Why backup alone is no longer enough

With tomorrow (31 March) being World Backup Day 2016, many companies are rightly preaching the importance of regular backups.

However, Veeam is bucking the trend by saying that - in the enterprise space - just backing up is no longer enough. The company thinks that the most important question for enterprises now should be “are we always available?” and has thus declared today as 'World Availability Day.'

The argument is that for consumers, just having backups in place is sufficient, but enterprises are expected to be up and running 24/7 and downtime is no longer tolerated in today's fast-paced world.

According to a recent survey conducted by Veeam, 84 per cent of CIOs are unable to meet the expectations of constant availability and admit that it is costing them up to $16 million a year. Downtime actually increased in 2015, with companies experiencing an average of 15 unplanned downtime events, compared to 13 events in 2014.

Richard Agnew, VP NW EMEA, Veeam, explains: “Driving backup awareness amongst consumers is still important, but for today’s enterprises, backup alone is no longer relevant, or enough. Organisations have discovered that the question is no longer, “Are we backed up?” but instead, “Are we available?” Backup as it is traditionally known is being replaced by a new category: Availability.

"We’re seeing an ‘Availability Gap’ (the gulf between what IT can deliver and what users demand) in today’s organisations characterised by data loss, long recovery times, lack of visibility, and unreliable data protection. 59 per cent of businesses in our research reveal that they experience unplanned downtime caused by IT failures, external forces, or other factors up to ten times a year at the cost of up to $100,266 per hour. It’s clear that this is hitting the bottom line, not to mention leaving a lasting impact on customer confidence (68 per cent) and damage to brand integrity (62 per cent).

"Businesses should be putting availability and enabling an Always-On Enterprise on the boardroom agenda, to meet the demands of their employees who expect access to applications and data at any time, from any place, and from any device. No employee or customer will accept being without access to a critical application for even a few hours. While it’s good that backup solutions exist, if an employee has to retrieve the tape from the depths of a warehouse across town before a restore can even begin, the problem is far from solved, and downtime will not be tolerated.

"Advancements in technologies such as storage snapshots and virtualisation have made it feasible for organisations to backup as often as every 15 minutes, and recover anything in the same amount of time."

Image source: Shutterstock/Maksim Kabakou