Every day should be Backup Day, just like every day should be Mothers’ Day. Yes, there is one day per year when we absolutely have to say “thank you” to our moms, but they’ve done so much for us that we really should be that thankful and sentimental with them every day. Similarly, while our data protection infrastructure yields a variety of benefits for us throughout the year, Backup Day is our one day to be especially mindful of it – though in reality, many of us don’t even think about the big picture around backups even once per year. We only think of backups when A) something breaks or B) something new comes in that the old backup solution won’t cover.
It’s the latter that causes “Improving Backup and Recovery” to continually be among the top of the top ten IT Priorities that ESG tracks each year, as shown in ESG’s IT Spending Intentions 2015 report.
At first glance, you could say that three of the top ten directly relate to data protection:
- Improving backup – as the tactical side of ensuring data protection
- Business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) – as the strategic aspects of ensuring IT resiliency
- Regulatory compliance – while not wholly “data protection,” regulatory compliance policies certainly have ramifications on your data retention strategy
I would argue that another five of the top ten are what drive data protection modernization:
- Managing data growth is hard enough to do in production, but then trying to linearly scale your backup solution to accommodate the data is even harder. So, you’ll likely be looking for new ways to archive (groom off) some of your stagnant data, while improving the deduplication of your backup solution overall.
- Increasing use of server virtualization is one of the easiest ways to show that your legacy backup solution is inadequate. Whether you upgrade your intentionally out-of-date unified backup solution or purchase a virtualization-specific backup solution is up to you … but as you modernize your production infrastructure, you will almost assuredly have to modernize your protection capabilities as well.
In fact, using cloud infrastructure and building a “private cloud” infrastructure and improving collaboration also all fall into the “modernizing production” category, with the very real reality that you’ll have to modernize your protection while you are at it. For more ideas, check out this brief on Why You Must Modernize Protection when you Modernize Production, check out this brief that ESG recently published.
But before you suggest that 8 out of 10 of the top IT priorities relate to backup, it’s really 9 of 10 because I would offer that information security (InfoSec) is like backup’s “brother from another mother” or that best friend that finishes your sentences. While most of IT is about delivering services and enabling the organization, InfoSec and DP are what you do on top of that to ensure the sanctity of IT – controlling access, data integrity, data resiliency, data preservation, etc. InfoSec and DP are BFFs in guarding the rest of IT; and just like InfoSec has a variety of mechanisms from access control to malware protection (all of which are covered by my colleague Jon Oltsik), data protection has a variety of measures from backup to BC/DR, with archiving, snapshots, replication, and availability technologies mixed in as a Spectrum of Data Protection.
So now you see why every day should be World Backup Day. But if you are among those who don’t celebrate or even consider how important robust data protection is to your IT environment (until something breaks or you outgrow some aspect of your existing production infrastructure), then at least make every day Mothers’ Day.
As always, thanks for reading.