1Get the Teams Together
Commission both a testing team and an advisory team that represents the requirements of end users.
2Know What You Have to Protect
Conduct an initial discovery of what’s in your environment with each vendor to ensure the POC testing plan is representative of the specific infrastructure.
3Test Big Data Workloads
Test large volumes of data to capture an accurate assessment of how the data protection system will actually handle the high capacity and high performance requirements.
Compare vendors in a way that puts pressure on them to push performance to the full requirements of the enterprise—and then some—to ensure it will meet the inevitable growth needs.
5Understand How It Will Scale
Consider their ability to add capacity as storage and retention needs grow. This includes adding processing capacity, FC and IP connectivity, and storage expansion.
6Test Secure Erasure
Test the system’s ability to securely erase expired data and recapture capacity automatically according to the user’s policy settings.
7Make Sure You Can Monitor System Efficiency
Test the reporting and dashboard capabilities to ensure you can monitor the status and efficiency of backup, deduplication, replication and restore operations.
8Be Comfortable With the Vendors Service Reps
Make sure the vendor is able to work as if they were an extension of your IT staff with experience, professionalism and responsiveness.
9How Well Will It Fit into Your Business Strategy?
Use a decision matrix to evaluate how each of the systems that will be tested compares when tested against the business priorities.
10Plan for Additional Horsepower
Monitor the system on an ongoing basis and track your need for added throughput and capacity in order to plan for inevitable upgrades. You want no surprises on a weekend—or any other day, for that matter.