Kama Pathy, Technical Director, Logicalis Singapore argues that legacy backup solutions create unnecessary drag for organisations trying to adopt lean and efficient IT infrastructure, and points out that Backup-as-a-Service offers a streamlined, efficient solution.
In our new IT reality, where the challenge is to balance increased performance with lower cost and greater operational efficiency, many organisations are working towards the same goal. That common objective is simple – to make IT infrastructure lean and efficient; an aerodynamic business driver that creates maximum value and minimum drag.
There is, however, one aspect of traditional IT infrastructure that represents a real obstacle to that goal. Backup solutions are probably the least aerodynamic aspect of traditional IT systems and the least well adapted to modern business need. On the one hand they often rely on creaking legacy systems and, on the other, they are ill-equipped to support exponentially increasing data storage requirements, driven by the rapid shift to mobile devices, virtualisation and the so-called BYOD phenomenon.
All the same, a solution must be found – the ability to secure and retrieve organisational data is not optional; it is business critical. But simply extending legacy solutions is an increasingly unattractive option. Just a few of the issues this backup headache creates are:
- Shrinking back-up and recovery windows. Backups are taking longer and place greater demands on application availability
- Legacy technology. More data and more frequent backups mean organisations are faced with the shortcomings of traditional tape-based backup and recovery solutions, particularly long recovery times, questionable reliability, and the potential for error associated with manual tape handling processes.
- Budget constraints. The need to reduce capital expenditure and complexity in backup environments
- Remote offices. The inability to backup remote office servers including laptops/desktops effectively
- Long term retention. Challenges and costs associated with media and offsite tape handling challenges and costs
- Redundancy. Lack of offsite protection of the primary backup data.
- Compliance. Data Management compliance and reporting.
But the news is not all bad, and more aerodynamic solutions are emerging – solutions much more in keeping with the needs and aspirations of service defined enterprises [link]. That is, as the volume of data expands and storage costs continue to decrease, a growing number of businesses are turning to external help, with Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) emerging as a viable solution.
There are a number of benefits to consider:
- Reduced Cost and Risk. BaaS offers a cost-effective per-GB pricing model (based on data protected), which means predictable back-up costs. Meanwhile, test restorations can be carried out on a periodic basis to ensure everything is working.
- Scalable. Unlike tape-based solutions BaaS offerings are designed to scale easily – and the user only pays for the storage space they use.
- Operational efficiency. Staff can be refocused away from backup infrastructure maintenance and administration, to spend more time on higher value, strategic tasks.
- Peace of mind. BaaS providers can be held to account via SLAs, including committed recovery times when you need to restore data.
- ITIL compliance. Quality providers are ITIL compliant, including change, incident and service-level management