5 ways to reduce TCO with a data protection appliance

Minimize operational complexity and cost with a scale-out infrastructure

Traditional backup architectures, which center around controller-based, proprietary, single-purpose disk storage devices, are simply not suited to support today’s new cloud-centric infrastructure. Using a legacy approach, they can often require expensive, dedicated point or storage products which may require further integration and additional staff time to manage, negating any potential cost savings.

New scale-out storage architecture is changing the game for secondary workloads and data, including data protection, disaster recovery and DevOps operations. Delivering greater resiliency, availability and scale, this new architecture reduces secondary storage costs and enables web-like services with seamless simplicity. Consider the following five ways a scale-out storage architecture can reduce your data protection and secondary storage total cost of ownership (TCO).

Calculating the TCO of today’s data protection and secondary storage infrastructure can be a difficult, but necessary exercise. As defined by Gartner, TCO is “a comprehensive assessment of information technology (IT) or other costs across enterprise boundaries over time. For IT, TCO includes hardware and software acquisition, management and support, communications, end-user expenses and the opportunity cost of downtime, training and other productivity losses.”1

That’s a lot to consider, especially as you look at the overarching impact of downtime throughout today’s enterprise. Today’s risk of downtime is greater than ever. It goes well beyond power outages and natural disasters to the increasing threat of ransomware and cybersecurity intrusions. In fact, Gartner reports that “by 2019, despite increasing effectiveness of countermeasures, successful ransomware attacks will double in frequency year over year, up from 2 to 3 million in 2016.”2

With the risk of downtime so high and often out of our control, it’s more important than ever to look at all other avenues where we may be able to lower overall TCO. Scale-out infrastructure, when applied to the secondary storage used for data protection, is one way to realize new levels of cost savings. When used for processes such as backup and recovery, scale-out technology can deliver predictable economics while supporting greater resiliency and availability for your critical data.

Consider the following five ways scale-out storage architecture, particularly in the form of an “all-in-one” appliance, will reduce your data protection and secondary storage TCO.

  1. Minimize Operating Expenditures (OpEx) – When deployed as an integrated appliance, scale-out solutions can dramatically cut traditional OpEx costs for data protection. From acquisition to installation and integration, the time and resources invested in the procurement of scale-out data protection can be significantly less than traditional scale-up approaches. Further, organizations can realize ongoing savings with these scale-out solutions through simplified administration which cuts man hours needed to manage, patch, update and support these self-contained solutions. By using a unified management console, these solutions can also streamline workflows, simplify policy control and reduce operational waste by providing a comprehensive view into data management processes and resource use.
  2. Reduce Capital Expenditures (CapEx) – Scale-out data protection solutions can also deliver tremendous CapEx reductions. By consolidating storage and infrastructure into a unified appliance, these solutions will reduce the number of point products and create a single pool to view and manage all data. Also, with fewer point products, it reduces power consumption, brings down cooling costs and maximizes data center floor space. Plus, by leveraging commodity x86 hardware, rather than more expensive proprietary hardware, their initial investment costs are significantly lower compared to scale-up alternatives.
  3. Improve Forecasting and Alignment – Appliances that leverage scale-out architecture can also help organizations switch to subscription-based pricing models, moving data protection budget from a CapEx to OpEx model for improved budget forecasting, greater financial predictability and improved alignment with the business. Further, these models often allow for hardware refreshes every three years for even more investment protection.
  4. Automate Data Protection Processes – Traditional data protection approaches often take multiple point products to support each aspect of the infrastructure. This can limit IT’s ability to automate time consuming processes across your data sets, impacting staff and management time, not to mention the need for redundant resources. A sophisticated scale-out data protection appliance can centralize the management and control of your data management policies across all your enterprise data sets. Not only will this reduce your management costs, but can also minimize the risk of human error so that compliance and governance requirements are met with consistency. With automation securely in place, it can also improve the speed at which you adopt new technologies into your infrastructure, knowing that data protection requirements for new workloads can be easily met.
  5. Support Workload Portability – Every TCO evaluation needs to consider the changing needs of business. It can be hard to predict what data workloads you may need to protect tomorrow, but you can select a solution that will ensure that you can easily embrace them should needs change. Sophisticated data protection appliances that use a scale-out approach can give you the confidence you need to ensure that your data can be easily migrated from on-premises to cloud infrastructure, and back, as business demands require, all with the same or better SLA. This means that you’ll never be locked into a specific platform or vendor – further enhancing your TCO posture for the long term.

The value of data resilience

Look at the hard components that impact your data protection and secondary storage ownership costs, then consider those other intangible areas that will contribute to your ongoing investment to support data availability and avoid downtime. From agility and scalability to reliability and cloud-like services, there are many additional capabilities supported by advanced scale-out appliances that will have a positive impact on your bottom line.

Ultimately, your data requires resiliency to support the demands of business. As stated by Forrester, “Data backup and recovery systems have been a staple of business continuity and disaster recovery since the dawn of the data center; infrastructure and operations pros at leading enterprises take great care to ensure data resiliency. Today, they use practices and technologies that have evolved far beyond old-school backup to become the tech infrastructure underlying many use cases.”3 Expand on this move by leveraging the benefits of a scale-out data protection appliance. It will enable you to optimize your TCO while ensuring that your data is available and protected regardless of how your business requirements may change.