IT: Backup, shift gears and change direction

By Anton Jacobsz

There is an interesting quote by Andrea Mauro on a blog, where he states, “We are in a new era where business is driving change within IT. Solutions must first match business needs and then technical needs.”

This is especially true when it comes to new era backup and recovery solutions. 

“A complete mindshift is needed by IT to serve today’s business backup requirements. With business moving into the cloud, data exploding and virtualised and converged architecture squashing traditional multi-tiered architecture, it’s time to throw out the old way of thinking and tackle backup and recovery with a completely fresh approach,” says Anton Jacobsz, managing director at value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited.

He highlights a buyer’s guide to backup and recovery, published by Rubrik, a company named by Gartner as a Visionary in its 2017 Magic Quadrant for Data Centre Backup & Recovery Solutions, and a brand distributed by Networks Unlimited in sub-Saharan Africa. 

The comprehensive and vendor-neutral guide illustrates that in the past, the first batch of backup and recovery solutions was built to address the challenges of application tiers powered by heterogeneous infrastructure. “As the platform of last resort, backup and recovery solutions became the point of logical consolidation. Backup systems needed to move large amounts of data across sprawling environments and manage it across media tiers to control costs. Traditional backup systems also needed to satisfy long-term data retention requirements, generally using offsite tape archives,” it states.

Moving forward, the guide reveals: “If you built a present-day backup and recovery solution, what would that look like? How would it be similar to a traditional backup solution? The requirement to support customisable SLAs based upon recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO), disaster recovery, and archival capability would stay the same.

“What would be different? Since IT departments are increasingly adopting hybrid cloud models, they need (hyper)converged infrastructure with modular scalability and increasing levels of virtualisation. The solution should also reflect that enterprise IT teams are adopting technologies like IoT, big data, and DevOps to harness the value of data. And lastly, it would need to prioritise security, as ransomware attacks and data leakage are constantly growing threats even more.”

Continues Jacobsz, “This shows that IT departments need to live with the right mindset, where they assess today’s situation, including the challenges as well as the phenomenal opportunities, and how it is changing the way in which business is conducted. By working together, elements of IT that used to be defined as technical become part of business – helping to support as well as play a valuable part in its profitability, growth in the cloud and data era.”

As the Rubrik guide concludes, “When looking at backup and recovery solutions, the solution must be simple and scalable. It should support data portability and accessibility in a cloud era. The total cost of ownership should be less than what you are paying for your legacy system and offer innovative features.”

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