In this ESG Video Blog, ESG's Jason Buffington talks about his expectations for Data Protection in 2017.
Announcer: The following is an ESG video blog.
Jason: Hi. I'm Jason Buffington. I'm the Principal Analyst at ESG, covering all things data protection.
In looking at 2017, here are three predictions, or things to watch for, in data protection for the new year. Cloud, tape, and hybrid everywhere.
The cloud. First and foremost, there isn't a cloud, and in fact, cloud isn't a thing. It's a consumption model that's combined several different kinds of technology outcomes with different economic premise, and hopefully, better expertise than what you might have in-house. Just for data protection purposes, you have archiving as a service, backup as a service, disaster recovery as a service, storage as a service as a repository for data protection. In addition, as you embrace hosted VMs, infrastructure as a service, or software as a service, like Office 365, you'll have different data protection options and mandates.
With that in mind, I believe we'll continue to see mainstream shifts to embrace cloud services as part of data protection strategies, but more folks are going to see that the cloud is not a silver bullet to solve all of your IT challenges. Some cloud early adopters may even pull back some, while others are going to refine their strategies between backup and storage services. Some are going to ask themselves, "Why [indecipherable 00:01:26] when you can dress?"
Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that the cloud is a fad, but like every transformative platform before it, as it grows in mainstream adoption, the hype of the honeymoon is going to fade, and the day-in, day-out marriage of cloud plus on prim, as we describe hybrid, will become the norm with eyes that are much more wide open.
Tape. Yes, tape in 2017. It's kind of related to the cloud conversation, because hopefully more folks will finally stop having the cloud versus tape argument and rediscover modern tape for long-term retention while they figure out it's agility of cloud services, not necessarily the race to the bottom for dollars per gigabyte, that really matters. Said another way, what can you do with a warm copy of your data in the cloud that you can't do as easily with a cold copy of data in a cartridge?
BC/DR and data survivability certainly is part of it, but also analytics and reporting and data mining. How about patch testing in the sandbox? And none of those business value creating scenarios are done with 10-year-old data. They're done with data which is six months to two years old. So put your warm data in the cloud to help unlock its value, and please archive, not just backup, that other data that has long-term value or regulatory mandates to tape.
Hybrid. I've already used the "H" word once today, and it is overused, but it seems easier than saying a collection of complementary approaches whose combined capabilities enable outcomes not accomplishable by one method alone. So with that in mind, your data protection should be hybrid. Hybrid media: use disks for fastest recovery, cloud for agility and BC/DR, and tape for long-term retention.
Hybrid production scenarios. Not everything should be cloud powered. Email certainly should, like Office 365. File services? Meh, you could make the case either way. Some platforms should never leave your brick walls, and all of those decisions will affect your data protection, recovery, and availability strategies.
That brings me to hybrid data protection. Backups alone is not enough for hardly anyone. Plan on integrating, not just adding, snapshots and replications to your backups, ideally through the same management framework. Everyone should be archiving i not for long-term retention, at least for moving that dormant data off of expensive primary storage, which will radically improve your backups by the way.
There's a difference between rapid reactive recovery and proactive assured availability solutions. So data availability should just as much be a focus as data protection, data preservation, and data management. I'll actually be kicking off my 2017 blogging with more on that last point.
There's more we could talk about for 2017, such as better strategies for enabling endpoint or robo protection, better approaches for managing protection recoverability of highly virtualized environments, et cetera. But my big three: cloud-powered, data protection keeps progressing and evolving, perhaps without so much halo effect; tapes, seriously needs to be rediscovered by a good many folks, and when it comes to the range of data protection activities to be accomplished, be thinking and instead of or as long as it's integrated manageability and unified strategy are in your key tenets.
I'm Jason Buffington for ESG, and I'll see you in 2017.