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Sponsored Q&A: Improving the business IT formula

Veeam Software | Dec. 2, 2013
CIO chats with Charles Clarke, technical director for Asia-Pacific at Veeam Software, about the transformative nature of virtualisation and cloud solutions on business continuity planning in the enterprise

With private or hybrid cloud, where infrastructure is hosted in-house or extended to a trusted third party, it is a different matter and a more logical first step forward in BCP and disaster recovery.

What are the key BCP considerations when dealing with public, private and hybrid cloud solutions?

There are several factors:

Data sovereignty, including user or customer personal data: Legislation like the Personal Data Protection Act in Singapore helps organisations demonstrate that data stored in Singaporean data centres is kept private and I think other countries in the region will follow to remain competitive.

Identifying data that will be appropriate for hybrid or public clouds: Due to privacy concerns, ease of access or the sheer logistics of moving huge amounts of data, many organisations will consider protecting a subset of data using hybrid or public clouds rather than a wholesale rush.

Economic factors: While cloud technology and pay-as-you-go models are attractive, they may be at odds with existing investments in storage and backup. Given the costs of migration and the logistics of retrieval, many organisations will view cloud backup as a long-term economic gain rather than a short-term jump to a different cost model.

Big data is an increasingly critical part of how organisations retain a competitive edge. What BCP challenge does the rise in the volume, variety and actioning of insights against data sets present?

Big data presents a unique challenge in designing a backup strategy simply because it is big, often made up of millions of small files that need to be processed, compared and potentially incrementally backed up. As a result, challenges relate to performance throughput, remaining within backup windows, indexing, recovery and space required for retention.

It is worth identifying exactly what needs to be backed up. Many elements of big data may be purely transactional and relevant to the point in time they were created or used for reporting, but date quickly. CIOs need to consider whether it makes sense to copy and retain this data.

It is also worth looking at data that can be recreated easily, such as reports. CIOs should consider and apply appropriate policies to different data rather than back up everything.

As more lines of business tap into data, the need for integrated data management frameworks and monitoring grows. Why does a modern BCP approach help?

Business continuity planning is far from being just about data protection in terms of backup, recovery or failover. It is about having visibility into key services, being able to conceptualise and monitor them from app to metal, resolve issues before they can create downtime and then having the right tools in place to ensure downtime has a minimal impact. It is much easier to recover an environment if you have an accurate inventory and map of how the pieces should fit back together.

 

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