Why We Need to Modernise Data Protection: A Look Back in Time

If you’re in the tech industry, you’ll no doubt have heard the term ‘modernisation’. So, why do organisations need to modernise and transform their data protection systems? We’re always assuming that organisations are looking to modernise. But, it’s worth us looking back now and then to understand what the drivers are for modernisation.

So, let’s cut to the chase. Simply; workloads and customer requirements have changed. Data protection needs to evolve just to keep pace, let alone stay ahead.

Ten years ago…

Your organisation may have developed a strategy around storing your backup data on tape. One copy of that data would reside in a tape library on-premise whilst the second copy would get taken away in a van and stored at a third-party provider. When you’d need to execute a disaster recovery, you had to transport staff offsite to the third-party provider. Only then could you perform recoveries using that second tape copy.

Five years ago…

You might have managed to eliminate tape from the environment. Instead of sending that second copy offsite, you might be sending it to your disaster recovery site via a secure network link. Then, in the event of a cyber attack, your staff could dial in and do things remotely. At this point, your infrastructure might have even been predominantly virtual machines. This meant recoveries were much faster.

What about now?

Now, you might have applications in multiple locations. You might have moved your email servers from Microsoft Exchange to Exchange Online. You might have even done the same with Sharepoint. You might also have virtual machines in a public cloud. Maybe Azure, maybe IBM.

It’s clear that you’ve modernised in more ways than one. But, many organisations still have infrastructure sitting on-premise. This is either because of choice or because of circumstance. Of course, that’s not to say that on-premise doesn’t have its place; it does. The bottom line is you still need to protect all these systems, wherever they may be.

Testing, testing, testing

Then, there’s the question of disaster recovery testing. Ten years ago, it might have been acceptable to test your disaster recovery functions once a year. That’s not going to cut it anymore. Organisations are looking to test their future readiness on a regular basis. You want to know that your systems will recover when you want them to, and you want them to do it fast.

What now?

All these requirements lead to a modernisation of the data protection solution, which can take many forms. You might want to extend your system by finding a way to protect that cloud workload. You might have an always-on requirement for some of your critical apps. Or, you might want to transport all of your backups into a new solution that meets all of your needs. You might even want to get a new solution for the new workload. That way, you can leave the legacy workload in an environment that meets that particular need.

Data protection is the final port of call for data resilience. This means that modernising it is a crucial step to achieve optimal resilience for you and your business. Organisations must ensure that the copy of their last resort is there when they need it. More importantly, they need to ensure this is the case across the entirety of their infrastructure. As that infrastructure changes, data protection needs to keep pace.

For more information on modernising your data protection environments, you can view a whitepaper that Evaluator Group has produced in partnership with Predatar here.