Veeam technical director Charles Clarke (pictured) is promoting the idea of the 'data centre selfie' - a picture of how well prepared you are for various kinds of outage, including an inventory of all your systems.
"Data protection has to be multi-tiered," he told iTWire. A locally stored snapshot is a good starting point, but needs to be supplemented with a copy stored on different media and another stored elsewhere, perhaps in the cloud.
Just as cloning a personal computer's hard drive means the backup disk can be plugged into another computer for immediate use, a cloud-based copy of a snapshot opens the possibility of using the backup 'in place' - in a virtual machine hosted on the cloud provider's infrastructure.
The local backup is still important as it allows the quickest recovery to on-premises hardware, and as Mr Clarke pointed out, access to cloud services "isn't 100% infallible" thanks to incidents such as a backhoe slicing through a cable.
But the multi-tier approach provides "belt and braces" protection, and makes it possible to restore an entire data centre onto cloud infrastructure.
Veeam's software can perform a complete backup of an entire system, and then use deduplication and compression to make the overall archive smaller.
Users can then recover a complete system image for restoration, or just specific files, eg to restore an email that was inadvertently deleted.
Trying to retrofit a legacy backup system into a modern IT environment doesn't work, he suggested, pointing to the example of one organisation that tried to do just that and then discovered it took 11.5 hours to recover a single email.
That task could be done "in a couple of minutes" with Veeam, he claimed.
"Use the right tool for the job," Mr Clarke suggested.