1 How to Future-Proof Data Backup and Recovery Executive Summary
2 The surest way to future-proof a cost-effective strategy beyond the next budget cycle is to build in flexibility. By adopting a software platform that supports multiple deployment models, backed by the expertise of service providers, companies can optimize resource allocation as well as manage risk. Protecting your company s unique currency We all understand the intrinsic value of money. Whether it represents power, security or even freedom to us, we use our financial capital judiciously, guard it fiercely and choose carefully those we entrust to preserve it. We would never deposit or invest our money without the expectation of a future withdrawal. The same should be true of a company s data. In business, there is only one thing more powerful than money, and that s information. Your digital storehouses of data and how you use them offer a distinct competitive advantage, a unique currency all your own. But like the overnight millionaire lottery winner who takes his riches for granted, the true value of data is rarely appreciated until it is no longer there. Yet most companies regard data backup as merely another kind of insurance, a cost center borne out of regulation and corporate governance. The more that infrastructure and resources can be minimized while still meeting standards, the better. Although there is truth in that financial calculus, it can also lead to a view of backup and recovery that is too narrow. Debates about outsourcing versus managing it in-house, or the ROI of an Opex budget line versus a Capex spend, can push executives into making a hard choice one way or another that ultimately limits their ability to adjust later. What is sometimes overlooked is that every large enterprise already faces a range of requirements for data backup, recovery and restore (BURR). And these requirements will almost certainly change over time. How can executives develop a backup and recovery strategy that establishes the correct balance between risk, resources and shifting requirements? The surest way to future-proof a cost-effective strategy beyond the next budget cycle is to build in flexibility. By adopting a software platform that supports multiple
3 deployment models, backed by the expertise of service providers, companies can optimize resource allocation as well as manage risk. Data backup is really all about the recovery Rainy day savings are worth nothing unless you can access them during the deluge. Similarly, it s not enough for an enterprise to back up data they need to know that their most critical data, applications and systems will be available when they need it. Promises just don t cut it. Only ongoing reporting and the systematic testing of backup data quality and restoration processes can provide the right assurances. Companies need to identify solutions and service providers that can demonstrate an ability to deliver fast, seamless recovery and restoration of data. To have complete confidence in its ability to deliver, a backup and recovery solution should offer: Data consistency and data transfer integrity checks continuous and consistent background autonomic healing of the data backup with immediate notification to ensure that data is recoverable and that Service Level Agreement benchmarks will be met or exceeded Advanced encryption security standards such as NIST FIPS certify that data will be protected at-rest and in-flight, and meet the most stringent compliance requirements Restore validation testing the recoverability of data and exercise disaster recovery plans without impact to normal operations, including bare metal, message level and file level restore Auditable recovery tests simulated drills to ensure various recovery point and recovery time objectives can be exceeded and demonstrate that the solution is fully operational and can evolve with your business continuity plan Companies need to identify solutions and service providers that can demonstrate an ability to deliver fast, seamless recovery and restoration of data.
4 Not all data is equal A comprehensive backup, recovery and restore strategy needs to factor in a wide range of requirements, including applications and operating systems, as well as various locations and different types of users from those in the top executive suites to the administrative and operational staff. You must also consider the proliferation of mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, some of which may be owned by employees or contract consultants but have important corporate data. The growing use of cloud-based applications and platforms (SaaS and PaaS) also presents a challenge: although your organization is not in direct custody of the data, it is yours nonetheless. You are responsible for its backup and recovery, not the cloud-based vendor. Companies can align the value of data over time with the cost of protecting it by selecting a solution that enables tiered backup storage and archiving through Backup Lifecycle Management. Clearly a one-size-fits-all approach has significant cost and technical disadvantages. It also has implications for managing backup and recovery processes, because different types of data typically require multiple recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO). For example, mission-critical data required for day-today operations must be immediately accessible, while less important data or dormant files should be saved to less expensive storage and eventually deleted to ensure compliance. Companies can align the value of data over time with the cost of protecting it by selecting a solution that enables tiered backup storage and archiving through Backup Lifecycle Management. A hybrid cloud backup, recovery and restore model allows for further flexibility, offering a company control of an internally managed private cloud that leverages existing infrastructure, while using public cloud and the right service provider for specific circumstances such as offsite backup and recovery failover services. This also allows an organization to strike a balance between managing actual custody of its data and meeting their obligations to protect by having control over its backup and recovery.
5 Service providers play many roles Cloud backup service providers support enterprise backup and recovery strategies in multiple ways, even in hybrid and private cloud environments, including: Auditing a company s data and backup and recovery systems to design cloud deployment models so that the cost of protecting various types of data is properly aligned with its value Bridging skills gaps that might exist in an IT organization by providing 24x7 remote data backup monitoring, management of storage allocation licenses, and allowing internal staff to be deployed to more strategic initiatives Managing specific elements of your data backup and recovery strategy through a hybrid cloud model, such as certain geographic regions or user types Offering a physically distinct location to increase security and compliance for backup replication and disaster recovery As the importance and value of corporate data grows, IT leaders will need to design more sophisticated backup and recovery strategies that meet changing requirements. Selecting a service provider with deep experience in enterprise IT environments can help you find solutions that work from the start and that will continue to evolve with your business. Plan for change The pace of change in both business and technology is relentless and hard to predict. Your backup and recovery solution needs to be able to adapt to new requirements with pre-established plans and processes. Selecting a solution and service provider that makes it possible to seamlessly switch between public, private or hybrid cloud backup and recovery deployment models, without a forklift upgrade or new implementation, allows companies to optimize operating expenses and capital expenditures, while still preserving the recoverability of the existing backup of data. About Asigra Asigra is the leading cloud computing software vendor focused on backup, recovery and restoration with more than 550,000 global installations. Asigra Cloud Backup transforms the way businesses manage and protect their data by delivering seamless end-to-end data protection that efficiently scales and easily adapts to any IT environment. With more than 26 years of experience as backup/recovery pioneers, Asigra manages one of the largest business-class backup service provider ecosystems in the world who power their cloud backup services using Asigra technology and provide hands-on local service. Asigra Cloud Backup was recently awarded the 2012 Frost & Sullivan North American New Product Innovation Award in Cloud Based Data Management and was named Product of the Year by Storage Magazine. Asigra was recently awarded a 5-Star rating in the CRN Magazine s 2012 Partner Program Guide, named a CRN 2012 Channel Chief, and also named a Best Channel Partner for 2012 by Business Solutions Magazine. Asigra is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with offices globally. For more information, visit Asigra, the Asigra logo and Asigra Cloud Backup are trademarks of Asigra Inc. All other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
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