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Modern Data Protection - A Lot More Than Just Backup and Restore!

August 19, 2019

 If one thing is true about technology—it’s that data and the need to both store and protect it aren’t going away.  But surprisingly, many organisations have fallen behind in adopting a more future-forward data protection stance and are now scrambling to catch up.

 

Based on a recent survey by analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), nearly 73% of IT leaders say data protection modernisation is one of their top-five IT priorities over the coming year.1  That shouldn’t be surprising, given that data growth is exploding and enterprises have to both store and safeguard more data than ever.  However, in attempting to modernise their data protection solutions, IT professionals are facing several challenges:

 

  • Keeping pace with data/solutions

  • Controlling storage/operational costs

  • Reducing backup times, data loss, and achieving better SLA adherence

 

Data protection used to mean just backup and recovery of data, but in today’s world, much more is required of your data protection strategy.  Several key trends in enterprise-grade data protection are emerging that are changing the face of data protection. 

 

Flexible workloads
First and foremost is the need to centralise protection across a wide range of workloads.  Data protection was much simpler when it was simply physical workloads, but virtualisation and the move to cloud have made workloads more complex and new approaches to data protection are needed.

 

Faster recognition and response

Additionally, that complexity means IT needs new ways to quickly recognize and respond to issues when it comes to data protection:  from anything from quickly migrating a failing backup on premises to a cloud solution in real-time, to proactively spotting data corruption or rogue data encryption happening from a malicious attack.  IT needs to be both aware of issues and responding appropriately to a broader range when it comes to protecting their data. 

 

Cross solution integration
This means a more modern data protection solution needs to both integrate with other solutions in your enterprise IT portfolio such as intrusion detection systems (IDS) and change management solutions, as well as have a fair degree of automation involved to respond in real-time or near real-time to changing data protection situations. 

 

Data reduction
And of course, with the explosion of data inside the enterprise—a modern data protection solution helps with various data reductions strategies to maximise the storage you have.  For example, this can be accomplished by combining physical storage with storage virtualization technologies to create data reduction pools that enable you to automatically de-allocate and reclaim capacity of thin-provisioned volumes containing deleted data.2  And of course, deduplication of data to reduce the size of data chunks by replacing recurring data with references rather than recopying the same data again and again.

 

When asked about what capabilities they needed when it came to modernising their data protection, IT professionals responded that they needed:

 

  • Reduced recovery times, better recovery point objectives, or increased service level agreement/goal adherence.  (56%)

  • Improved data security (41%)

 

The Move to the Cloud

 

To help on both achieving better storage performance, many are exploring the cloud for their data protection modernisation strategies. From an RPO/RTO perspective, while capabilities in the cloud have greatly evolved recently, a number of environmental conditions need to be met, such as sufficient network bandwidth. Also, there may be variations based on the type and scale of recovery you want to undertake. Even with this proverbial “grain of salt” in mind, many organisations strongly believe the cloud can deliver improved SLAs.1

 

Data Reuse
Of course, reusing data is not a new concept and most organisations already reuse some secondary data today. However, many organisations face roadblocks to broader adoption, among which are security concerns and compliance exposures as well as operational cost and complexity to deploy.1   However, the benefits of data reuse can include running analytics to detect customer trends and using “real” production data to test a new application or feature without interfering with actual production workloads.

 

The Benefits of Modernising Your Data Protection
While the task of updating and modernising your existing data protection strategy may seem overwhelming; the benefits far outweigh the time and cost investments. A modern data protection solution can deliver:

  • Fast, more flexible data backup and near instant recoveries

  • Data reuse for compliance, development, and analytics

  • Secure self-service with roles-based access (RBAC)

  • Lower CapEx/OpEx with automated data offload to cost-effective, scalable storage (Tape, Cloud, Object)

  • Simplified IT management and agentless solutions

  • Operational efficiency through unified data protection for multiple workloads

 

When it comes to modernising your data protection, turning to a trusted advisor can help. Team Computing can optimize your existing data protection solutions or install new data protection solutions. With a deep background and expertise in IBM technologies, Team Computing can easily create and manage the best data protection solution for your environment, by combining their technical expertise with reliable and future-ready IBM storage solutions.   Reach out to us today about modernising your data protection solution!

 

Sources:

  1. Bertrand, Christophe. (March 2019). Trends in Modern Data Protection. Enterprise Strategy Group.

  2. Tate, Kalofonos, Larsen, et al. (November 2018). Introduction and Implementation of Data Reduction Pools and Deduplication. IBM Redbooks.

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