One of the biggest challenges for organisations is how to make IT infrastructure lean and efficient; an infrastructure that is aerodynamic and which will not slow the business.
Unfortunately many organisations' backup solutions are one of the least aerodynamic components of its IT infrastructure, often relying on creaking legacy systems. At the same time, data storage requirements are increasing exponentially; with the rapid shift to mobile devices, virtualisation and the so-called BYOD phenomenon are all combining to create fresh backup headaches for companies.
Securing and retrieving organisational data is a baseline task. It's not optional. But IT budgets are not keeping pace with the escalating costs of supporting storage requirements. We have seen a greater proportion of the IT budget devoted to simply 'keeping the lights on' with a correspondingly lower percentage devoted to innovation and strategic investments that might assist in driving the business forward.
A summary of the common headaches faced by companies in securing and backing up their data include:
- Shrinking back-up and recovery windows. Backups are taking longer with greater demands on application availability
- Data Protection gaps. Frequency of backups is no longer sufficient
- Legacy technology. More data and more frequent backups mean organisations are faced with the shortcomings of traditional tape-based backup and recovery solutions, particularly long recovery times, questionable reliability, and the potential for error associated with manual tape handling processes.
- Budget constraints. The need to reduce capital expenditure and complexity in backup environments
- SLA compliance. The inability to provide adequate backup/restore levels to meet business requirements
- Remote offices. The inability to backup remote office servers including laptops/desktops effectively
- Long term retention. Media and offsite tape handling challenges and costs
- Administration. Constant up-skilling and administration effort required managing backup environments effectively
- Redundancy. Lack of offsite protection of their primary backup data.
- Compliance. Data Management compliance and reporting.
The good news is that there is a raft of emerging solutions to these pain points. As the volume of data expands and storage costs continue to decrease, a growing number of midsized businesses are tackling the backup process with external help. Backup-as-a-service (BaaS) is emerging as a viable solution. There are a number of benefits to consider:
- Reduced Cost and Risk. BaaS provides a cost-effective per-GB pricing model (based on data protected.) It means predictable back-up costs. Test restoration can be done on a periodic basis, to ensure everything is working.
- Scalable. Based on the rapidly increasing rates of data being backed-up, an in-house solution may reach storage or backup limits - especially for tape-based solutions. BaaS offerings are designed to scale - and the user only pays for what's required presently.
- Operational efficiency. Focus your staff on "core" IT projects. Maintaining backup infrastructure and responding to ad-hoc restore requests is a distraction for IT staff and few organisations have optimised processes or internal SLAs around backup and recovery.
- Business-focused. BaaS providers can be held to account via SLAs, including committed recovery times when you need to restore data.
- ITIL compliance. Quality providers are ITIL compliant including change, incident, problem and service-level management
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