Data management in the 'always on' world

Veeam Pty Ltd

By Don Williams*, Vice President, ANZ, Veeam
Thursday, 04 June, 2015

Data management in the 'always on' world

The modern data centre is built on virtualisation, modern storage solutions and cloud-based services. We now live in a world where data is growing exponentially and data management will be mission critical for smooth business operations.

Today, all organisations are driving towards the expectation of zero downtime. The business cycle has a global scope; no longer five days a week, eight hours a day, it is the ‘always-on business’. This is an era where our agile mobile workforce and demanding consumer expectations have created a world where constant access to products and services across time zones is the norm. There is little patience for downtime and data loss.

According to Veeam’s ‘Data Centre Availability Report 2014’, application failure costs enterprises more than $2 million per year in lost revenue, productivity and opportunities, and data irretrievably lost through backups failing to recover. Old legacy backup solutions are not keeping up with the RPOs and RTOs (recovery point and recovery time objectives) that are necessary today.

Your business does not need to suffer this, and it can be avoided by employing the 3-2-1 rule of backup and the right availability solution for your business. For all-round data protection, organisations should have three copies of data with one in production, on two different media and one stored offsite.

Three copies of data may sound excessive, but assuming their failures are independent, the probability of having all three copies failing at the same time is a chance in a million as opposed to a hundred with one copy.

Another reason to have more than two copies of data is to avoid having your primary copy and backup housed in the same location. Storing your copies on two different media is to ensure that there is no common failure caused from storing your information in the same device. Different disks on the same storage option can fail successively, which is why the rule suggests keeping your data on at least two storage types in different locations. Having an offsite copy is important, as disasters such as fires will destroy all physical copies. A popular offsite storage option is the cloud, and it is necessary for organisations to use it as part of their availability solution. You should take it a step further and ensure there are zero errors.

Think of how you would keep digital copies of your family photos safe. Typically, families would only save a single copy on an external hard disk. Imagine the anguish when you realise one day these photos are corrupt and lost forever. An easy way to circumvent this scenario is storing the images on the computer, an external drive and a cloud storage solution, and even giving away DVD copies to family members. This will ensure your precious data is stored in multiple locations across various media.

Therefore, to effectively enable the always-on business, organisations should follow the 3-2-1-0 rule so that data is always accessible. This is not unachievable, once balanced with the right mix of IT tools to manage the ever-changing demands in technology.

*Don Williams is Veeam’s Vice President for Australia and New Zealand. Over the past 16 years, he has contributed in a leadership role to sales teams and technical support staff selling solutions to both large and small enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region.

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