Hybrid cloud and blockchain solutions will be the future for data backup

Civilisation is built on the ability to manipulate complex data – and on the ability to store that data securely, yet in a retrievable and usable form.

The earliest civilisations used clay tablets, tally sticks, knotted string and scrolls to keep their data safe; with the dawn of the Machine Age, the evolution of storage systems picked up pace, and society rattled through punch cards, cogs, magnetic media, Hard Disc Drives, floppy discs, optical storage systems like CD-ROMs, Laserdisc and DVDs, flash drives and the now almost ubiquitous USB sticks.

The logical next step, given improvements in telecoms and the development of WiFi, broadband, 3G, 4G and 5G services, is to migrate to hybrid cloud data storage, where vital data is kept safe by being distributed across multiple remote locations in off-site servers and can be accessed via Cloud-based platforms as and when necessary.

>See also: Cloud backup and recovery: helping businesses take on the giants

Companies may pay a third-party a fee for data storage and back-up services based on the capacity, bandwidth or number of users they specify; or organisations may invest in their own off-site servers; or they may opt for hybrid cloud solutions (a mixture of private and public cloud platforms).

Whatever option chosen, companies need to develop and implement a cloud back-up strategy which enhances their data protection coverage, with minimal increased staff workload. Many companies are already applying such strategies, which is no surprise as data storage is just one element of a much wider migration to cloud-based solutions for data-intensive activities.

The forces converging to drive every kind of enterprise and organisation into cloud resources generally are similarly motivating the movement to cloud backup specifically. Certain cloud backup advantages are also influencing IT managers to integrate cloud backup capabilities into hybrid IT implementations.

An Inc. magazine article from last summer outlines three reasons that define how cloud solutions drive efficiency and how they’ll shape enterprise IT going forward:

Innovation – Cloud is the computing architecture of the future and is driving open-source innovation ahead faster than conventional server solutions and bringing previously high-end technology and innovation to every segment.
Agility – Successful companies innovate faster and more efficiently. A cloud strategy delivers the lowest-cost, most scalable IT infrastructure so companies can focus on core strengths and competitive advantages, rather than infrastructure investments.
Cost optimisation – Low-cost, open-source technology is now available; and expensive, proprietary technology is under pressure.

Without access to mission critical data – whether financial or technical – a company is lost. It’s essential to have modern and dependable systems in place to protect essential business information.

>See also: Six data trends for 2017

Sophisticated cloud backup solutions have emerged as secure and cost-effective data protection options for businesses of all sizes. The advantages of cloud backup include:

• Lower total cost of ownership;
• Reliability and recovery speed;
• Data security;
• Protection for cloud data;
• Protection against ransomware.

The benefits of cloud solutions are very real; but they must also offer data integrity from external (and sometimes internal) breaches and system failures.

With the ever-increasing flood of data, evolving threats, and the emerging Artificial Intelligence-based computing landscape, it’s essential to deploy backup solutions that meet today’s needs but which can also be scaled to meet the demands of tomorrow.

The latest technology for secure data storage is blockchain, which can provide global authenticity and security for data and transactions of any kind, reducing the cost and complexity by removing centralised trust systems and making data ‘tamper-proof’.

>See also: Are businesses still taking risks with back up?

Solutions using blockchain technology can provide indisputable data verification in any industry. Common use cases include property and medical records, chain-of-evidence for court documents, police video or security camera footage, intellectual property documents, long-term archiving that could be subject to IT audits, and consortium data storage, where multiple entities or individuals need to securely store and exchange massive amounts of data and information.

Using blockchain technology, data and transactions are processed to produce a unique signature verified by rules of consensus. When these signatures are entered into blockchain, they can never be erased.

Around the world, governments, regulatory authorities, companies and industry bodies are accepting the benefits of Blockchain – two US states have already passed bills that recognise Blockchain-based technologies as “immutable” and providing “uncensored truth” with many more set to follow.

The best way to think of blockchain is as an “append-only”’ ledger with a transaction order that is distributed between many entities, each one keeping the same copy of it. Each record in the ledger is time-stamped, is immutable and independently verifiable. Blockchain secured data has provable integrity because the data is attributed to an irrefutable identity, is validated by all copies of the ledger, is always available, and can never be changed.

>See also: 5 most common ways businesses lose data

Leading data backup vendors have already integrated blockchain-based data verification technologies into their data protection and storage products, placing it within reach of any business, big or small.

As a result, when using these solutions to back-up your data to local drives or the cloud, you can add a level of confidence to the authenticity of your personal and business data.

In the current-day environment, where data is under constant threat, traditional backup is not enough to guarantee data protection. Advanced technologies that are already on the market have transformed the data protection model, creating a new data protection paradigm where which data is not just copied or backed up, but where it is also protected from cyber attacks in the cloud via blockchain-based verification.


Sourced by John Zanni, CMO and SVP Channel & Cloud Strategy at Acronis


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...