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Data resilience: a key pillar to business success

By W. Curtis Preston, Chief Technical Evangelist, Druva

We’ve already determined that data can be an organization’s most valuable corporate asset. If utilized correctly, data can transform a business and lead to expedited growth. However, businesses are struggling to manage and protect data, largely because they continue to rely on an approach that was designed for yesterday’s problems. With so many changes to the computing and threat landscape, data protection must take a revolutionary step.

Businesses need a solution that is resilient by design; anything less will simply not succeed in the long term.

An entirely new landscape

In today’s age, the data center as the center of your organization has become a punchline; the majority of organizations are either already using the cloud or will be using it very soon. Industry research proves this. IDG has reported that 89 percent of organizations are already using SaaS services, and Statista has confirmed that companies with over 1000 employees use an average of 177 SaaS applications. Additionally, Gartner believes that 85 percent of infrastructure strategies will integrate cloud delivery by 2025, and IDC is predicting that 70 percent of those applications will be cloud native by 2024.

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this transition by driving many organizations to support a more digital workforce. Even organizations that have returned to the office in some capacity are supporting a hybrid work model that allows employees to work in a more mobile way, and most of those employee laptops are creating data that often goes nowhere near a data center.

Ten years ago it made perfect sense to have a centralized backup server sitting in a data center, because that’s where all the data was stored. But now an increasing number of organizations have more of their data outside the data center than inside it. If that is the case, why should anyone be using an on-premises backup system?

The use of cloud resources also changes from day to day, which can create very large capacity and demands on a traditional backup system. It may need a significant burst in capacity one day, only to need much less the very next. The only way to respond to this shifting demand with an on-premises system is to significantly overprovision, then have a large portion of the system go unused at any given time.

Backing up cloud data to data centers is not an efficient strategy, but the strategy of using different solutions for each workload is even worse. Organizations relying on a legacy approach to data protection often respond to its gaps by selecting a new system to protect each new data source. For example, some organizations will use scripted snapshots to protect cloud resources, then purchase completely different solutions to back up each SaaS workload. This results in many IT teams stitching together up to multiple different solutions to address their data protection requirements. While it may not always be possible to have a single solution to handle all data protection needs, organizations should still look to reduce the number of solutions they are using to protect their environment.

The complexity of managing many disparate solutions puts data – and organizations – at grave risk, especially in an environment where ransomware attacks are surging. Cybersecurity Ventures projected that in 2021 alone, the global damage from ransomware was $20 billion — up from $11.5 billion in 2019. In addition to attacking primary copies of data on servers, VMs, SaaS applications, and endpoints, cybercriminals are now directly targeting backup copies of data. Yesterday’s backup designs are not equipped for today’s challenges.

Old tools aren’t solving new problems

The most well-known data protection systems were developed at a time when the data center was indeed the center of data. All of these systems were based on the same concept: a centralized backup server in the data center protected all of the servers in that data center. Yet as the modern computing environment has advanced to include remote offices, public cloud hyper-scalers, and SaaS services, applying the same old design to today’s computing needs won’t work. In addition, traditional architectures are simply not designed to prevent or agile enough to combat the surging cyber threats every business is working to insulate their organization and data against.

Leveraging cloud’s innovation

The good news is that the very factor driving challenges in protecting data – the cloud – is also enabling solutions to address those same challenges. A modern system would use a cloud-first approach and be built in the cloud for the cloud, while also taking on-premises workloads into the equation.

A cloud-first approach gives organizations full access to all the computing, networking, and storage capacity they need without having to purchase and maintain it themselves. They can burst capacity as needed, while also scaling back when necessary to save costs. If offered as a service, organizations are able to receive the latest and greatest features without ever having to upgrade or maintain any infrastructure.

Most importantly, a cloud-native service can make environments more resilient than ever before. All backups are encrypted, air gapped, immutable, and actively monitored by advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that a cloud architecture, with its near-infinite compute resources, easily makes available. A cloud-native service also enables accelerated recoveries that empower organizations to say “no” to anyone demanding a ransom, and has the power to deliver intelligent recommendations and insights that can push a business forward.

The Druva Data Resiliency Cloud

The Druva Data Resiliency Cloud is such a service. Leveraging the simplicity, scalability and security of the public cloud, Druva is able to advance an organization’s cyber, data, and operational resilience without any hardware, software and associated complexity. 

Designed with a security-first architecture, backups are stored in a way that offers ransomware no route to the backup data. The platform’s advanced capabilities allow organizations to put a halt to ransomware before it spreads, protects data from emerging threats, and can even reverse unauthorized deletion activity from insider attacks.

The platform’s disaster recovery service supports a 15-minute Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and a 1-hour Recovery Point Objective (RPO), and its industry-first capabilities allow organizations to recover the last clean version of every file on a server, while automatically blocking the restore of the ransomware that caused the problem in the first place. All of this is available without a large capital purchase. And in service of a true cloud experience, customers only ever pay for what they use. 

Data resilience will continue to be a priority in 2022 and beyond. We believe the Druva Data Resiliency Cloud will continue to help organizations achieve resilience at-scale and empower them to become high-valued accelerators of their business, all without the hassle of the old days.