Balancing Competing Demands for Data Protection
Data is pouring into the enterprise at an ever-increasing pace, and the threat landscape is expanding just as rapidly. Meanwhile, IT faces a monumental challenge: protect a growing body of data in an increasingly complex environment while controlling the budget and IT staff engagement. IT organizations need a data protection strategy that addresses each of these issues head-on—a strategy with a foundation in powerful simplicity. Consider the following top three requirements for backup and recovery that’s simple, cost-effective and modern.
As data grows at a rapid rate, it’s primarily coming from applications, and more specifically cloud applications, which are proliferating across an increasingly diverse infrastructure. In 15 months, 80% of all IT budgets will be committed to cloud solutions.1 It’s also been reported that a quarter (25%) of total application workloads will be running in the cloud by year’s end, and by 2021 it will increase to 44%.2
The traditional approach to backing up and managing data has been to purchase point products for specific use cases—physical servers, virtual machines, archiving, deduplication, disaster recovery, and so on. Each point product comes with its own user interface, set of policies, unique capabilities, index, and set of copies to manage, which further contributes to data’s explosive growth and prevents data from being shared across solutions for better usage and compliance. In fact, as many as 60% of IT executives and personnel believe they have access to less than half of their organizations’ data.3
Meanwhile, cyberattacks have become the norm and one of the leading causes of outages. And yet, 31% of CIOs and IT professionals admit to not being prepared for an attack.4 To make matters worse, business users have zero tolerance for downtime. As a result, IT organizations struggle to meet aggressive Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs), never mind protecting data from falling into the wrong hands should an attack occur.
As IT is faced with balancing the data protection budget against exponential data growth, an increasing number of business requests for that data, and addressing a growing number of security concerns, you’re probably wondering: is it even possible to satisfy these seemingly competing demands, maintain the IT team’s sanity, and prevent the CIO’s budget from imploding? It is—if you take a step back and consider what it really takes to address backup, recovery and data management challenges efficiently and cost effectively.
Requirement No. 1: Simplify data protection
To start, you must forget the old way of deploying multiple point solutions to address specific use cases. You need to eliminate complexity by simplifying the purchase, deployment, management and support of your backup environment. That means being able to use your preferred hardware vendor. And you should have options when it comes to deployment. The solution should be available as a certified reference design or as an all-in-one appliance that simplifies installation and configuration.
Adding to the simplicity delivered by a scale-out backup and recovery solution is one that supports your data management needs in a single console for your entire environment – from an on-premises data center to the edge, to the cloud, and even to SaaS environments. The architecture should cover the entire spectrum of data copy use cases—backup, replication, disaster recovery, dev/test, snapshot management, archive, compliance, eDiscovery, and migration— ideally using a single solution that simplifies management and enables policy-based automation across all of the use cases.
Finally, when it comes to simplicity, your backup and recovery solution should save IT resources, not add to them. Here, policy-based automation, including the ability to automatically schedule jobs based on service levels or defined thresholds, in addition to points in time, will be of immense value. Also, adding to backup and recovery simplicity should be the native support to manage and migrate data to, from and within the cloud, as well as between clouds. This will eliminate the complexity, and potential lock in, of cloud gateways and third-party migration products and truly free your business to make the infrastructure choices it needs to without limitations.
"60% of IT executives and personnel believe they have access to less than half of their organizations' data."
Requirement No. 2: Lower costs without sacrificing backup and restore performance
As you optimize your primary and secondary storage infrastructure, deploying a backup and recovery solution that supports a scale-out infrastructure will reduce both hardware and staff expenses. A scale-out infrastructure eliminates the need to purchase three to five years of compute and storage up front, instead enabling you to purchase only what you need today. In addition, a scale-out infrastructure puts an end to costly and complex forklift upgrades whenever you refresh the hardware.
Another consideration is a solution that offers both source-side and target-based deduplication to eliminate backing up and retaining redundant data. This will lower storage costs while minimizing data management time. It’s also important to seek a data protection solution that supports the simplified movement of data across storage tiers – including tape and the cloud – based on policies that will align the value of the data with the cost of storage.
When it comes to disaster recovery, be sure to choose options that will reduce downtime costs and increase your availability. Having instant access to your applications and data by leveraging snapshot technology will improve business productivity and minimize the cost of an outage, especially if you take advantage of automated workflows.
Providing self-service access to extended teams also helps you to lower your total cost of ownership as well as the burden on IT resources. Look for capabilities that allow you to set-and-forget your service levels using automated policies, so you can realize the data management efficiency your environment needs.
Requirement No. 3: Realize value from modern backup and recovery
A modern IT environment demands modern backup and recovery capabilities. These capabilities are developed to enable easier protection as your environment grows, simplify recovery procedures and minimize downtime in hybrid IT environments. Nothing says modern more than today’s cloud architectures, which require a new approach. Scale-out infrastructures provide a modern way to ensure availability and predictable performance while simplifying your ability to dynamically scale with efficiency and choice.
Modern backup and recovery solutions can also help you meet demanding recovery service level agreements (SLAs) for recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). These can be achieved using automated and orchestrated snapshots.
Finally, an index that spans your backup environment can enable you to quickly find and identify your data for more efficient recovery, discovery and compliance purposes. Knowing where your data resides, whether it is on an endpoint, in a remote office, in your data center(s), or in the cloud, will also help to future-proof your environment for quick access and recovery as your infrastructure evolves over time.
Bottom line: You need powerful simplicity
Today’s hybrid IT environment requires a modern backup and recovery solution that will enable you to backup your data everywhere it lives and recover it to anywhere it’s needed. To achieve this, legacy backup tools and processes and point products with disparate policies and multiple copies must be replaced with a simpler, more powerful approach.
Powerful simplicity is an approach to solving complex data problems in a comprehensive, but easier way. A platform that puts this approach into practice can enable you to implement a data protection strategy that simplifies IT operations, keeps the budget under control, and satisfies business demands, now and into the future—enabling you to have it all!
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- Forbes, “2017 State of Cloud Adoption and Security,” April 23, 2017
- Wall Street Journal, “Cloud, Not Tax Cuts, Drives IT Spending: Survey,” April 4, 2018
- Commvault, “Measuring IT’s Readiness for Digital Business” Survey, November 8, 2017