Protecting data is not a new concept. Organisations of all sizes have, for decades, utilised a mixture of hardware and software to protect data, ensuring its availability and mitigating the risk of threats which in recent years includes cyber-crime.
Backup is one of the methods of protection that has been and still is widely used across all organisations. It has become a necessity for organisations to recover from downtime, a cyber-attack or simply to restore data that has been accidentally deleted. Historically methods of backup have relied on hardware and external backup mediums such as tape. The landscape of business has changed since tape backups were first implemented as has the threat those businesses face; modern innovations in backup technologies have created higher levels of protection, but with so many threats and areas of protection is simply backing up data enough?
DataBackup can be defined as the process of taking a copy of data at a fixed point in time and storing it for a set time frame (retention) in an alternate location to its original source.
Increasingly so, businesses and organisations are faced with 24-hour a day working windows. Operational times are increasing and the time available for administrative work or background tasks is becoming shorter. Downtime is extremely costly however, so it is not an option to not protect data and systems.
A 13 minute stretch of downtime for Amazon reportedly cost the online retail giant more than $2.5 million. While this will not be as high a figure for other organisations, there is additional cost that can be associated with reputational damage or negative brand image.
Due to this new always-on business world, processes must become quicker and availability must be higher. Efficiency becomes key to deal with this, as inefficient system can be directly attributed cost if downtime occurs. Traditional backup methods that rely on moving tape from site to site manually and restoring data through hardware become inefficient when data is needed for restore ‘now’. Modernised backup solutions, often cloud, are more likely to deal with this issue however they may not cover all scenarios, leaving a requirement for more software or additional services.
Rapid data growth
Data volumes are increasing. Organisations are creating more data than ever and as a result data storage requirements increase. As organisations grow and use more tools, systems grow in complexity and often require more management which, when manual, become time intensive. All data and systems must not only be managed in line with company policies but also in line with data protection laws and industry regulations.
To deal with growth businesses and other organisations have a need to implement flexible, scalable solutions that can assist in data management. These solutions need to be able to cope with a host of requirements and often give multiple options for how scenarios are dealt with. This lends itself to the idea of a more complete data management solution than simply backing up data to protect it. Solutions that can help manage data through its lifecycle and meet retention needs.
Data Retention can be defined as the amount of time that an organisation keeps data for, governed by policy. Industry standards and legislation may mandate long-term data retention, in some cases 7 or 10-years.
Data Retention makes up part of the data lifecycle which can be defined as the policy-driven approach to managing data from its creation to its deletion, through one or more systems.
Aspects of a successful, complete data management strategy
While backup will make up one element of a successful data management and protection strategy, there are other aspects that will need to be accounted for. Not all organisations will need all aspects and the combination of systems and solutions used will need to fit the data management policies and strategies that exist.
Archiving data refers to the act of moving data from primary storage to a secondary storage for long-term retention or to free up space on primary storage.
Archiving will assist in compliance with data protection laws and can ensure that data is securely managed through its lifecycle. There are use cases for archiving of data to be used to save data management costs.
Disaster recovery is the process of recovering all systems following an outage or total site loss due to a natural or unnatural disaster.
Data migration is the process of moving data between storage systems, from one computer or server to another; this could include a change in format to the data.
To protect and manage data securely in a modern IT environment, new solutions are needed, simply backing up data is no longer enough. With different challenges, threats and environments no two organisations are set up in the same way and there is a need for highly flexible, highly secure solutions. The more functionality available in these solutions the more suitable they will be to more organisations. Efficiency and the ability to centralise data become important and data grows and proliferates across sites.
Cloud based solutions bring flexibility options above and beyond their traditional predecessors and will often unify aspects of data management such as backup and disaster recovery.
Redstor’s next-generation data management solution unifies backup, disaster recovery, archiving and insight and can be managed from a single centralised console. Get a trial today and simplify your data management processes while increasing security and cutting total cost of ownership. Get a trial.