Data is the oil that keeps the wheels of our digital economy turning. It’s the fuel that sustains interactions between people and connects organizations to their customers. Data facilitates and informs decision-making and problem-solving. It underpins positive change and steers the course to increased operational efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, profitability.
But the value data creates is only matched by the degree of risk it introduces. From proprietary intellectual property to confidential customer insights, you need to ensure that your data remains secure and accessible only to authorized parties.
Your business’s profitability – and reputation – depend on it.
The Backup and Recovery Imperative
In recent years, new forces have converged to make robust data backup and recovery a business imperative:
Hybrid IT Infrastructure
Today’s business ICT environments typically comprise a heterogenous blend of legacy, physical data center equipment as well as applications and workloads running in the cloud. Depending on their nature and business criticality, the latter could be running in a public cloud or a private or hosted facility.
‘Hybrid IT’ has become mainstream for most established organizations. According to IDC, by 2022, over 90% of enterprises worldwide will be relying on a mix of on-premises/dedicated private clouds, multiple public clouds, and legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure needs. This arrangement introduces a new level of complexity, and many organizations are unsure of how to secure their hybrid IT environments and back up and recover their data in the event of a disaster.
Over the past decade, governments and regulators have introduced a raft of new data privacy, security, and sovereignty laws by which businesses must abide. After the GDPR set the bar in 2019, many other countries around the globe have followed suit. Even the captains of industry and tech powerhouses can’t escape the long arm of the law if they fall foul of these regulations, as the likes of Amazon and Zoom have recently discovered.
There’s no quicker way to draw both public and regulatory scrutiny than to have a major security breach.
The prospect of having your data lost, stolen, or corrupted at the hands of organized cybercriminals wasn’t something we had to contend with a decade or so ago. Recent reports suggest that cybercrime will inflict damages totaling $6 trillion globally this year. IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report recently found that the average total cost of a data breach is $3.86 million and moving in an upward trend.
And did you know that just during the time you’ve been reading this article, five or six businesses have been the unwelcoming recipients of a potentially devastating ransomware attack? It’s estimated that one happens every 11 seconds, up from every 40 seconds in 2016. More than 6 in 10 organizations worldwide suffered a ransomware attack in 2020.
Against this backdrop, traditional approaches to backup and recovery are no longer fit for purpose. You need a modern, reliable, digital, and future-proof solution to ensure that any system failure, disaster, data corruption, or breach won’t impact your ability to safeguard and access your data.
The Evolving Face of Backup and Recovery
To understand what needs to change and why, let’s cast our eyes back a few years and consider how the backup and recovery landscape and discipline has evolved and matured, and what you need to do about it:
What Mattered Then
Many of the backup and recovery solutions still being used today were designed over a decade ago. These were primarily built to be the platform on which you could rebuild after a catastrophic failure or a minor event (such as a file being deleted in error).
Traditional backup and recovery approaches center on backup windows and job schedules to achieve recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO). All too often, however, this means that backup engineers end up becoming little more than glorified job schedulers, which isn’t good from a productivity or morale perspective.
Tape backup and long-term retention also present their fair share of headaches. Tape is really the only economically viable choice for data archival for legacy backup and recovery systems. Tape involves manual handling, off-siting, logging, and tape rotation. Restoring data from tape is time-consuming, manual, expensive, and complicated because tapes are typically stored offsite. Tapes also degrade over time and must be refreshed.
The configuration, installation, and ongoing administrative burden of traditional enterprise backup solutions is another downside. Almost all vendors require professional services to install and configure a backup system to the point at which all promised functionality is available. To use the system, administrators must often attend a week-long training session. In addition, automation isn’t an inherent feature of traditional backup and recovery solutions.
Legacy backup systems are often also too rigid and have difficulty accommodating an evolving operational infrastructure.
Backup and recovery has never been cheap, but as the volume of data needing to be backed up has increased exponentially, so has the cost of doing so. With traditional backup and recovery systems, the translation from business requirements to platform-executable instructions requires the engagement of professional services.
What’s more, after this translation is complete, these traditional solutions lack the intelligence to optimize resources to avoid failed backups. This leads to ongoing tuning and sometimes rearchitecting, all of which can further push up costs.
What Matters Now
If you built a backup and recovery solution to meet present-day needs, how would it resemble a traditional backup solution, and where would the key differences lie? Let’s take a look at today’s backup and recovery requirements and explore the benefits of modern solutions:
Shorter Backup Windows
Newer approaches such as snapshot-based backups remove the need to stop applications for backup. They also reduce the time required for backups and eliminate resource loads on hosts.
Security and Access Controls
Whether your data resides on-premises, in the cloud, or a combination of both, it needs to be protected – at rest as well as in transit. That calls for data encryption and access-control strategies and mechanisms designed to ensure the inviolability of your data even when stored in backup form.
Ransomware and Compliance
Hackers and identity thieves have a keen eye for backups, so you need to be proactive about thwarting any attempts to steal or interfere with your data. Being able to manage backups is particularly important if they contain sensitive data that’s subject to regulatory compliance laws.
Cloud Data Management
Modern solutions are designed to orchestrate the management of mission-critical application data regardless of where it resides while unifying backup, instant recovery, replication, search, analytics, archival, compliance, and copy data management.
Service automation reduces the number of manual steps that IT admins might otherwise be required to undertake to accomplish a task. If the backup and recovery solution has an API-first architecture, you’ll enjoy even greater benefits. An admin could use these capabilities to integrate backup and recovery into an IT service catalog, simplify management of large, distributed environments via configuration management, automate lifecycle data management workflows, and centralize monitoring and reporting.
Backup and recovery solutions need to scale, or they risk being the bottleneck to growth. Thus, a modern solution should be built to run on any hardware with scale-out software and simple cluster management. The solution should be able to scale from terabytes of data to petabytes of data with consistent performance and usability.
Cost Versus Value
What is the cost of business revenue loss and productivity if recovery is delayed – or worse, unavailable because the backup was compromised by ransomware? What would be the cost to your organization’s reputation if you were unable to recover in a manner commensurate with your brand? The real value of a backup solution is found in its ability to ensure that you are up and running again without a costly interruption or permanent loss of data.
If you’re reviewing your existing backup and recovery approach or considering a new investment to meet evolving IT and business needs, you need to ask yourself if your existing assumptions and solutions are still relevant.
A data loss or breach can have grave and far-reaching financial, regulatory, and reputational consequences that can linger even years after the event. It’s safe to say that data backup and recovery will increasingly feature on board-level agendas for businesses in all industries.
Organizations that take backup and recovery seriously are those with which customers and partners will want to do business.
Forward-looking enterprises rely on Rubrik to securely back up and recover their data no matter where it lives and regardless of the cyber threat and compliance landscape in which they operate.
Shouldn’t you be one of them?
Ps. The secure backup and recovery technology Rubrik brings is also available as a managed service (Rubrik-as-a-Service), ransomware proof, and consumable per Terrabyte.
If you’d like to speak about how we can help you put your backup and recovery strategy on the front foot, contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org