we’ve run out of capacity and do not have enough notice of when we need to purchase new backup resources.  We have licensing for 1 PB, but now have 2.5 PB of data.  When did this happen?!
  7. We don’t have insight into storage management.  Why are we going through sooooo many tapes?  Why are container storage pools filling?
  8. Backups are running slowly, and we have no idea why!

I have worked in hundreds of shops and fixed thousands of backup issues, and there are 200 years of combined experience at Galileo.  We used our experience and shared hate of backups to shape the development of this product, which is better than anything else out there.

A Better Way for Managing Your Spectrum Protect Environment

Don’t hate your backup environment any longer.  If you’re managing backups, you have to be able to focus on what matters without getting lost in the weeds.  Galileo can help you do this.  It can give you the big picture and incredible detail.  Galileo collects Spectrum Protect data seamlessly and gives you the most accurate and detailed view of your backup environment in a single dashboard. You’ll know the answer to your question, “Am I Protected?” in an instant.

Check out this on-demand demo of Galileo for Spectrum Protect.  Once you pick up your jaw off the floor, get in touch with us, and we’ll get you started on a free trial.  You’ll be glad you did.

Catch this on-demand demo so you don't hate your backup environment any longer.

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