Mark III Systems Blog

Data Protection for the Digital Era: Thoughts from a Mark III Data Protection Engineer

By now, you’re certainly familiar with cloud, its various forms, and some of its use cases. Most IT organizations have at the very least pondered, if not given serious consideration to the idea of moving or augmenting their infrastructure to a cloud platform model, in addition to its natural use as an agile platform to build, launch, and operate the next generation of apps.

For data protection architects and administrators, a cloud platform as a target can provide economical and flexible storage options for data protection copies, as well as for replicated VMs and containers, regardless of where the cloud platform itself might exist physically (public cloud most of the time, but even on-premise!). If you’ve thought about sending your backup data to one of these cloud options, you’re probably looking to solve one of the following dilemmas: expensive disk storage or administrative headaches of handling tapes.

Traditionally, tape has been the most economical medium for backups or archiving of large amounts of data. However, a substantial amount of resources is often required to properly manage tapes. Some of these considerations are exasperated in large, distributed environments with multiple libraries and/or sites. Some of the more time-consuming tasks include: tape rotation, hardware maintenance, and tracking tapes as they are transported between the data center and an offsite facility. These compounded factors can cause operational costs to spiral out of control.
Many disk-based backup solutions are available, and offer simple integration and management. While more expensive (per GB) than tape, disk prices have continued to decrease over the years. There are also advanced features, such as deduplication and compression, which help maximize disk usage efficiency. If your organization’s data footprint is perpetually increasing, the cost of disk storage for your backups may eventually present some budget challenges.

In this modern age of digital transformation, most enterprise backup products offer some form of cloud connectivity, whether that be directly to the public cloud or to a cloud platform in the datacenter. For those of you who already have workloads in the public cloud, there are options that enable you to backup your cloud data to another location within the public cloud, or to a target at one of your remote sites. Depending on which cloud strategy you decide on, your data center’s large assortment of tapes can be significantly reduced. Additionally, the high resiliency of the cloud will help ensure that you’ll always be able to recover your data when needed. For smaller organizations that don’t have multiple data centers, leveraging cloud technology provides for business continuity and disaster recovery that may have previously been impossible to plan for.

If you haven’t considered a cloud strategy for data protection lately, now is a great time to look. You can choose from a wide variety of different cloud providers, platforms, and strategies. There are flexible options available for storage and compute resources, so you can use a cloud target to store your backups, or run all of your backup servers in the cloud. Regardless of whether you are already heavily invested in the cloud or just wanting to kick the tires, Mark III Systems can help you execute the best cloud strategy for your data protection environment.