When ‘just’ is just not enough in data recovery

Data centre or not, resellers need to protect their customers' data, says Paul Caldwell, Storagecraft New Zealand country manager.

Data centres have disrupted the reseller channel business model, fundamentally changing partners’ businesses and relationships.

The effect is not dissimilar to the impact streaming media had on the traditional media outlets.

It leaves channel partners needing to adapt or run the risk of becoming the blockbusters of the IT industry.

Data centre trends

• Continued greening of data centres

• Increased focus on security

• A software centric approach to service provisioning

• Continuing storage growth

• Recoverability

Reducing environmental footprints has been a priority for data centres and will continue to be a priority, driven by community responsibility and a desire to reduce cost and realise economies of scale.

There is no end to the ideas for making data centres more self-sustaining while reducing the data centre owner’s reliance on volatile energy pricing.

Data sovereignty/ownership and the ability for other parties to access and seize customer data were highlighted during 2013.

PRISM and dot com are now unfortunately part of most data centre discussions.

Replication of data back to the end user helps to allay the fear of data loss due to seizure, but as one clever partner told me, “My customers now like to reach out and hug their data”.

The software defined data centre, means flexibility and utilisation of those resources by application rather than by customer.

Protection and replication of data will be at the customer application level, not at the data centre level. Increasingly it will be about recovering the needle in the haystack rather than recovering the haystack itself.

Solutions that allow channel partners to commoditise the migration of customers’ servers into or between data centres will become a crucial component of any offering.

Data growth shows no sign of abating. Users save everything, often, and to multiple locations. Coupled with a change to longer work hours and globalisation of New Zealand business, this means no downtime to perform traditional full backups.

End users demand near instant RPO while the business demands near instant RTO. A day’s data loss and three days to recover is ‘just’ not acceptable.

Just...

So channel partners who can protect large databases without impacting the network, while minimising RPO and providing a solution that offers a ‘huggable’ copy of the data, will be able to offer real value to their customer.

To recover, a user must first backup, in the time available and at a frequency that minimises data loss. Not ‘just’ once a day!

Confidence in a recovery solution means a solution that recovers every time, to anywhere. Not ‘just to this!’.

As Kiwis, we are famous for solving problems with a bit of four-by-two and fencing wire. In a disaster, a solution that allows fast recovery to whatever infrastructure survives will always be preferable to a solution that ‘just’ requires a fenced farm before recovery.

So next time you hear it ‘just works’ ask yourself is that good enough?

The responsibility to protect your customer’s data is yours, data centre or not, and you need a solution that recovers every time, all the time and anywhere – and one that can perform automated recovery testing every day.

After all, your customer’s next recovery is only as reliable as their last tested recovery point.


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