Surya Varanasi, Chief Technology Officer, StorCentric
Cloud computing has maintained an impressive growth trajectory over the past two decades and for good reason. Whether you are looking to extend and enhance your organization’s competitive advantage, further protect your business, or level the competitive playing field, the cloud enables IT and business capabilities, as well as cost efficiencies that would otherwise be quite challenging, if not impossible.
In fact, recent research from Synergy Research Group found that even during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, while many in the tech industry were taking tremendous hits, Q4 2020 enterprise spending on cloud infrastructure services grew to US$37 billion, up 35% from Q4 2019.
However, before you can utilize the cloud, you need to get there. Data migration, data replication and data synchronization can be complicated endeavors that result in creating obstacles, instead of delivering the strategic business value, IT benefits and budgetary advantages for which they are intended.
The ideal data mobility and management solution should enable the seamless movement of data to, back and between heterogenous hybrid on-site, remote and cloud infrastructures. This capability also eliminates vendor lock-in and enables more extensive content sharing opportunities – increasingly critical during what will likely become an enduring work from home (WFH) paradigm.
More specifically, an ideal data mobility and management solution should streamline point-to-point data movement and tackle data flow requirements from any storage platform to another; with fine-grained filtering and continuous incremental updates to alleviate the challenges of moving and consolidating data across heterogeneous environments.
Next, it should provide complete visibility and management control via an intuitive interface for efficient replication and content distribution across on-premises, remote and cloud resources.
Files should be replicated from anywhere to anywhere, quickly and securely, addressing Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery (DR) and archive requirements, as well as legal and regulatory compliance mandates.
This enables organizations with remote branch offices to ensure fast, local access to critical files, to gain the greatest efficiency and capabilities at the Edge. Reverse workflow capabilities are also necessary for data consolidation from remote locations back to central locations.
And last but not least, the data mobility and management solution should enable files to be synchronized across multiple storage repositories, including disk and tape, as well as private and public cloud providers. This will ensure internal and external users can be provided with safe, secure and uninterrupted access to all appropriate data.
JG Heithcock, GM of Retrospect, a StorCentric Company
The cloud has long been viewed by IT leaders as indispensable, as it provides the ability to access and combine a virtually limitless expanse of IT infrastructure and software, in order to meet almost any IT, business and budgetary requirement.
More recently, in the face of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, organizations around the world experienced an almost overnight shift of tens of millions of workers from an on-site to work from home (WFH) scenario (a paradigm that will likely endure for years, if not indefinitely). For IT leaders, this meant that enabling convenient, continuous and secure remote access to the central data center, as well as to cloud resources, became priority number one just as quickly.
While there are countless uses and benefits of the cloud, topping the list for many is ensuring data protection and Business Continuity. Certainly, over the past year as ransomware and other cyberattacks became increasingly prevalent driven by bad actors hoping to exploit WFH security vulnerabilities, the need to fortify data protection and Business Continuity grew exponentially in importance.
For most IT leaders, a clear backup strategy enabled them to sleep at night regardless of their security strategy. This is because they knew secure and clean copies existed that would keep their business running and enable them to avoid paying exorbitant ransom in the case of a data loss, hack attack or disaster.
And, this is where the cloud comes in. A popular backup method is the 3-2-1 backup rule, which specifies that a minimum of three different copies of data be saved across multiple locations to help organizations quickly and easily recover data and avoid disruption. With this method, at a minimum data should be stored on the computer, on local storage and on offsite storage. While this third copy can be tape or a remote data center, the cloud has emerged as perhaps the fastest, easiest, safest and most affordable option.
The question then becomes how to choose the ideal backup solution to get your data to where it needs to be. My advice would be to first choose a solution that connects to virtually any cloud storage provider, anywhere in the world, to avoid vendor lock-in and ensure you are able to obtain the capabilities and pricing that makes the most sense for you, your users and your applications.
The backup solution should not only backup from your data center but be capable of moving data from one cloud to another, and back again. Certainly, security is critical in the backup solution as well. Look for providers that can offer AES-256 encryption in-transit and at-rest, so that only those that are approved can access the backups. And of course, time is money. Choose a solution that provides fast upload speeds. One that can saturate any connection with multiple simultaneous backups or restores is ideal.