Major disruptions are happening in almost every industry, forcing incumbent market leaders to make radical changes in their business models. “Digital Transformation”, or DX, is one description of the conversation that C-level executives are having with their business units as they map a strategy to remaining relevant and successful.
DX is all about making the business more agile, with an ability to capture, analyze and act on massive amounts of data. Many technologies are available to help achieve these goals, including Cloud, converged and hyper-converged infrastructure, all-flash storage and much more.
But one area that is often not considered is data protection. The sad truth is that using the traditional, legacy approaches to backup and to recover data will choke off the performance and availability that the DX solution is supposed to deliver. The legacy solutions create enormous amounts of downtime, while creating a backup (the backup window), restoring the data from the backup (recovery time objective) and recreating the new data that was lost because it wasn’t backed up yet (recovery point objective).
The bottom line: When you transform your I.T. environment, you must also modernize your approach to data protection. By using modern technologies, such as storage-based snapshots and replication, automated and orchestrated with business-defined policies, you can radically improve:
- Data availability
- Business resiliency
- Copy Data Management
Radically Improve Data Availability
Application-aware snapshots and replication are an excellent place to start. These can be created nearly instantly on primary storage, or on replicated storage at remote sites. These copies can be well managed for economy, recovery quickness and little, if any, impact to production.
Radically Improve Business Resiliency
Today’s data centers are under constant pressure to maintain both an agile posture and to support an always on mode of operation. Organizations like yours are struggling with these requirements especially when having to address downtime — planned or not. In fact, we’ve seen that disaster recovery solutions result from an organically grown approach that is largely untested, and worse, costs more to operate due to the specialized knowledge required of the staff and customizations required to connect these technologies together. But this approach really only addresses current workloads and infrastructure capabilities — it doesn’t offer the flexibility needed as new workloads and technologies are introduced. The answer to this dilemma is achievable and the focus isn’t on designing a sole-purpose disaster recovery infrastructure. No, it’s building a maximum availability cluster relationship between existing data centers and doing it based on standardized infrastructure.
Radically Improve Recoverability
We see, and address, a number of issues that impact the ability of data protection solutions to support a DX project:
- Each application requires its own backup and recovery processes. Do you know how many point solutions you have?
- Copying large amounts of data from the Cloud or from tape can take days. Can you wait that long to get critical systems running?
- Backup copies of data can be vulnerable to malicious attacks, both from internal and external threats. Can you protect your application data from “ransomware”?
With Hitachi’s modern data protection solution, you can restore any amount of data, in an application-consistent state, in multiple locations within seconds.
Radically Improve Copy Data Management
MORE THAN 60% OF ENTERPRISE STORAGE IS USED FOR COPIES OF DATA.
You may have heard of this problem – called Copy Data. It costs companies over $40 billion to manage it. Copy Data is simply the offspring of old data protection methods, and a lack of orchestration and workflow. Do you know how many copies of key data that you have? Who “owns” them and who can access them? Where are they? How long will they be retained?
The Hitachi modern data protection solution, based on Hitachi Data Instance Director (HDID), was created to manage and solve the “copy data” problem.
With HDID, you can quickly and easily create physical and virtual copies of data for any number of purposes:
- Operational recovery
- Disaster recovery
- Long-term retention and archiving
- Big Data and analytics processing
- Refresh databases for test and development
- For audits and e-discovery processes
- And many more
These copies can be created ad-hoc, but more commonly are created programmatically based on policies that are easy to set up and manage, providing a level of data governance that traditional backup products cannot support. Even better, HDID creates these copies without any impact on the production environment.
Radically Improve Costs
For every $1 spent storing new data, $4 to $7 is spent protecting it. Do you spend money on:
- Storage for largely redundant full backup copies?
- Data deduplication appliances or software?
- Point solutions with silos of storage, servers, and skills?
- Expert administrators for highly-complex legacy solutions?
- Downtime for backup and recovery?
A modern data protection solution will eliminate or largely reduce all of these costs, while providing all of the other benefits noted above to truly enable your Digital Transformation initiatives.
Rich Vining is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager for Data Protection at Hitachi Data Systems and has been publishing his thoughts on data storage and data management since the mid-1990s. The contents of this blog are his own.