Recently, I wrote about the value of achieving backup independence. Enterprise IT should not be dependent on a secondary system for disaster recovery, which eats up time and money, while adding extra complexity to the vital function of protecting data.
As I wrote in that article, achieving backup independence requires meeting three key objectives:
- Backup and replication for disaster recovery need to happen automatically, with continuous backups occurring throughout the day and without slowing down the production environment;
- The service has to deliver zero RPO and nearly zero RTO;
- Backup and DR must be invisible to enterprise IT operations until data recovery is required.
Now let’s talk about the benefits of backup independence using real world examples from organizations that have achieved it.
Simplifying backup at Partners Healthcare
One of the first benefits is the simplification of your storage infrastructure. And there are few places better to find data storage complexity than in the world of healthcare. Brent Richter, director of Boston-based Partners HealthCare’s Enterprise Research Infrastructure and Services (ERIS) group, manages sensitive patient data for researchers, which is governed by federal and state regulations on healthcare data as well as the increasingly stringent requirements of contracting organizations such as pharmaceutical companies.
"We were thinking about how to get audit controls, full backup and high availability built into a file storage system that can be used at the endpoint and that still carries the nested permissions that can be shared across the workgroups within our firewall," Richter said.
Richter chose ClearSky Data for ERIS because we deliver on-demand primary storage, off-site backup and disaster recovery as a single service, which is essentially invisible to the end user. Not having to maintain a separate cloud or off-site data storage facility or manage the software needed to run it reduced the complexity of the overall IT structure for ERIS. ClearSky Data took the bulk of the implementation and management of DR of Richter’s hands. Richter would much rather have his team focused on delivering services to researchers, not babysitting backups.
"It allows us to focus on our mission, which is providing IT products and services that enable discovery and research," said Brent Richter of Partners Healthcare.
Protecting legal data more effectively while saving 40 percent
Law firms also have to contend with regulatory compliance in any storage system. Baltimore-based Miles & Stockbridge was also looking to save money when the firm contacted us at ClearSky Data. Like many firms, Miles & Stockbridge was constantly adding additional capacity to support growing eDiscovery workloads. The firm stored files on a network-attached storage (NAS) array, and was looking to cloud providers and storage-as-a-service (SaaS) options, but couldn’t quite find the solution that addressed all its needs in a cost-effective, innovative way.
CIO Kenneth Adams and his IT team tried just about every technology available to develop a solution that could easily scale, provide backup, and satisfy its requirement for ISO certification. They didn’t find that solution until they spoke with ClearSky.
ClearSky’s solution cut the firm’s annual data protection costs by 40 percent while providing full redundancy and access to all its data in multiple places. And all that data is automatically backed up both at a local metro PoP and AWS. If one office goes down, everyone can simply point to another location to access that exact same data.
"Implementing this type of solution takes away the headaches of a backup solution,” said Ken Adams of Miles & Stockbridge."
“It took a while to grasp, but once we understood it, we wondered why didn’t we do this earlier,” Adams continued. “We don’t have to back up our documents today! That was a huge thing to get rid of and kill that responsibility. There is no need to watch the backup every single day to make sure that they succeed. It is verified that it’s written as soon as we write it.
RPOs and RTOs of near zero help IT sleep better at night
One of the best benefits of backup independence is the ability for IT and backup managers to sleep better at night. Barrister Digital Solutions (BDS), a Washington, D.C.-based e-discovery and document solutions provider, chose our system because of the reliability and simplicity of management.
As BDS managing partner Nick Bruno said, “If I’m not interacting with ClearSky, I’m happy. That means everything is going well, our data is safe, and we have no incidents.”
If you are ready to declare your backup independence, sign up for a demo today.