More and more, data is being generated and processed outside of the traditional data center, for instance across a growing number of remote and branch offices as well as mobile devices and edge sites hosting Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. As a result, most enterprises face a distributed environment that must be protected. Legacy data protection solutions require backup across each location individually, or that all locations are centrally backed up to a primary data center. These approaches result in significant costs and complexities that inhibit distributed enterprises from becoming strategic about data protection.
The first approach, deploying independent data protection solutions at each location, quickly becomes very expensive for the enterprise. Each site requires its own infrastructure, and for a secondary copy to be replicated elsewhere. Also, managing this disparate patchwork of solutions creates a management nightmare for IT.
Centralizing data protection to a primary data center requires backup infrastructure to be deployed at each location. Each site serves as a satellite of and sends backup copies to a centralized data center. Close interdependencies add complexity when it comes to backup job scheduling, and mean that backups will not occur at the remote sites if the primary implementation fails or is corrupted (adding risk). Additionally, costs can quickly scale because infrastructure must exist at each site, and because the central backup array must have enough capacity to accommodate the entire enterprise.
Modernizing to a centralized cloud backup solution can help to control costs and complexities while enabling the distributed enterprise to be strategic about data protection. Embracing the cloud for backup storage first enables the enterprise to bypass the majority, if not all, of hardware-related investments. Furthermore, disaster recovery solutions that embrace not only cloud storage services, but also compute cycles hosted in the cloud, lay the foundation for a pay-as-you-go model and simplified scalability as demands fluctuate. A cloud-first disaster recovery strategy also enables data deduplication across the distributed enterprise’s entire data set, increasing efficiency, while simplifying management through creating a centralized backup repository as well as unified management of backup jobs and other tasks.
Embracing a universal disaster recovery strategy is a necessity for enterprises today, with data increasingly facilitating competitive advantage and with compliance regulations becoming stricter. For today’s distributed enterprises, embracing the cloud may make universal disaster recovery more attainable. Each cloud disaster recovery provider takes a different approach, however – impacting cost effectiveness, as well as functionalities and levels of support, for each solution. Buyers should look for centralized support of data sources (for instance, across multi-cloud environments, endpoints, core data center environments, and edge or remote office locations), as well as for data governance and protection services that offer more holistic support beyond strictly backup.