Data protection is a pain. Whether it’s regularly backing up to tape or building your own secondary data center, protecting your data is a challenge. That’s before getting to restoring that data when outages or errors occur, which can be an equally time-consuming and manual process.
There has to be a better way… and there is. Ditch what you know about data protection, including backup and disaster recovery, and make it happen automatically.
We’re all familiar with the “Five Ws, and one H” of reporting -- who, what, where, when, why and how. Let’s look at built-in data protection through that lens, and examine what built-in data protection is, why it’s a great time to consider it, and how to do it.
Why built-in data protection now?
There are a number of trends converging to make it the perfect time to consider automatic data protection. The first is the sheer volume of data most companies are dealing with. Whether it’s information from IoT devices, data from app management tools like Splunk, or any number of other sources, the amount of data that companies have to deal with, store and back up is overwhelming.
There’s also the matter of complying with regulations. Whether it’s GDPR, HIPAA, SOC 2 or any of the hundreds of other regulations covering many industries, making sure your data protection solution enables you to comply with the regulations you face can be a full-time job.
What is built-in data protection?
Built-in data protection starts with on-demand primary storage in the cloud. This gets your company out of the endless cycle of provisioning – and over provisioning – more and more hardware, software and infrastructure to keep up with data growth. The innate flexibility of on-demand storage means that as you need more capacity for your data, workloads and apps, you expand capacity automatically. Should your data load shrink, you decrease capacity just as easily.
Once you’re using the cloud for primary storage, built-in data protection becomes a possibility. Rather than creating multiple copies of your data -- on tape, or in a secondary location -- that aren't easily accessible, you store your data once and don’t worry about it again. The built-in backup and disaster recovery handles the rest.
How does built-in data protection work?
ClearSky’s built-in data protection uses an elastic storage model to classify your data and determine the best place to store it. The data you use the most -- hot and warm data -- gets stored at the edge, in metro points of presence, close to users. This guarantees recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO) of zero for your most critical information. The data you use the least -- cold and archived data -- is stored in the public cloud that you choose and is readily accessible without any egress fees.
As your needs and usage patterns evolve, your data is constantly monitored and automatically cached across hot, warm and cold tiers, always protected and available. For the user – there’s no backing up, no manual effort required.
Now that we have the why, what and how of built-in data protection, the benefits are pretty clear. For example, Miles and Stockbridge is a large law firm that employs more than 200 lawyers. To say it deals with ever-expanding data loads and compliance concerns would be an understatement.
“The fact that we don’t have to back up to tape anymore these millions of documents -- or millions of files -- is a great savings,” said Ken Adams, the firm’s CIO.
As for retrieving a file from the built-in backup? It’s much easier than tape. “We don’t have to wait for that process of restoring a file. We can quickly do a search, find the file we want, and present it to the user.”
The benefits of built-in data protection are clear, and the conditions are right to make it a part of any company’s backup and disaster recovery plan. Once you switch, you’ll see how great life can be without having to do backups.
Ken Adams put it slightly differently: “Life sucked without ClearSky.”