Making The Case For A Hybrid Backup Strategy

Topics: Cloud Backup

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Big data is no longer just for the Fortune 500—thus demand for data protection and recovery continues to rise exponentially. Today’s businesses increasingly depend on IT infrastructure for large-scale applications: Customer resource management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and eCommerce, just to name a few.

Data is the lifeblood for businesses of all sizes, whether it’s structured block data—including enterprise systems data and transactional data—or file data, the documents and media files users generate. And that’s just actively used data, the day-to-day files everyone needs to keep the business running. Organizations also constantly archive data, which requires additional capacity over time.

The sheer amount of data a business generates is predicted to continue increasing at staggering levels. In fact, IDC and EMC suggest that the digital universe will double every two years, predicting that storage growth could reach 4,000 exabytes (40 trillion gigabytes) by 2020.1

But managing expanding amounts of data is challenging— and with myriad options, IT must choose a solution that meets current and future needs while fitting within flat or even decreasing IT budgets. An additional consideration is the burden on existing IT staff to continue managing data storage, backup and recovery, and disaster mitigation strategies along with other pressing tasks—without increasing headcount.

IDC And EMC Suggest That The Digital Universe Will Double Every Two Years, Predicting That Storage Growth Could Reach 4,000 Exabytes (40 Trillion Gigabytes) By 2020.1

Is Your Business At Risk?

87% of respondants indicate their business was behind the curve for data protection maturity

While backup and recovery is critically important, many businesses don’t view it as such. In fact, an EMC survey indicates that about 20% of businesses change their protection profile annually.2 In situations where backup and recovery are manual or labor-intensive processes, IT staff can be spread too thin to properly retrain on new processes or even consider configuring more automated options, increasing risk of error or downtime.

In the EMC Global Data Protection Index Survey of 3,300 IT decision makers in 24 countries,2 87% of respondents indicated their business was behind the curve for data protection maturity. Further, 71% were not fully confident of their ability to restore their data—and many of these also indicated they had never conducted a test to ensure their backups could be restored.

71% of respondants indicate they’re not fully confident in their ability to restore data2

Data loss and unplanned downtime can cost businesses as much as $1.2 trillion. In the event of unplanned downtime— such as hardware failure, IT security breaches, manmade or natural disasters, unexpected patches, or software updates—87% of businesses are not fully confident that data can be restored.2

Understanding where your organization currently falls on the data protection maturity scale can help you evaluate and predict its data storage and recovery needs.

Data Protection Maturity Model—Where Does Your Business Fall?

There are four categories of businesses in the data protection maturity model referenced in the EMC survey: laggards, evaluators, adopters, and leaders.2


The Laggards category represents more than a third (36.8%) of survey respondents, and consists of organizations that have some data protection, but low confidence in their ability to recover. Backup only is the core component of this category’s data protection strategy. These organizations may have older or out-of-date backup systems, and may have never tested their ability to restore data. For Laggards, data recovery may take more than a full business day; this amount of downtime can be quite costly for organizations in this category.


In the Evaluators category, representing half (49.5%) of surveyed respondents, there are doubts about the ability to restore data, and they may or may not have tested whether or not data can be restored. Replication is core to Evaluators’ data protection strategy and recovery time can be six to 24 hours.


Organizations in the Adopters category represent a smaller portion (11.3%) of survey respondents. They have more robust data protection strategies, with active-active instances at the core that possibly include more than one method, including backup, deduplication, and offsite replication. These organizations are moderately confident in their ability to restore data, but recovery time may take from two to five hours.


The Leaders category represents only a fraction (2.4% of surveyed respondents. This category consists of businesses with disaster-tolerant replication, with standby and/or virtualized servers at the core of their data pro-tection strategy. They are very confident they can restore data with minimum downtime.

1 John Gantz and David Reinsel, “The Digital Universe in 2020: Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East – United States,” IDC, February 2013.

2“EMC Global Data Protection Index,” EMC, December 2, 2014. protection-index/index.html

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