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Data Protection: It’s Time to Get Serious

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on July 31, 2018 by Matthew Sirbu

Your business needs to deliver services and applications faster than ever.

To keep up, you want to modernize your production environment. Cloud and hybrid infrastructure will give your data center the speed and agility to meet your needs 24/7.

But “modern” doesn’t equal “protected.”

As the business shifts to round-the-clock operations, backup windows get smaller. As workloads move to the cloud, the need for continuous real-time protection increases. As regulatory requirements get stricter, the challenge for IT mounts.

Nonetheless, some organizations rely on backup methods that don’t suit a modern operating environment. Others use point protection solutions that create further complexity. Still more move data to the public cloud without making the effort to ensure its safety.

A modern production environment without modern data protection is asking for trouble. In fact, 93% of companies that lose their data for 10 days or more file for bankruptcy within one year. Half of them file for bankruptcy right away. Without a comprehensive data protection and availability strategy, you risk losing everything when disaster strikes.

In the article below, we take a serious look at upping your data protection game using the cloud.

Break from Tradition

Today, even a few hours of downtime could cost thousands – or more – in lost revenue. In this environment, robust data backup and protection are critical.

When it comes to storing and protecting data, IT professionals have never had more options. These include multi-tiered physical, cloud and virtual storage. It’s widespread practice for organizations to use some combination of the three. Still, many rely on traditional methods that struggle to meet the needs of a modern “always-on” operation.

For example, tape backup offers the lowest cost of any storage medium. But tape also has a high vulnerability to corruption and data loss. In fact, 75% of companies using the medium experience tape failures each year. One-third of attempted tape restorations fail. At the same time, the need to recover data in sequence lengthens recovery time objectives (RTOs). It also diverts in-house IT resources away from new business initiatives.

Physical disk media offers more efficient storage and recovery than tape. And, the cost of disk media is much lower now than in the past.  But to account for offsite protection, disk solutions require additional infrastructure, and those costs add up.

Meanwhile, some organizations tackle data protection using point solutions. These products treat one data protection symptom, rather than the entire data center. Installing the best solution for every aspect of protection may deliver peace of mind. But various products creates additional complexity. Spreading data protection across many fronts slows recovery time. It also requires IT to manage a patchwork of tools, reports, and dashboards that don’t cooperate.

Cloud to the Rescue

Today, 45% of data resides on tape-based systems. For many smaller organizations, physical storage and backup saps resources that could be growing the business. Often, it also fails to protect critical data the business depends on.

For these organizations, cloud storage presents an enticing offer. It provides state-of-the-art infrastructure, high-speed backup and recovery, and reliability. It also frees IT resources from time-consuming maintenance tasks involved in traditional backup.

The cloud offers attractive data protection and availability capabilities, much more robust than tape. It also yields considerable time and cost savings in getting back to business-as-usual.  Features like de-duplication, replication, recovery direct from backup and the ability to recover an entire data center.

Regardless of your requirements, you need to recover data fast and retain data safely.  It’s critical to take a well-defined approach to managing and protecting your data. Backup to the cloud can be a key pillar in that strategy.

Protecting Your SaaS

What about the data generated in the cloud? When it comes to software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings, most organizations have little protection. Some providers offer native data retention policies. But without a secondary copy, it falls to the client to protect against corruption or accidental deletion.

At the same time, retention policies may meet a provider’s internal requirements but fall short of yours. For example, Office 365 will keep deleted Exchange items for 14 to 30 days. If you need those records later, you may be out of luck. SaaS providers often don’t provide native protection against deletion by user error. But this is the cause of 64% of data loss incidents.

It’s often more expensive and time-consuming to recover lost data from a SaaS provider than many organizations expect. Meanwhile, U.S. eDiscovery laws require an organization to recover electronic records s emails at any time.

Backup for Cloud offers the best protection in this risky situation. Here, a Backup for Cloud solution creates a copy of SaaS data to another location, back on-prem or in another public cloud.  Customers can restore data from the target cloud in its last known good state – even when it is no longer available in the SaaS application.

Besides accidental deletion, Backup for Cloud protects customers against many common causes of data loss. Data stored this way is immune from ransomware, for instance, because it resides away from an office network. Backup for Cloud is a valuable part of the data protection and business continuity arsenal. As such, it’s a critical consideration for anyone doing business in the cloud.

Ready to Get Serious?

Data is the lifeblood of a modern business. But 1-in-5 small and mid-sized businesses will experience at least one critical data loss incident every five years.

Outdated methods and solutions won’t be effective.

To avoid the worst, you need an integrated, overarching approach to managing and protecting your data. This includes cloud-based backup to reinforce on-premises storage and protect cloud-native data.

With a Softchoice Data Center TechCheck, you’ll get a baseline read on your current environment and data protection. These insights will yield the best options to reach your desired future state. Along the way, you’ll receive expert guidance on the best solutions to protect your data, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

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