Back-up has transformed in the enterprise, says KeepItSafe’s Blacklock
10 April 2015 | 0
Last 31 March was World Back-up Day. You were not aware? Well, perhaps not surprising because it was an under-publicised promotion by a group of enthusiastic US advocates, mostly from the Open Source community. But it serves as a reminder that every organisation has a fundamental need to back up its data properly in case of damage or disaster. More and more it has also become a legal and regulatory duty, with directors potentially personally liable, because the interests of third parties like customers or state agencies like the Revenue may be impacted if data is lost.
Online back-up has been a viable, easy to use solution for well over a decade. Everyone in IT is familiar with the concept of incremental back-up, refreshing with the most recent data at specific intervals or continuously. Broadband speeds today mean that for the vast majority of businesses backup happens seamlessly and invisibly in the background. The many advantages over and above simplicity and low costs are centred on the fact that the data is available for restoration when required in the same digital formats in which it was created. Unlike traditional tape, for instance, you can just go straight to the specific file or directory that has been lost or corrupted. It is a point-and-click operation just like selecting an item to copy on a server or PC.
But today that core simplicity has been complemented by an evolving set of smart functionality that has brought back-up into the heart of live, real-time data management and collaboration in our highly mobile world of today. Backing up is no longer just an essential chore but an integral and dynamic component of your full set of ICT resources and functionality where downtime is simply not an option.
“Business continuity is the key objective of all back-up and disaster recovery technologies”
One very rapidly growing area is endpoint backup and data management. Enterprise Mobility Management is a huge field in itself but for any organisation the protection of data that is on portable devices rather than corporate servers is a major concern. We are seeing adoption of ‘Sync and Share’ features accelerating because it fits so well with the collaborative but virtual nature of so much of today’s work. The important feature from the corporate point of view is that it is enterprise grade, and secure because data is selectively encrypted according to business policies. Data deduplication is integrated to ensure back-up speed and accuracy.
Business continuity is the key objective of all back-up and disaster recovery technologies. In an ideal world you will never need to invoke your plans. But in real life some threat to your data is almost inevitable, from loss or corruption of a few files to a complete disaster. Whatever the event, the only considerations are how quickly and how well you can restore data and normal operations.
That is why a cloud-based and fully managed DR service can offer the most comprehensive and technically advanced solutions in the market — and becoming more sophisticated all the time. It can give push-button failover to a designated physical or cloud resource and if needed bare-metal restore to any hardware.
Eoin Blacklock is managing director of KeepItSafe.