Herwig Evenepoel

Backup to the Cloud

Blog Post created by Herwig Evenepoel Employee on Aug 21, 2018

Zero downtime and rapid recovery: modernizing your backup strategy

The modern enterprise relies on data to innovate and develop the next-generation services that win market share. Today, sophisticated analytics is helping companies to uncover the crucial insights they need to make better decisions and build smarter long-term commercial strategies.

In turn, expectations among business users and executives are rising: they demand zero downtime and exceptional continuity; they want greater performance for lower spend; and they expect their IT teams to support them as they navigate complex compliance requirements.

For storage teams and backup administrators, it is a tough time. More and more enterprise data must be managed and protected against corruption, loss and theft, at the same time as meeting high availability SLAs to the rest of the business.

In this demanding environment, it is quickly becoming clear that tried-and-tested methods for data management and backup tasks can no longer keep pace with the demands of the modern enterprise. So how can IT teams start to re-think their backup strategy, and take proactive steps towards modernizing their approach to data management?

The challenges: data growth, compliance, security

Many enterprises are now growing used to the world of big data, and it’s evident that in the years to come data volumes will continue to rise exponentially. Familiarity with the problem, though, does not make the challenges of data growth any easier to conquer.

For storage and backup teams, the massive growth in data volumes brings with it the risk of lengthy data restores and missed backup windows. And, as enterprise data becomes scattered across increasingly complex networks of storage and remote user devices, what data is protected and what is not becomes more difficult to monitor and assess—making it tricky to ensure compliance with industry regulations such as GDPR and PSD2.

Compounding this headache is the ever-growing threat of cyber-attack. Gartner estimates that by 2019 ransomware attacks on enterprises will double in frequency year-on-year, with research also suggesting a single hour of downtime can cost USD 300,000. The cost impact on a business of an attack could be enormous, alongside the lost commercial opportunities and reputational damage.  

Will traditional methods still do the job?

Previously, enterprises could rely on point solutions such as dedicated backup applications and their physical tape archive to store and secure data for the long-term. However, in the age of big data and rising compliance requirements, the limitations of running multiple backup components to protect enterprise data are quickly becoming clear. In short, traditional methods simply will not do the job.

Many companies experience problems with tape storage every year. Not only does physical tape suffer inevitable wear and tear over time, but it can take days to transport the tape back from its off-site storage location and to restore the data following disruption.

For business users in need of rapid access to critical information, this is no longer good enough. And with the added time and spend required for the data restore, tape often does not turn out to be anywhere near as cost-efficient as it was once thought to be.

What’s more, tape drives offer very limited searchability, which is now a must-have for businesses facing up to regulations such as GDPR. To ensure compliance, enterprises must have the ability to locate specific pieces of personally identifiable information (PII), in case a customer or client wishes to have that data deleted. With physical tape, this is a time-consuming and labour-intensive operation, increasing the risk of non-compliance and severe financial penalties.

Backup to the Cloud: the Hitachi way

So, how can you revamp your approach to data protection, and move beyond costly and complex point solutions?

At Hitachi we propose a simple, comprehensive platform founded on backing up data to the cloud using our object storage and enterprise copy data management solutions. Our approach removes the need for outmoded physical tape and backup solutions, and satisfies the needs of your IT team, business users, and legal and compliance officers.

First, Hitachi Data Instance Director (HDID) provides a copy data management platform, allowing users to create and manage point-in-time copies and establish policy-based automated workflows to refresh and expire stored data. HDID also delivers the capability to prevent duplication of backup files, ensuring the most efficient use of your storage resources.

Alongside HDID, Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) forms a highly scalable object store for long-term backup data. HCP eliminates the need for physical tape solutions, instead making it possible for users to back up to a central cloud-based storage repository.

As a self-protecting content store, HCP also removes the need for additional backup applications, helping to control your IT spend. The addition of HCP Anywhere provides the ability to move backup files from remote user devices to the central object store.

Finally, Hitachi Content Intelligence (HCI) enables you to index and locate specific pieces of backup file data, to provide complete visibility across your unstructured data assets. So, if customers request the deletion of their PII, you can quickly search and identify their details, helping your legal and compliance team to satisfy even the most demanding regulatory needs.

Together, the Hitachi platform makes life significantly simpler for IT teams, and cuts the need to manage and maintain multiple point solutions, lowering your storage costs. With greater control over your data, recovery times are much faster in the event of a disaster, ensuring uninterrupted user access and minimal downtime for your critical business applications.