It’s not that often you come across technology that immediately gives you a buzz and the feeling that many of your customers could benefit greatly from what you’ve just seen.
Being around in the enterprise backup and recovery business for over 20 years I’ve worked with so many products, specializing in IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, now Spectrum Protect. With my teams we have designed and implemented some of the worlds highest demanding IT environments, ranging from 100TBs to multiple Petabytes. Processing and storing data has always been a key area of interest for me, but backup and recovery has been something close to my heart as it is as complex as it is important. But for most organisations it has always been one of the most unrewarding tasks for the IT department. The business leadership of organisations just expect data to be secured and protected and trust this task is performed at a 100% succes. But the case is, this is never true. And in addittion, backup and recovery tasks take a lot of time and efforts. Backup jobs failing, unprotected applications, databases, virtual machines, data that is not being protected take so much of your time! And after all this hard work, it’s most frequently still not running as succesfully as required.
No, back up and recovery is a time consuming, frustrating and costly task every organization has to fullfill. Your business depends on it! In case of disasters, small and large, you depend on your backups of data to be restored succesfully and within the set timeframe. Both recovery time as recovery point objectives are crucial aspects while recovering from disasters. The longer you are not in business and the more data you loose, they higher the damage and cost to your business.
During the last decades we have seen IT becoming more and more important for every organisation. Digital Transformation has led to the overall understanding for every business leader, CFO, CIO, IT specialist all the way to actual users, that IT is key in running your business.
If data is the new oil, the foundation on which you run process and store your data and the applications to use it, is so critical you cannot do without it. This has dramatically changed requirements on uptime and security, making data protection and business continuity a key aspect of corporate IT strategy. In addition we have seen IT landscapes getting highly virtualized due to many the virtualisation techniques in the market. This has changed the way data is protected by the many backup and recovery products available. With cloud adoption accelerating fast during the last years, traditional backup and recovery solutions, designed 10 – 20 years ago, simply do not succeed anymore.
Organisations; the business, internal and external users, the people and processes depending on data availabillity, have an expectation that IT is a service “that just works” and backup and recovery is just a part of that expectation. They trust that data can be quickly recovered after any kind of disaster and no mather how many and which kind of data has to be restored.
But, in many, many occassions we have seen that the backup and recovery solution in place simply does not fit the existing requirements, takes to much time to manage, because it’s too difficult to implement, to manage and improve. So too much time, to much efforts while not meeting requirements and expectations. And this has resulted in a sad but clear observation that in most cases SLA’s are NOT being met. This means your organisation has data unprotected, cannot rely on data being protected and even important: the inability to recover from a disaster! Asking the business executive leaders how much data you can afford to loose and how long you can afford to be down, they answers are most commonly that you cannot afforrd to loose any data or suffer any downtime. Unfortunately you do net get a blank cheque to get as close to that expectation as possible. But is is clear that legacy backup products and how the back up data will not get you even near. The combination of full and incremental backups and old technology just does not get your there. Not even close. And while entering the era of multi cloud for which legacy backup products were not made, you need to re-imagine the way you protect and recover one of your most valuable assets: data!
Existing implementations of back up and recovery environments have cost a lot of efforts and money to get where we are today. They are complex to install, manage, upgrade or provide maintenance on. Environments of 500 – 1000 VMs generally require a fulltime FTE to manage the backup environment. Over 1000 VMs we see teams of two to four FTEs responsible for backup and recovery tasks. And they are just keeping the lights on! This resulting in many environments which are behind in software levels and lack functionallity.
And then there is cost. Cost of purchase, installation, hardware maintenance and software renewals. All tools out there have their own specific way of licensing, hardware requirements, media servers, agents, TB licensing, front end or back end capacity, archiving, maintenance and much more. Not only is the software difficult to manage, but so are your running costs. Would you know for sure whether you are compliant? Do you know the terms of the license agreement? Do you administrators know them? Which functionality do you use and which not? Do you use the best model looking at where you stand today, or where you’re going? Or was it the right model when you purchased the software? And why do some vendors make these licensing models as difficult as they are? Be sure: not in your best interest!
So times have changed. Your requirements have changed. Your backup and recovery solution must change with it!
Your modern, enterprise wide, multi cloud enabled, highly secure Backup and Recovery environment must (at the least) meet the following criteria:
- Ease of Use – reduce complexity and training time
- Just Works – backups are a utility
- Default Auto-Protect of virtual machines
- Policy Driven Backups
- More Cost-Effective
- Fast Restore Times
- Intraday backups are a must
- DR Failover Process included
- Out of the box Reporting for Audit, Capacity, Planning and Forecasting
- Standard Integration with other tools
- Clear, logical pricing model
And there is technology ou there that meets these criteria. Some better than others. Later, I will tell you more about this great technology we believe to be able to re-imagine the way you protect and recover your data!