When Data Driven Meets A Hard Stop

By Nigel Tozer

Cloud technologies have changed IT beyond recognition. Our ability to collect and process data at scale and with such a high degree of reliability would have been unprecedented even five years ago. This ability is changing what companies produce, too. More than ever, organizations now class data as the main output of their business, driven by data analytics and new technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). And processes that seemingly have nothing at all to do with technology, now actually rely on a data center somewhere. Even when I alter the temperature in my house, I guarantee you there is a rack of servers in a cold and windy room, probably in another country, playing their part in keeping me cozy.

It’s a good thing then that all of this stuff is reliable. Your business, our public services and my heating are all very grateful to clouds everywhere. But if something goes wrong – a significant outage or data loss – what is the impact?

Tales of the unexpected

Now, I’m not going throw random numbers at you about the cost of an outage or disaster, garnered from some analyst or another; they would most likely not be relevant to YOU. Unplanned downtime costs are actually extremely difficult to calculate and unique to each business. Some system losses will prove to be surprisingly insignificant, but others will blow apart your calculations due to unexpected, and difficult to plan for, consequences. Loss of a key system can affect your production output, drive customers away, hit your stock price or even lead to legal action.

A good way to think of it is this: the less chance there is of an outage, the negative impact of an outage rises disproportionately, which you can multiply by the criticality of the affected system(s). This why you need a reliable rapid recovery system, or should the worst happen, a robust and well considered disaster recovery (DR) plan.

Industry challenges that translate to risk

While I didn’t want to give you stats that aren’t relevant to your situation or business about downtime, I can provide some sobering industry statistics that do impact us all. You can throw these numbers straight into your risk equation, too.

An ESG survey in Feb 2020 disclosed that more than half of respondents had experienced a skills shortage and were finding it hard to get hold of cloud and IT architects1. The same survey also revealed that nearly two-thirds said IT was more complex than it was two years ago2. So that’s complexity up and skills down – not at all a good mix. Security was cited as one of the main factors in complexity, which is also worrying when you combine it with the other stat the survey produced – 60% said they experienced a ransomware attack3 last year.

In our increasingly multi-cloud, hybrid IT world, you don’t need this exact combination of factors (or others) to pose a threat – complexity alone can morph a minor outage into something more serious.

Hyperconverged recovery

A growing trend for production systems in recent years contributes to making IT simpler are hyperconverged, scale-out systems. The good news is that recovery systems are now available that also use this scale-out model, simplifying data protection and improving performance and scalability over the traditional scale-up approaches. Commvault has been a pioneer of scale-out recovery systems, and this week sees a new and exciting development with our alliance partner, NetApp.

Based on NetApp® HCI, NetApp Scale-out Data Protection takes a genuinely unique approach to hyperconverged backup and provides multiple recovery tiers to ensure the highest degree of performance AND cost-effective long-term retention in one package. NetApp Scale-out Data Protection provides compute, an all-flash primary recovery tier and an object-storage cloud tier for long-term retention, plus the ability to leverage the public cloud. Each tier can be easily and independently scaled to meet demands, and end-to-end intelligent data management is provided by Commvault Complete™ Backup and Recovery.

For those that need the very fastest recovery with a desire to simplify recovery, retention and scalability, this NetApp Validated Architecture provides the comfort of a turnkey solution from two deeply integrated leaders4 in our respective spaces. Learn more about NetApp Scale-out Data Protection – via our press release, or solution brief, for more technical details.


All statistics from the ESG 2020 Technology Spending Intentions, Enterprise Strategy Group, Feb 2020

1 52% said they had suffered from a skills shortage of cloud & IT architects

2 64% said IT was more complex than two years ago

3 60% experienced a ransomware attack last year

4 You can read Gartner Magic Quadrant reports, which contain information about Commvault and NetApp .