What’s Driving Data Protection Sprawl, and Why is it Such a Pain Point?

In today’s world of strict data privacy regulations, increasing and more sophisticated cyberattacks, and data-driven business intelligence, data protection is an important business priority. However, most organizations are dealing with the sprawl of data protection infrastructure that adds a significant degree of costs and complexity.

Secondary storage environments have historically been somewhat fragmented, but there are a number of factors that are causing this sprawl to increase:

  • Various departments within the enterprise might want a specific solution to address their unique needs, and they also might want direct control over their data protection processes.
  • Along a similar vein, as new business units are spun up, the enterprise might feel that it is easier to “drop” in a new appliance to address that unit’s data protection needs, as opposed to integrating that business unit into existing data protection infrastructure. This is especially true as IT is pressured to react as quickly as possible to changing business requirements.
  • The enterprise might want to utilize more robust data protection capabilities that are being built natively into applications.
  • Applications are being hosted more diversely, including through a software-as-a-service model. Each hosting model has its own data protection ramifications. Data is massively distributed geographically, and it exists in a wide range of formats on a diverse set of infrastructure resources.
  • The types of applications that enterprises are using are also becoming more diverse. For instance, some applications might require replication for continuous availability, while others have more lenient recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) service level agreements (SLAs).

Data protection sprawl quickly adds substantial cost for the enterprise, most notably in the form of data protection infrastructure that is under-utilized and highly cumbersome. With the volume of copy data continuing to grow exponentially – and in fact often exceeding that of primary storage by 10-15 times – the enterprise is left with significant capital and operating expenses tied up in an infrastructure that is not directly helping to generate revenue.

Modern enterprises require a solution that balances centralization for streamlined management and better utilization via pooled resources, with the ability to address individual application and department data protection service requirements. As discussed by Storage Switzerland and Veritas in our recent Lightboard Video, storage managers should consider containers as a path to get there. Containers are lightweight and rapid to deploy, meaning that new data protection services can be spun up in minutes. At the same time, they are isolated. Multiple use case-specific containers may be consolidated on the same infrastructure and still provide dedicated services for individual users or applications.

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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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