Out with the old, in with the new - Legacy backup versus cloud data management

For a long, long time, backup and recovery had a reputation… and it wasn’t a positive one. 

It was an extremely stilted and stagnant market, full of the same old companies selling the same old solutions... Solutions which restricted users, making the management and protection of company and personal data a long, arduous task, dreaded by IT teams and individuals alike. 

‘Backup’ became a complex space, viewed by many as an insurance policy, rather than a functional business asset. It was something businesses leaders and owners had to invest in, but, at the same time, hoped they’d never use. 

Instead, budgets would be spent and time would be wasted on a solution which would then be hidden it away in a cupboard to hopefully gather dust and be forgotten about. This attitude often led to backup being perceived as a resource drain, due to its lack of cost-effectiveness and inaccessibility. Think about it: enterprises and CIOs would only see the return on their investment in the case of disaster. 

Cloud data management

And then… along came cloud. Changing the IT landscape forever, empowering businesses and consumers alike and opening up the door to innovation; innovation in networking, innovation in security and innovation in data management. It changed everything!

It’s no wonder that a recent study from the Cloud Industry Forum found that 88 per cent of businesses are now consciously using some form of cloud based service.

Cloud has enabled companies to redefine the data management landscape, transforming backup and recovery into a value creating function and usable business asset. Cloud has provided the perfect platform to liberate businesses and consumers alike, freeing their data from the shackles of legacy backup. 

In a nutshell, cloud data management orchestrates mission critical application data across private and public clouds while delivering data management functions such as backup, disaster recovery, archival, compliance, search, analytics, and copy data management in a single, run-anywhere platform. As such, it is no longer a given that businesses will neglect backed up data, spending hours, sometimes days, storing it and then immediately hiding it away. 

Instead, with cloud data management, all stored data is now easily accessible via a cloud application and Google-like predictive search, anytime and anywhere. Backed up data now has the potential to become a valuable business asset. And with IDC predicting that worldwide data levels will reach a staggering 180 Zetabytes by 2025, that’s a lot of valuable business assets. This opens up a world of possibilities for CIOs, with cloud enabling them to use their data to create value without the limitations of infrastructure.

Sounds good- right? So then, why isn’t everyone using cloud data management? Why isn’t it standard practice yet, with 100 per cent of companies consciously using it?

Busting the myths

Unfortunately, some enterprises are slow to fully embrace the world of cloud. This is due to a variety of reasons, but what it often boils down to is a fear of the unknown and the inevitable misconceptions that arise when something new bursts into an otherwise static scene, disrupting and changing the status quo.

“Time is money… and switching backup systems takes too much time.”

Some businesses believe that switching from their legacy backup and recovery system will be too time consuming and that adopting cloud-based solutions and technologies will cost them in terms of downtime and deployment time. 

The transition itself is believed to be a long and complex one. Frankly, even the thought is enough to convince some CIOs that it isn’t worth the effort. 

However, the truth of the matter is that, whereas older backup solutions could take days to deploy, the deployment of a cloud data management system can take as little as 30 minutes. 30 minutes of your time which will easily be reimbursed, given that the deployment will provide businesses with near-instant data recovery and installs that take mere minutes.

“Security has never been more important… and cloud is not secure.”

Interestingly, a recent study by the Cloud Industry Forum discovered that concerns about security were the most cited barrier (48 per cent) when it comes to an organisation’s digital transformation, including the adoption of cloud technologies. This makes sense... think about it: for enterprises, nowadays, data has become the most valuable and important business asset and effective protection of that data is paramount for the success and future growth of the business as a whole. As a CIO, if your business’s data protection is not adequate and you suffer a breach then your reputation, brand and, by extension, entire business is at risk. Hence the reluctance of some businesses to adopt new strategies and embrace digitalisation and cloud technologies.

However, Gartner predicts that, by 2018, 60 per cent of enterprises that implement appropriate cloud visibility and control tools will experience one-third fewer security failures. And, let’s face it, if Amazon can build a $150 billion business such as Amazon Web Services  based on cloud technologies, is that not evidence that cloud is more secure than many give it credit for?

The reality is many enterprises are yet to realise the promise and potential of cloud due to either limitations within their own infrastructures or a fear of the unknown. But, with the volume of data increasing like never before and with GDPR around the corner, creating harsh penalties for those companies falling victim to data breaches, businesses must adapt, or they risk being left behind. Backup and recovery is no exception.

Nobody likes change, but sometimes change is necessary for improvement. Backup should be simple, scalable and cost effective; things that are not always delivered simultaneously with legacy solutions. Be brave and step into the unknown by embracing cloud data management and empower your business to do more.

Alex Raistrick, Director WEUR, Rubrik
Image Credit: TZIDO SUN / Shutterstock