The majority of enterprises today are burdened with multiple backup and data protection solutions.

By Mike Rees, territory account manager: South Africa at Commvault

These options often become complicated, hard to manage and expensive to maintain. Consequently, such a disparate environment results in increased operational complexity, higher costs, the inability to recover data quickly, an increased risk of non-compliance and lack of flexibility.

However, it also frequently creates a lack of visibility, which in turn hinders agility and business decision-making ability. A single, consolidated solution not only addresses all of these challenges, it also helps to future-proof backup and recovery against growing and changing business needs over time.

Backup and Recovery – an unexpected journey

Nevertheless, there is not one organisation that begins their backup and recovery journey with the goal of implementing a cumbersome and complex solution that sprawls across multiple disparate point products. This scenario evolves over years, as the amount of data and the number of applications grows and data needs to be protected across a variety of locations.

To put this in perspective, the typical journey began with traditional storage containing data that needed to be protected, and then when virtual solutions were added, additional data protection became necessary. As a result, new solutions were added. However, as capacity multiplied, the need to reduce storage costs arose and deduplication appliances were implemented.

Then, as recovery requirements increased, hardware-based snapshots were added to decrease backup windows. The evolution of mobility required yet more solutions to protect laptops, mobile phones and tablets. With all of these advancements over the years’ organisations are now beginning to migrate data into the cloud, requiring different capabilities once again. In addition, replication, Disaster Recovery (DR) and requirements for multiple copies of data to be kept all resulted in additional point solutions being bolted on.

The battle of changing requirements

In an attempt to respond to changing requirements, organisations deployed point solutions to address each use case across a combination of disk, tape and/or cloud storage. The result is a convoluted clutter of silos of data and independent products, each with their own interface, capabilities, copies of data, hardware, software and infrastructure. This makes recovery from a data loss event extremely challenging, and creates an unsustainable, complex and expensive data protection landscape.

The desolation of silos

The answer is simple: consolidation. A unified solution that can handle all use cases with a single intuitive management interface and automated policies will drive improved efficiency, reduced complexity and lowered costs. A single tool will improve Service Level Agreements (SLAs), reduce storage requirements and enable greater optimisation of storage tiers. It also offers greater flexibility for the business as it grows and changes, something that no collection of point products can enable.

A single consolidated solution should bring together backup and recovery across storage hardware, different operating systems, endpoints, apps and databases, virtual machines, large files and big data, as well as the cloud. This will reduce the number of data protection and backup tools, minimising complexity while increasing efficiency. Reduced complexity also means reduced exposure to compliance and audit failures, which improves risk. In addition, improved recovery ability results in reduced unplanned downtime and better data availability. IT resources can be freed up to play a more strategic role and deliver greater IT innovation. Productivity is improved and organisational agility is enhanced. A consolidated approach to backup and recovery just makes sound business sense.