Evaluating Data Protection Solutions: Understand the Problem First

By Team Cohesity • July 17, 2018

This second installment of our Data Protection Buyer’s Guide blog series explains why the traditional approach to backup and recovery no longer works for organizations today, and how a modern, web-scale alternative to legacy backup is needed instead. Our guide provides criteria to consider before deciding on the next backup and recovery solution.

As organizational needs change, and workloads become increasingly distributed, a key realization is emerging: Traditional approaches to backup and recovery may no longer be sufficient for many organizations.

These companies may have discovered that their existing tools are not keeping pace with other advancements in their computing environments – such as scale-out storage systems and hyperconverged systems – which seek to reduce data center complexity and help manage surging storage costs.

Fragmentation and Storage Silos

Today’s backup and recovery offerings are fragmented with point solutions for backups, target storage, and long-term data retention. It’s a complex scenario that’s less than optimal since each of these silos are designed on proprietary hardware and/or software that has its own maintenance and support contracts.

In many cases, customers are only able to perform backup jobs once a day, with such jobs sometimes bleeding into their production windows, resulting in performance degradation. And should recovery be necessary, it can take multiple hours, which is inefficient and can have a serious revenue impact. This is a recipe for tragedy, should disaster strike.

The Data Explosion is Real … and Ongoing

Even as the cracks appear in the backup and recovery foundation, organizations are creating and consuming more data than ever before. Data is the new lifeline for enterprises, and it’s exploding all around us. Organizations across the globe are experiencing a data deluge, with the quantity of data increasing at an accelerating rate as new types of data are assimilated into existing data systems.

No longer are companies storing only traditional routine business data. Today, businesses are absorbing data from a myriad of sensors and machines; these Internet of Things (IoT) devices are distributed across the enterprise. For some companies, the need to store human-generated data is paramount.
Regardless of the data source, the need for change is real.

A significant part of data growth challenges revolves around supporting a far broader set of applications than in the past. As cloud becomes an integral part of the overall IT environment, modern applications are residing both on-premises and in the cloud. This situation presents opportunities to leverage, as well as challenges to overcome.

The point is that data growth is real and will continue, as will the adoption of an ever-increasing number of applications shows. But, to paraphrase the old cliché: With great data comes great responsibility.

Regardless of the source, enterprises need to keep pace with this data growth as they consider backup and recovery capabilities.

Out with the Old: Legacy Backup and Recovery Solutions

Historically, organizations have invested significant portions of their IT budgets in data protection tools. Unfortunately, many of these organizations are working with a severe disadvantage, and as a result, at significant risk.

They continue to protect their data with legacy backup and recovery solutions that were designed for a different era of computing.

With some products having their origins tracing back decades, many such tools are simply unable to keep pace with modern business requirements and constant advancements. As business needs evolve, organizations must strive to stay ahead of growing IT complexities.

Enterprises need IT infrastructure – including data protection and recovery tools – that is simple to manage, agile, and easy to scale.

Next Steps: Comparing Solutions

Organizations considering an upgrade to existing legacy backup and recovery capabilities are far from alone. Gartner predicts that “by 2021, 50% of organizations will augment or replace their current backup application with another solution, compared to what they deployed at the beginning of 2017.”

Choosing the right enterprise-grade, modern, web-scale backup and recovery solution involves understanding the problem first, then comparing solutions. Organizations need a backup and recovery platform that can evolve with their needs.

Which brings us to the primary objective of this Data Protection Buyer’s Guide blog series: Helping determine criteria before considering the next backup and recovery solution, such as:

  • The fundamental questions to ask about the current environment.
  • Common data protection and recovery issues currently faced by enterprises.
  • What to look for in the next backup and recovery solution.
  • Future-proofing your investments.
  • RFP-ready questions to ensure that the selection process is complete.

As is the case with so many technologies, the community around the data protection space is chock-full of often conflicting opinions; and some of the information out there is calculated to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the minds of buyers.

This guide will help cut through the noise, and provide direction and confidence during the journey through the data protection and recovery options.

As you review the evaluation criteria for a modern backup and recovery solution, take particular note of the questions you should ask vendors. If you’re talking with them in person, make sure you get complete, clear, concise answers to these questions. If you’re preparing an RFP for a new backup and recovery solution, these questions will help you get the answers you need.

Tune in to our next blog in the Data Protection Buyer’s Guide series where we’ll address assessment and starting points. In doing so, we’ll highlight 8 things to consider when choosing your next backup and recovery solution.

All blogs in this Data Protection Buyer’s Guide series: