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Backup Strategies for Software Upgrade

By CIOReview | Thursday, June 8, 2017

The evolution of software has made possible things we never dreamed of. With software upgrades comes new capabilities and competencies—better security, speed, power and sometimes disruption. Whenever something new enters the existing system, it can enhance as well as upset the work-processes. The cadence of backup software upgrades in huge organizations is typically guided by upgrades policies; the risk of disruption is greater in large organizations—which is the chief reason why large organizations lag up to two versions behind current software releases.

When planning to upgrade software there are various factors to be considered, some of the most important ones are:


Considering the value of IT companies, it is not too much money-making industry, as it is a necessary tool in today’s world. Maintenance is required to keep that tool in working order. Carefully weighing the benefits of upgrading the software versus keeping it put is the key. Software support lifespan and the need to greater flexibility and efficiency are the main reasons of keeping software not only patched but on the most recent format. Taking advantage of the cutting edge software technology tends to have unforeseen advantages and can lead to profound changes within an enterprise. When it comes to cost, the wisest choice is to weigh the “cost of not upgrading” to that new version of OS, or mail system. With ever challenging security threats, it’s always best to choose based on the cost not to upgrade rather than the cost to do so.

Planning & Testing

Having a plan for the software upgrade and testing new installations regularly will make upgrading an asset and trial-tested process for future use. In IT department it is always best to have a testing system available for any software. This will give the ability not only to see how the software will perform in the environment but also how it will be adopted by the people who run the systems on a daily basis. These processes are such that it should be adopted by any organizations regardless of the current software upgrades.


One of the necessary factors of an upgrading system is that of retraining. This one step should be considered beneficial not only for the systems but the people on a regular basis. The productivity that a well trained and experienced staff can gain out of retraining is beyond comparison. With the improving technology, investing in the most recent cutting edge software will keep the systems running efficiently.

Implementation & Configuration

During the process of implementation planning, one needs to consider how to install and configure the new software and determine whether there will be any system downtime. As software systems have evolved, so have the processes that make software deployments easier.

Accommodation of Previous Backups

With backups carrying retention requirements of the organization, any change to backup software may impact the changes on the previous backups. The latest version of the backup software must support the existing volumes of the backup data with the change in backup types. For example, upgrading to new software from the same software provider may extend some significant support for older backups. But changes such as shifting from tape to disk architecture or moving from backup volumes to snapshots may cause incompatibility with older backups. Some enterprises choose to maintain the existing backup server, software, and storage platform while running the new software with a different server and storage system. The old backup system can be inactivated when the retention period expires on the old backups. 

Backup software is often licensed based on the number of machines that the software is installed on. A virtualized environment can have more machines in operation, with the total license cost much higher because the backup software will need to be installed on every virtual machine. 

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