Ensuring Data Protection in the Age of Data Sprawl with Cloud Services

Today’s data landscape is massively distributed, due in large part to growth of international businesses. Not only are the number of remote branch office locations growing to enable business to be conducted on a global scale, but also merger and acquisition activity, which brings disparate offices and data centers under the same organizational umbrella, is on the rise. Further contributing to data sprawl today is the ongoing expansion of cloud service delivery (e.g. Office 365 and Salesforce.com).

Spreading data across heterogeneous endpoints, as well as across globally cloud-delivered applications and infrastructure services, is necessary today to conduct business. However, this decentralization creates challenges around data protection and governance – a critical risk point for the business, as data increasingly underpins business competitiveness, and as compliance regulations grow more stringent.

The challenges that data decentralization creates include lack of visibility and expertise, cumbersome manual processes, budget constraints, and the need to navigate regional data privacy rules. Legacy backup solutions are not set up to integrate with one another and provide a centralized view and repository. This makes it very challenging for the organization to adhere to region or industry-specific compliance regulations. It also creates the potential for multiple data protection systems to be used to store the same information, which results in expensive data and infrastructure sprawl.

The complexities of utilizing disparate, on-premises solutions that must be manually manipulated increase the risk of data loss, while making it challenging for IT to oversee service level agreements (SLAs – which by themselves are becoming more complex due to the sprawl of applications with unique recovery requirements).

IT organizations should consider cloud disaster recovery services to minimize data sprawl and to ensure compliance and effective data protection for distributed environments. The cloud may be used as a centralized hub for all backup copies. In addition to accessing the economies of scale inherent in cloud services, this approach can improve visibility through providing a centralized repository. It also eliminates multiple copies being created and stored. The organization knows where the data is being stored at all times, helping compliance with regulations. Additional value includes single-pane-of-glass management, and reduced need for multiple points of expertise within the IT organization. This being established, buyers should ensure that their cloud providers address data sovereignty and privacy issues, and that there is consistent quality of backups and of data services.

For further discussion on the need to modernize backup and what to look for in a cloud backup provider, register for Storage Switzerland’s webinar in conjunction with DruvaAll in the Cloud: Data Protection Up, Costs Down”.

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Senior Analyst, Krista Macomber produces analyst commentary and contributes to a range of client deliverables including white papers, webinars and videos for Storage Switzerland. She has a decade of experience covering all things storage, data center and cloud infrastructure, including: technology and vendor portfolio developments; customer buying behavior trends; and vendor ecosystems, go-to-market positioning, and business models. Her previous experience includes leading the IT infrastructure practice of analyst firm Technology Business Research, and leading market intelligence initiatives for media company TechTarget.

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