Today, March 31, is World Backup Day, which reminds all of us that we need to back up all our personal and business-related documents, photos, videos—anything else digital that we value.
Those of us who have lost important files in the past know what a pain it is—and how much valuable time it takes—to re-create them or make new copies, if it’s indeed possible. Thinking ahead and taking the time and attention needed to ensure the protection of data valuables is well worth it and doesn’t cost that much.
There’s really no excuse anymore not to do this: Automated backup into the cloud or to onsite storage is simple to set up and inexpensive. And there are so many vendors willing to bend over backwards for your business that you shouldn’t have any problem finding one that fits what your needs.
Among the many backup providers now available include Box, Dropbox, Code42, Intronis, Acronis, iDrive, Nero, OpenDrive, Seagate i365, Carbonite, EMC Mozy, Jungle Disk, Symantec, Zetta, Druva, Asigra, CrashPlan, Veeam, Egnyte, Ftopia, Barracuda, SpiderOak and others.
Innovation Happening in the Sector
There is innovation in this sector, too. Just the other day here in eWEEK, we wrote about Bitcasa’s initiative to “kill” local hard drive storage by marketing a new automative drive for the operating system that automatically channels new content on a device to a cloud service of choice.
Whether that becomes a regular part of our daily routine remains to be seen, but Bitcasa CEO Brian Taptich is confident that this will become the next step in automated file and data backup.
Acronis recently did a global research study of 4,000 file and data backup users and came out with some good data points.
–The most important data protection features were security (cited by 30 percent of respondents), ease-of-use at 36 percent, and privacy at 26 percent.
–46 percent have more than four devices (computers, laptops, smart phones) in their homes.
–Currently, 38 percent back up to external drives and 30 percent back up to the cloud.
–58 percent percent of consumers back up at night and 27 percent backup while watching TV.
For this year’s World Backup Day, eWEEK asked for and received some cogent perspectives from industry thought leaders. Here are some of them.
Mohit Aron, Cohesity CEO:
“Everyone knows the importance of backing up your data, especially enterprises, but what’s even more critical is the ‘how’ and ‘where.’ Backing up data should be part of a comprehensive secondary storage strategy rather than a siloed solution to avoid redundant copies that waste resources and create unnecessary management complexity. Consolidating all secondary storage use cases, including backup, test/dev, and file services, helps enterprises maximize IT resources to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and gain a full picture of their data assets.”
Jaspreet Singh, CEO and Founder of Druva:
“Ransomware incidents and data breaches continue to make headlines almost daily. As data continues to be dispersed beyond the data center into cloud services and onto mobile devices, a holistic data backup strategy has never been more important for businesses. Meanwhile, the nature of backup is evolving. It is no longer simply about data collection or recovery, but increasingly about how an organization can use its backed up data for greater purpose. Organizations can now use their backups to address important governance needs, such as placing users’ data on legal hold in litigation matters or searching through data to uncover regulatory or compliance policy risks. World Backup Day shines a light on not just the challenges enterprises face, but also on how they can increasingly benefit from a holistic data protection strategy.”
Chris O’Malley, CEO of Compuware:
“Threats to an organization’s data used to be self-evident: A hard disk would fail, or a server would get destroyed in a natural disaster. Although these threats are still here, we now deal with a whole new set of cyber threats, particularly ‘insider’ hacks that can occur through privileged access. These attacks are often targeted at high-value systems like the mainframe because modern day Willie Sutton(s) know well that’s where the money is.
“This is a new world where backup and security are now intertwined. In tandem with a reliable backup strategy, organizations need tools that allow them to monitor high-value systems around the clock, capturing all kinds of data about which employees are accessing specific applications and data; when the access occurred; how often access occurs; and how that access diverges from other similar users. This type of proactive anomaly detection, combined with rock-solid backup, provides an essential response to protecting an organization’s most sensitive data assets.”
World Backup Day 2016: A Little Planning Goes a Long Way
Rama Kolappan, head of Information and Mobility Management, Commvault:
On backing up big data workloads: Big data initiatives use new approaches and technologies to store, index and analyze huge data sets, while minimizing storage requirements and driving faster outcomes. However, as companies begin these initiatives, they often forgo applying data protection and disaster recovery routines to these large data sets sitting outside their traditional systems and infrastructures due to complexity, performance and cost issues. Every day, but especially on World Backup Day, it’s important to remember to back up your big data sets—or risk data sabotage, should an incident occur.
