Remote backup: Plan for your WAN

Our remote backup feature concludes with a look at one important tool you may overlook when you plan to protect your off-site data.

Whatever remote office backup solution you select, considering its impact on the WAN is another essential step, as without proper capacity planning backup traffic can impose unexpected loads that disrupt the performance of your networks.

And if that network is sufficiently disrupted, it may grind to a halt, leaving you without backup or restore capabilities.

TechTarget WAN expert David Hughes therefore recommends you understand the kind of loads you will place on your WAN when you develop a backup solution.

This planning cannot, however, be done without modelling your distinct needs.

"It is difficult to point to any specific 'rule of thumb" as capacity planning is very dependent upon the type of work being done at the remote site," he says. "For example, a retail location might require small Point of Sale (PoS) transactions whereas an office may require the transfer of bandwidth intensive graphics, real-time traffic (like VoIP) or other applications with unique handling requirements."

Considering the impact of backups is therefore an important element of planning backup and restore facilities for remote sites.

"I would recommend profiling an existing remote location to get a baseline of the type of traffic you are seeing, noting the volumes of data that are sent during different periods of the day. If no such site exists, look at the traffic generated by a subset of users in the headquarters location and make an "educated guess," Hughes says.

"It is often useful to use a WAN emulator to simulate different link sizes, latencies, and packet loss. This will help you predict performance under varying conditions. In addition, WAN optimization appliances can help save bandwidth and mitigate latency, which can save on costs by increasing WAN capacity (and improve application performance in the process). As these devices are being designed into WAN networks more and more, it is probably a good idea to include this into the evaluation process."

With your WAN ready to take the load of your preferred remote backup solution, you should be able to relax in the knowledge that your remote sites' data is entirely safe, swiftly restorable and available to help your business be at its best.

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