Data is a strategic business asset, and it needs to be protected from a multitude of threats. This includes ransomware and cybercrime activities as well as natural disaster, human error and, in South Africa’s case, frequent load shedding.

By Lourens Sanders, solution architect at Infinidat

Backup as a Service (BaaS) offers a wide range of data protection and recovery solutions as a managed service, which can be hugely beneficial.

However, without appropriate underlying storage infrastructure, these benefits can be difficult to leverage. A data protection strategy needs to take many elements into account, not least of which is the supporting architecture. Organisations need high performance, robust, easy-to-manage and integrated storage architecture to eliminate bottlenecks and ensure backups are performed timeously. In addition, the speed of recovery is critical in the event of data loss.

Protecting your data is of the essence

Ransomware remains a threat, and phishing is still a widely-used tactic that many fall victim to. Organisations’ data is at risk of being stolen if it is not adequately protected. Aside from cybercrime attacks, there are many other things that can result in data being lost. This includes accidental deletion and data corruption resulting from frequent power outages.

Lost data can negatively impact businesses in many ways, including eroded customer trust, a loss of revenue and disruptions to business continuity. Recovering the right data in the appropriate time period is vital to ensuring businesses can continue to operate with minimal interruption. Only a well-designed data protection strategy and solution enables this.

The benefits of BaaS

To meet the needs of today’s organisations, a data protection strategy needs to address specific requirements when it comes to performance, ease of management, integration and total cost of ownership (TCO). BaaS can assist with these factors through a broad range of services including off-site backups from on-premises environments, and backup for on-premises or hosted environments – all delivered as a managed service.

BaaS can help organisations to eliminate single points of failure or siloed approaches with regard to backup. In addition, off-site backups ensure that a fully recoverable copy of data is available – they are air-gapped and out of reach of malware attacks.

Managed services also ensure expert skills are available and best practices are followed. BaaS enables organisations to focus on their core business, rather than on running and managing data backup, protection and recovery. However, without the right infrastructure, none of these benefits are easy to realise.

Infrastructure at the core

The supporting infrastructure and underlying storage architecture is a critical component of a successful BaaS. Any bottlenecks that may cause errors in backup or data replication can be catastrophic, and suboptimal storage performance can negatively impact performance elsewhere.

When backups are performed, they need to happen fast, without affecting the production environment. Both the source and target infrastructure have a direct impact on the speed and efficiency of how data is read and written. Reliability is also key for source and target infrastructure – organisations need high availability during backup and recovery scenarios. BaaS therefore is directly impacted by the performance, reliability, and serviceability of the infrastructure.

Organisations need high reliability with regard to both data backup and restore functionality. However, the ability to restore quickly in the event of a loss is critical to business continuity and disaster recovery. To ensure BaaS delivers optimal benefits, organisations need petabyte scale, enterprise performance and availability with the lowest TCO. Purpose-built backup appliances are available that address these needs, delivering unmatched speeds and highly effective target-side deduplication, along with incredibly fast data recovery and high data resiliency. This ensures data is available quickly and reliably at all times.

It is also important for these appliances to be integrated with industry leading data protection vendors to extract even more value. This enables organisations to design and implement the best possible data protection strategy from the start, or transition seamlessly if an existing solution is in place. Other benefits include multi-tenancy capability and multi-protocol support.

The right foundation

A well-designed and well-implemented data protection strategy should be a top priority for all organisations, as the safekeeping of sensitive information is critical.

BaaS should form part of such a strategy to ensure that copies of data can easily be retrieved in case of a disaster, in the most optimal time frames. No matter what scale a data protection strategy operates at, the correct underlying infrastructure is key, delivering the right combination of performance, simplified management and integration for optimal total cost of ownership.