The cloud is taking hold in the IT infrastructure: in fact, analyst house Gartner predicts that the public cloud services market alone will increase by 18 percent to $246.8 billion in 2017. Cloud back-up and recovery is no exception to this trend.
Data is the lifeblood of organisations, and data loss – whether it’s the result of cyber-attacks or outages – is high on the list of any CIO’s concerns. The need for data protection is more pertinent than ever, especially at a time when organisations are facing new challenges, such as frequent and costly ransomware attacks, often with diminished budgets. Cloud backup and recovery has tapped into that requirement and adoption is increasing across the business spectrum, from the enterprise through to mid-sized and smaller organisations.
Why back up?
When it comes to data protection, Murphy’s law is a good rule to live by: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Backup and recovery strategies must cover any data loss scenario that could interrupt business continuity.
>See also: The importance of data retention: months not days
Missing data, whether it’s the result of an outage, a ransomware attack or even a natural disaster, can grind business to a halt. The longer the recovery time, the longer organisations are paralysed and unable to resume activities: risking client loss, business slowdowns and compliance breaches.
To that effect, the 3-2-1 rule for backup and recovery is a good place to start. Put simply, organisations need least three copies of their data, two of which are local but on different mediums and one that is always offsite. That way, if one data set is lost, there’s always another copy recover from.
Cloud backup driving wider trends
The 3-2-1 rule is one of the drivers behind the growing trend in cloud backup and recovery. Backing-up data to the cloud provides off-site protection, with the added benefit of straightforward recoverability. There’s no need to travel miles to retrieve data that’s been physically backed up at another site when you can recover via the internet.
Cloud technology is a key element in a predicted sharp rise in IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) spending over the next few years. According to professional services consultancy Deloitte Global, spending on ITaaS for data centres, software and services will reach $547 billion by the end of 2018, and will represent more than half of IT spending by 2022.
>See also: What have businesses learnt from the cloud?
Scalability, affordability and accessibility are further factors behind the increased uptake in cloud backup and recovery. With public cloud backup, a simple internet connection provides immediate access to every file. Intuitive user interfaces, one-step point-and-click recovery, plus single-file and single-message restores mean even the most stretched IT team can easily manage backups and recovery testing.
Promises of near-instant recovery time and sub one-minute recovery point objectives are also very attractive – especially to the mid-market or distributed enterprises where remote or branch offices are often unprotected, which has never had access to such high performance before.
Democratising data protection
The level of protection offered by cloud backup and recovery suddenly puts the mid-market on an equal-footing with the big players. As such, there’s likely to be a marked increase in data protection solutions tailored specifically to customers with more limited budgets. Those who, in the past, may have had to choose between ease-of-use and reliability, or opt for capacity over speed of recovery.
The same mid-market customers, I envisage, will also be part of a sustained growth in education and skills. In response to the influx of cloud backup and recovery solutions aimed at this type of organisation, customers will need to do their homework to make sure they get the data protection solution that fully meets their requirements.
>See also: Six data trends for 2017
CIOs and their teams will develop a better understanding of their own data: distinguishing between what’s business-critical and what’s less important will be crucial. Data protection strategies will become more robust and customers will be much better informed when it comes to choosing their next cloud backup solution.
There’ll be a knock-on effect for vendors too: knowledgeable customers will demand more. Vendors will have to become more transparent – they will be under greater pressure to demonstrate that their solutions really deliver on performance and recoverability: Proactive strategies pay off.
Opening up enterprise-level cloud backup and recovery to the mid-market is a game-changer. Faster backups not only offer greater protection, they mean that the overall IT infrastructure isn’t struggling to function during lengthy backup windows.
Near real-time recovery means if there is an outage, IT teams can retrieve lost data before users even realise there’s an issue. This gives mid-market companies a new edge: by taking a more proactive, controlled approach to backup and recovery, their ability to improve IT service levels and applications availability will become business differentiators.
Sourced by VP of product marketing Christophe Bertrand, Arcserve
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