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Top Challenges with Data Protection in the Cloud

By Theresa Miller • April 16, 2020

Most enterprises have taken a cloud-first strategy to their data—meaning the data can now be anywhere from on-premises or even in multiple clouds. Depending on the cloud solution, enterprises may be left without any data protection option, or if they do, the options may not be consistent. Let’s take a look at my list of the top challenges enterprises face with data protection options in the cloud.

Meeting Enterprise SLAs During Data Recovery

In my experiences managing infrastructure, we always defined enterprise-level SLAs per application and how long it could be unavailable due to an unexpected issue. For example, an application such as Microsoft Exchange could not be down for more than an hour if it were down at all. So, the proper recovery point objectives (RPOs) and the ability to meet/exceed your recovery time objectives (RTOs) was important. Now add the element of cloud, bandwidth latencies, and the fact that it’s not your infrastructure. RPOs may be set according to enterprise SLAs, but in the cloud, the recovery time could be completely different.  

Simplify Data Protection Management

When administrators are dealing with time-sensitive recoveries, it is a timesaver if all systems, whether they are on-prem or in the cloud, have a single console to work from. Natively this is just not possible.  There is nothing more frustrating to an administrator than to waste precious time figuring out which system to access before you can even get started. The type of data and user impact can increase the pressure as well. One system and a single console are invaluable to the interest of time.

Instant Mass Recovery

The ability to restore multiple machines at a given time is critical to recovering from the unexpected. Twice in my career, the most extreme situations led to the need for mass recovery. In one case we had a great system to support the restores and in the other case, we did not. The ability to recover at mass can be the difference between systems being down for days/weeks vs systems being down for hours.

Storage Consumption Costs

When data protection of cloud data is stored in the cloud there is a storage cost that could ultimately impact your decisions around how to meet your enterprise SLAs without breaking the bank. Yes, cloud storage still has a cost. A solution that can deduplicate and compress your data protection backups even if they are in the cloud will go a long way for cost savings. Both administrators and leadership can appreciate the value of overcoming this challenge.

Enterprises need to look closely at their data protection options within the cloud providers, not all options will meet your needs, and in some cases are not even really backed up at all.  Look for time saving and cost saving solutions to ensure your business data is protected and recoverable.