A guide to leveraging cloud services for backup and disaster recovery

Whitepaper

It teams are under more pressure than ever to deploy backup and disaster recovery solutions that are cost-effective but fully capable of meeting increasingly stringent requirements for availability, business continuity, data protection and regulatory compliance.

18 September 201812 min
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IT teams are under more pressure than ever to deploy backup and disaster recovery solutions that are cost-effective but fully capable of meeting increasingly stringent requirements for availability, business continuity, data protection and regulatory compliance.

It is a challenging situation: Organisations are producing more data and supporting bold new initiatives such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital transformation, yet IT departments still need to devote more resources—time, money and personnel— to backup and recovery.

In the face of these budgetary and personnel constraints, IT must balance business innovation with business requirements to improve recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) while backup windows become smaller.

The average cost of a data centre outage is now more than $730,000, according to the Ponemon Institute, representing a 38% increase since the organisation began tracking downtime costs in 2010.1 Of course, many of the effects of downtime can’t be measured in dollars and cents: There is also the potential for lost revenue, damage to brand reputation and loss of customer goodwill.

To address these challenges, many organisations are turning to cloud models for backup and disaster recovery as part of a broader data management strategy built around the need to protect, preserve and manage data at every stage of its lifecycle.

In fact, disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the No. 1 new storage initiative cited by IT decision-makers surveyed for the TechTarget Research Storage Momentum Index™. Cloud storage backup was ranked No. 3 in terms of deployment momentum.

It should come as no surprise that IT leaders are embracing the cloud as a crucial element of their data management strategies. Cloud services give IT teams the opportunity to be more efficient in managing RTOs and RPOs. They are easy to scale, highly flexible and simple to deploy.

Cloud backup and recovery solutions can also be extremely cost-effective and efficient for businesses with multiple locations. Organisations can leverage automated processes to ensure that backups are completed correctly, without burdening the person who is responsible on site but may not be an IT professional.

In addition, using a cloud service will simplify and automate many processes needed to meet security and compliance requirements. The cloud also enables IT teams to shift from a Capex to an Opex model. This makes it easier to plan and budget, which is an important consideration in this era of ever-expanding data creation and consumption.

The Need for Data Lifecycle Management

Businesses of all sizes are becoming more reliant on digital technologies to support day-to-day operations and drive innovation through initiatives such as big data analytics, the IoT and social networking. Technologies that support digital transformation will account for 75% of all IT spending by 2019, growing at twice the rate of the overall IT market, according to IDC.2

Data management is critical to success in this era. Business and IT leaders have seen companies such as Netflix, Airbnb and Uber harness the value of their data to disrupt industries. For IT teams, this means taking a holistic approach that ensures all data is protected, preserved and managed efficiently during its entire lifecycle.

Backup and recovery are an essential part of this equation. As more data is being created and stored, organisations need to be efficient in how and where they store the data, otherwise costs can quickly get out of hand. At the same time, production data must be quickly and easily recoverable to keep the business going in the event of a disruption or widespread disaster.

A comprehensive data management strategy will take into account the value of data at each stage of its lifecycle and ensure it is stored on the appropriate media. Production data may be in the cloud for fast recovery, while archival data saved for compliance or e-discovery purposes may be moved to less expensive storage such as tape. Even for older data, it is important to have backup so you can recover in the event of a disaster.

No matter what stage the data is at in its lifecycle—production, backup or archival—or whether it is on-site or off-site, IT teams must deploy a data management strategy that ensures it is protected, available and accessible whenever the organisation needs it.

  1.  “Cost of Data Center Outages,” Ponemon Institute, January 2016
  2.  “IDC Sees the Dawn of the DX Economy and the Rise of the Digital-Native Enterprise,” IDC, Nov. 1, 2016

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