Article by Mohamad Rizk, Manager System Engineers, Middle East at Veeam Software
Data protection is essential – but what good is it if it prevents you from getting full business value from your data? Today, total data availability is the aim, and it’s what your business needs if you want to leverage all of your information to enhance the customer experience, drive revenue through new services, and out-manoeuvre your competition.
When data is constantly available to all customers, partners and end users, they can perform tasks quickly and accurately. When that data is available for other parts of your IT infrastructure, it can fuel deep analytics, powerful new applications, and the kind of innovative ideas that help your business get ahead.
Delivering total data availability has never been easy. But now that many enterprises have to manage data across private and hybrid cloud environments in addition to on-premises storage, it’s becoming a major challenge that’s forcing many to take a long, hard look at their data availability strategy.
Getting the most from your storage investments
Data availability starts with your storage infrastructure. If you’ve already made investments in modern storage hardware, software and services, you’ve laid the foundation for more effective business data utilisation.
Modern storage systems can help organisations improve efficiencies, increase performance across a broad range of legacy and new business applications, and simplify IT operations. But, much like your data itself, these software systems need to be supported by the right availability solution if you want them to deliver maximum business value.
Availability solutions are what truly enable modern storage infrastructures to be always-on and available. Always-on availability enables digital transformation, helps you use your data in innovative new ways, and is the key to getting the most from your modern storage investments.
Think availability first when selecting a modern storage solution
There are a number of reasons why your business might invest in a particular modern storage solution:
• With embedded modern storage, integrated systems are a simple way to reduce data centre complexity, cut costs and improve operational efficiency
• Software-defined data centre solutions provide flexible alternatives by enabling businesses to leverage commodity compute, storage and networking intelligent components
• All-flash arrays deliver huge performance gains and higher change rates compared to traditional disk-based storage solutions
With all the performance, efficiency and operational benefits available from modern storage systems, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of availability when choosing a storage platform. If you’re still relying on a legacy availability solution, or a simple backup product, chances are it simply won’t be able to keep up with the high data change rate for the modern storage infrastructure you’re evolving to.
Legacy backup technology wasn’t designed with virtualised infrastructures or hybrid cloud computing in mind. Consequently, these older backup architectures could impede your ability to accelerate your virtualisation and private cloud initiatives and impact the business. So when you are planning an upgrade to an integrated storage system or an all-flash array, be sure to take a very close look at your data protection solution.
Making your modern storage investments do more
Looking ahead, what your business needs is availability technology that directly integrates with your virtualisation and modern storage environments. No matter which storage investments you make, the right integrated availability technology will help you get the most from them.
An availability solution that seamlessly integrates with modern storage enables you to:
• Backup directly from storage snapshots, accelerating the backup/recovery process by up to 20x and eliminating the VM snapshot stun time for continuous data access
• Recover whatever you want, when you want it, thanks to granular restore capabilities for virtual machines (VMs), Guest OSs, application items and even individual files
• Get real business value from your backup data by turning storage snapshots into a virtual, production-like lab for development and testing
Many businesses’ storage environments will grow to span across multiple clouds and on-premises solutions, causing new manageability and availability challenges, and making the need for a strong solution that can keep data available across them all even greater.