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Backups are one of the oldest IT tasks, and most business leaders assume that their backup and recovery strategy is working properly. But when events occur that put an organization’s backup strategy to the test, its success or failure to deliver can have a lasting impact on business revenue, brand value, resiliency and of course individual careers. Business IT systems are changing rapidly and backup and data protection strategies need to change to keep up as well.
Today I would like to discuss the changing scenarios of data backup, the many new challenges it poses and the opportunities it opens up.
As leaders consider moving workloads to the cloud, data backup is often the first place they look because of the economies of scale, the “write once and read never” nature of most backup data and the flexibility of having data in cloud to protect against regional outages and loss. This is particularly true for highly-regulated industries where retention periods require backups to be maintained in a recoverable state (with regular audits and tests to ensure recoverability) for many years.
The drawback for cloud as a backup repository comes when operational recovery is required. Bandwidth consumption, the cost to recall cloud data, and time to recover are all factors that limit cloud backup use cases and require some amount of backup data to continue to be stored locally.
These new architectures are how most organizations are leveraging private cloud for backup; long-term storage on an external cloud tier and recent data for operational recovery on a local private cloud or local storage.
There are several challenges to consider when deploying this type of architecture:
- Security: How do you ensure that the data that is leaving your data center is secure both in flight and at rest? How do you protect against potential breaches in the public cloud? And how do you create an audit trail for compliance across all data?
- Recovery Time Objectives: How do you meet recovery time objectives when portions of your backup data are on remote/cloud systems? How do you budget for these recoveries when large unforeseen costs come from retrieving data from your cloud pools?
- Scalability: How do you ensure bandwidth costs do not spiral out of control as the storage footprint increases? How do you ensure low or minimal impact to production irrespective of storage media of backup? How do you size backup targets for performance?
- Automation: How do you automate movement of data from production to on prim to cloud (or any other required flow)? How do you ensure recall and recover at a click of button across multi cloud architectures? How do you make backup work seamlessly for all end users with no/low manual intervention?
- Availability: Since backup data is moving into a different location, how to leverage that as an additional copy for disaster recovery? How to make these copies (even though lagging) instantly consumable to business?
The value of data increases exponentially with use, so put your backup data on the cloud! Want to know how to address the challenges mentioned in this blog post? Check out our 30-day trial.