“When traditional backups don’t make sense: Enable more active archive with the ability to create natively accessible secondary copies (REST/FS/APIs) where backup doesn’t make economic, performance, nor accessibility sense, like with rich media, pictures, genomics, video, etc. On World Backup Day, talk to your team to see if natively accessible secondary copies might be a fit for your organization and its data.”
Intelligent incremental capture is your new BFF: The reduction of backup copy windows through intelligent incremental capture for files and applications opens opportunities to dramatically reduce workload impact during data protection operations while providing downstream efficiencies in network and storage utilization. Only reading and moving the delta blocks and only storing the unique changed blocks reduces bandwidth and storage requirements for ongoing recovery operations and dramatically improves RPO and RTO speed. World Backup Day is the perfect day to consider this option for your organization.
Ellen Rome, Vice President of Marketing, X-IO:
“On the consumer level, backing up data has never been easier, especially with so many mobile devices connected to the cloud. If only it was that easy for businesses and the enterprise. IT leaders are struggling to keep up with growing demands for data backups and recovery that requires the right balance of performance, availability, simplicity and affordability. World Backup Day is a great reminder for IT leaders to explore the industry’s advancements in storage systems that won’t charge extra for high availability software features such as mirroring, snapshots, replication and stretch clustering.”
Seth Knox, Vice President of Product Marketing at Atlantis Computing:
“An effective and flexible backup plan incorporates multiple software-based strategies and approaches. With software-defined and hyperconverged storage infrastructure, snapshots, replication and stretched clusters are being used to protect data both in a local data center cluster, across data centers or across the cloud. Regardless of the workload, from application servers in remote branch offices to thousands of virtual desktops distributed across an enterprise, IT teams are relying on software-based policies as the backbone of their disaster recovery implementations. This removes the human element by dictating that all virtual machines are accurately, automatically and consistently replicated to the DR sites, providing peace of mind that business can carry on despite any outage.”
Mario Blandini, Chief Evangelist and VP, Product Marketing at SwiftStack:
“It is the beginning of the end for backup as we know it. Far too many individuals do inadequate backups, and technology has evolved to automatically protect and version the data we work with. Humans are bad at backup, apps are great at it. Both consumer and business adoption of cloud storage solutions like DropBox has marked the beginning of the end for backup as users know it. Application developers now build the apps we use to roll-back and recover documents ‘forever’.”
“Make the most of this year’s World Backup Day. The simple term ‘backup’ is becoming obsolete for the way we use and collaborate with documents and media. Increasingly, we will use our data and the protection just happens in the same way as we used to have to change car gears ourselves. Now with pervasive automatic transmissions, we just drive.”
Kieran Harty, CTO & Co-Founder at Tintri:
“The applications on which businesses depend are increasingly being converted from physical to virtual—and you need to similarly shift your replication and recovery approach to keep pace. For example, conventional storage hoards virtualized applications into bulky vessels called LUNs (logical unit numbers). You’re typically forced to replicate an entire LUN (including everything it holds), but if you could replicate just the one application you care about it, you can be 95 percent more efficient. And if you need to recover or update a specific application, taking that action on the entire LUN can take hours or days, whereas targeted action on that one application could take seconds. That’s why choosing the right storage platform plays a huge role in how you manage application level replication and recovery.”
Gabriel Gambill, Senior Director of Product and Technical Operations at Quorum:
“Backup is essential for both businesses and individuals. As we move into a digital age consumers risk losing their personal files and documents while businesses risk failing compliance, losing highly sensitive data and hours of downtime. Data loss is a huge threat to many of today’s organizations and businesses need to be prepared. High availability and snapshot replication can ensure that the business has constant real time recovery, not only is data backed up and easily restored but so are critical applications. Businesses need business continuity and quick instant access to data that will allow the organization to return to business as usual. World Backup Day draws attention to this and the need for recovery. Once a disaster strikes, it is too late; organizations need to be prepared.”
Rick Orloff, Chief Security Officer at Code42:
“The days when all employees worked on desktops connected to servers are long gone, and World Backup Day is a perfect reminder for the need for a modern data security strategy in today’s organizations. Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever, and the most critical data is residing on fully loaded, unprotected laptops and mobile devices. Data is traveling in and out of the enterprise at such a high rate, and organizations want to know if their data is properly protected.
“Having a backup solution is no longer just about having a copy of your files living near storage or available in the cloud—it’s about having visibility into how and where data is moving and it’s the ability for end-users to restore all, or a portion, of their files at anytime. If data is compromised, it’s the countermeasure to restoring the business to normal when data has been.”