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Synopsis

An overwhelming torrent of data has been unleashed due to Big Data, cloud computing, social media, mobility and the Internet of Things. The average enterprise struggles to provide enough storage capacity to house this data. Further, many have realized that the old patchwork of point products for data protection is no match for current data volumes.

What is needed is a modern approach to data protection, one that encompasses backup automation, disk and flash over tape, elimination of redundant data snapshotting, virtualization, software-defined storage, analytics, hybrid architectures and a common platform to unify, centralize and simplify Disaster Recovery (DR) operations.

THE HIGH PRICE OF DOWNTIME

The quantity of data in the digital universe today is almost inconceivable in scope. IDC placed the amount of digital data in existence at the end of 2013 at 4.4 ZB. When you consider that the 20 million books of the U.S. Library of Congress only amount to 20 TB, you begin to get the idea that we are
talking about a vast amount of storage. Now consider this, IDC predicts that the quantity of digital data will increase tenfold within five years, reaching 44 ZB by 2020. That is forecast to happen due to the advent of Big Data, the cloud, mobile smartphones, social media, wearable devices and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The modern enterprise represents a microcosm of the digital universe as a whole. The expansion of its IT systems, multiple burgeoning databases, millions of transactions moving at light speed, the adoption of Big Data technologies such as Hadoop, the transfer of many applications to the cloud – all of these factors and more represent seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing organizations, however, is DR. In the event of a grid failure or natural disaster, how on earth is an IT department supposed to ensure all of these disparate systems and platforms continue to operate without interruption? Yet the price of not doing so is significant.

According to IDC, the average cost of downtime is about $100,000 per hour, but can go as high as $1.6 million per hour for some organizations. Most organizations experience 10 to 20 hours of unplanned downtime per year – and that’s without any disaster taking place. Now factor in a major event that has the potential to take an entire business offline for days, if not weeks. Few organizations, therefore, can afford to be without proper DR protection. But the reality is that the conventional address to backup and recovery is failing. That is the subject of this white paper. It covers the fact that only a modern approach to DR, consisting of multiple facets united on a common platform, can hope to achieve true resiliency come what may.

ELEMENTS OF MODERN DR

A modern approach to DR consists of many independent elements that dovetail together into an integrated whole. These elements include:

  • Automation of backups to eliminate labor-intensive tasks and avoid backup failures
  • Ditching tape in favor of disk and flash in order to provide the speed of response required by demanding applications
  • Elimination of redundant data via deduplication and centralized management
  • The correct use of snapshots to provide instantaneous recovery of key applications and systems
  • The implementation of virtualization technology and software-defined storage to decouple software and applications from the underlying hardware infrastructure
  • Analytics to provide insight in real-time
  • Self-service capabilities to empower users
  • A hybrid architecture composed of on-premise and cloud elements
  • And a common platform to unify, centralize and simplify DR operations