ESG's Jason Buffington discusses how once you decide that a Cloud service ought to be part of your data protection strategy, then you need to decide what are you solving for.
Hi I'm Jason Buffington, one of the principal analysts at ESG covering data protection. So, you want to use the Cloud for data protection. Which Cloud? Every IT modernization or transformation conversation seems to include Cloud these days, and it should. But, once you decide that a Cloud service ought to be part of your data protection strategy then you need to decide what are you solving for.
You might be solving for CapEx versus OpEx or efficiency in how you store data. If so, you should start by considering Cloud based storage as a repository for your backups and archives. According to ESG's latest IT spending intension research, backup and archive repositories are actually the most common anticipated use case for Cloud infrastructure in 2017, and it has been for the past couple of years. Cloud storage as an additional tier for your existing data protection solution via either your backup or archive software or Cloud connectors or a Cloud tier within your protection storage solution makes sense when everything else in your data protection solution is otherwise working. If everything else is good but you're looking for either data survivability to reduce data loss or to reduce your usage of tapes for offsite vaulting then Cloud storage is likely for you. To be clear, I do not consider Cloud to be a tape killer for a bunch of reasons, but some marketing folks do and I don't have time to argue in this video about it.
You might be looking for better technology or better expertise. If so, you should start by looking at Cloud based backup services. If you have lots of remote offices, yes subscribe to someone's backup as a service or BaaS offering today. Same for you endpoints. But, for your data center servers it isn't always as obvious a choice. But, if your existing on prem backup solution is insufficient, you really ought to be looking for something else anyway. You might as well be looking at backup services as well as more contemporary backup software solutions, hopefully those that can use a Cloud tier like we talked about earlier.
You might be just solving for or looking for better operators. Maybe you and your team are awesome at backups but you have more strategic things you'd rather be doing. Maybe you aren't backup experts. Having someone who's more experienced than you in monitoring your backup solutions, troubleshooting errors and handling restores would be huge for you. This is another good reason to use a backup service even if they're using the same software via subscription that you might've been using or could've bought for yourself.
You might be looking for just a secondary site for BCDR purposes or BCDR planning and consulting. Also, as you start looking at backup as a service, you might ask yourself why BaaS when you can DRaaS. Disaster recovery as a service is especially useful for small and mid-size organizations who don't otherwise have a second site of their own as well as for enterprises that would rather not maintain their warm or hot sites. In addition, organizations of all sizes often lack BCDR planning which is very different than backup administration. DRaaS consultants can be even more valuable than DRaaS solution components. P.S.: depending on how the data is transmitted and stored, some Cloud storage solutions can also be extended to DRaaS scenarios just like many but not all BaaS solutions can be extended to DRaaS.
You might be moving forward with Cloud services for production. If so then you might be going all in with software as a service, SaaS. Or, you might be hosting VMs via infrastructure as a service - IaaS - in a public Cloud. In either case let me remind you these service providers do not backup your data for you. There's surely a niche case exception or two, but for the most part you need to protect your data, your own stuff, the same way that you did before. If you used to backup and retain your exchange data for 7 years, you still have to protect and retain your Office 365 data for 7 years. You choosing to use a Cloud does not change your compliance requirements. And, those VMs running in Cloud infrastructure, they are just as likely to be poorly patched or have data corruption as the VMs that you were managing on prem, so you better back those up, too. For the most part IaaS hosted VMs will need to be backed up with agents inside of each VM instead of the host based approach that you might be used to on prem. That means that you can use either a virtualized backup appliance or a virtualized backup server running in that same Cloud environment or a backup service, essentially the same options you have for protecting physical servers on prem today which of course could use Cloud storage and/or Cloud service. Thus, the cycle begins over again.
Maybe I didn't bring you answers this week, but I hope that I helped you think about what questions to consider. The Cloud should almost certainly be part of your data protection strategy. Now you just have to pick which Cloud you need. I'm Jason Buffington for ESG. Thanks for watching.