Virtualization Technology News and Information
Zetta 2015 Predictions: Backup Trends Revolve Around the Cloud

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Chris Schin, VP of Product Management,

2015 Backup Trends Revolve Around the Cloud

In 2015 the biggest backup trends will center on enterprise backup and recovery using the cloud as the direct target, an unheard-of performance feat just a few short years ago.

Trend #1.  Steady migration to virtualized environments. Highly virtualized environments are a challenge to backup with their never-ending volumes of snapshots, changed block tracking and backup images. The cloud offers cost-effective scalability and can replace traditional backup -- as long as bandwidth is sufficient to quickly backup hundreds to thousands of VMs and recovery is fast enough to meet application SLAs. WAN-optimized technology is the key to speed, using compression and multi-threading as well as changed block transfers and minimal on-premise and cloud communications.

Trend #2.  Reduce backup hardware. Server virtualization lets IT minimize physical infrastructure, so providing data protection with physical appliances defeats the purpose. Previously, hardware appliances were used to enable highest recovery performance but that's not the case anymore. WAN speeds are closely approaching LAN speeds with the increase of bandwidth access and software-only cloud backup solutions with WAN-optimized technologies offer faster performance, so there's no longer a need for extra hardware. This fulfills the aim of virtualization: expanding resources and decreasing hardware. And by backing up and recovering directly to and from the cloud, software lets customers skip data movement staging.

Trend #3.  Stronger cloud security. The most important cyber-security measures for backup include encryption (both in-transit and at-rest) and strong user access control. Backup verification is also important, as are automated risk remediation and monitoring backups for integrity. But security is not limited to the cyber world; physical data centers must also be secure. Depending on compliance requirements and copy settings, backup data may be stored in multiple data centers or a single one; or by public cloud providers, MSPs or the backup platform vendor. Know where and how your provider is storing your data, and find out if their data centers hold important certifications like SSAE-16 SOC 2 or SAS70 Type II. These indicate both digital and physical security.

Trend #4.  The cloud as storage tier. Backing up and recovering to the cloud is very attractive for the bulk of backup but there are other factors to consider. One is the mission-critical applications that require continuous or near-continuous backup. In fact, the cloud can be a near-continuous backup target given sufficient bandwidth, although an RPO of zero-to-a few seconds is best accomplished with continuous backup to local disk. The second factor is the widespread deployment of tape and expensive investments in drives and tape libraries. Backing up to cloud does not mean customers must dump these big investments. Instead, create a multi-tiered data scheme that uses the best of all three media: local disk or flash drives for mission-critical data's immediate recovery, cloud for the bulk of backup and recovery, and tape for long-term archives. This classic multi-tier backup strategy protects existing assets and preserves zero RPO with local drives, while cost-effectively protecting the majority of applications and data with fast cloud backup.


About the Author

Chris Schin is responsible for coordinating all product-related initiatives. This includes product strategy, direction, and marketing, as well as business model and go-to-market process definition.  Prior to joining Zetta, Chris was acting GM and Senior Director for Symantec Protection Network, Symantec's Software as a Service platform. Prior to joining Symantec, Chris launched and ran a highly successful consulting practice helping technology startups with market research, strategy creation, TCO and competitive analyses. He has also served as director of product management at both Blue Titan Software and Intersperse Software.

Published Monday, December 22, 2014 9:16 AM by David Marshall
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