Move Toward Customized Solutions & Other 2016 Backup Trends

Ridley Ruth, COO, Dropmysite

Ridley Ruth, COO, Dropmysite

Many Companies Avoid Backup

It’s not always easy for parents to convince their children to eat vegetables to be healthy. Similarly, when it comes to data backup, it’s not always easy to convey why it’s important for businesses to invest time and resources into backup. Like vegetables, it’s one thing to understand that it’s crucial. It’s another to understand that it’s high-priority in the near term. Hence, many businesses lack backup when disaster occurs.

Sometimes very small companies even rely on backup solutions that are equipped to handle the needs of the consumer but are unable to properly scale with a company as years of data accrues. In fact, Gartner reports t h a t fewer than 1 in 5 SMBs listed storage as a primary concern for investment in 2011.

The good news is that backup is more accessible and easier to establish than it was in years past. “Purely cloud-based storage often appeals to small businesses with very limited IT support,” explains Elsa Wenzel, PCWorld. “For backup, this can be easier to get off the ground than a system involving new hardware, as it requires only uploading data from your local machines directly to faraway servers that the service provider hosts.”

Business Backup Needs are not Cookie-Cutter

Action must be taken, but backup is not as simplistic as it might seem. After all, backup needs vary greatly from company to company, so these services can’t be one-size-fits-all. Executives at SMEs often want application-specific backup solutions– typically for additional, independently hosted redundancy of their website, database, emails and servers.

  The mindset of business leaders will change as the value of data continues to rise 

Backup has been essentially the same for many years, but increasingly SME leaders desire better so­lutions and features, intuitive tools that make their tasks more streamlined and their life easier. Business people want graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that are fundamentally geared toward the user experience of the client. CIO’s now desire to validate and verify the backed up data via easy to operate, self-service dash­boards in order to arrive at the best disaster recovery solution for their company. Further, they want access to more sophisticated features such as one-click re­store for the MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Microsoft SQL Server databases.

Benefits of Customized Application-based Backup

When companies get their own application-based backup solution, the benefits are manifold:

• The time-to-market is decreased.

• You get full capacity utilization, in contrast to a standard, all-in-one backup solution, which is not used to capacity.

• You get recurring cost savings.

• You can forego the potential need for an internal company expert.

• People don’t need the same extent of skills or training in order to manage the backup solution.

So the next question is, do you make your own customized application-based backup program, or do you want to use an offsite backup specialist? Here is why you might want to push this responsibility to a third party:

There’s no incremental cost.

• The greater affordability increases cost savings.

• Convert a capital expenditure into an operational expenditure.

• You can build profit as a result of expense reduction.

Role of Public Cloud for Backup

More specialized products are entering the marketplace. The most important general category of technology is public cloud for new, innovative, and robust backup solutions. Prior to the advent and broader acceptance of third-party virtualization, CIOs were asking, “Why do we need this data in the cloud?” Now, the focus has shifted in favor of the cloud. IT chiefs are instead asking, “Why do we need to keep this data on premise?”

Gaurav Pal of InformationWeek noted in 2014 that the first public information service based in the cloud was launched in 2010. “The rapid deployment of this highly visible system in a public cloud helped kick-start the vision for how the cloud could accelerate federal government initiatives,” Pal said. “It also brought credibility to former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra’s Cloud-First policy to help modernize Federal IT.”

Disaster Recovery

The disaster-recovery-as-a-service solution is also specifically worthy of mention. With DRaaS solutions, providers have the ability to fully manage DR for companies. This still remains the more important requirement when choosing backup solutions.

DRaaS solutions have many benefits such as:

• Savings on hardware costs

• No maintenance costs

• Disaster Recovery testing can be done without affecting actual production

• Multiple Disaster Recovery testing can be done at a minimum cost

One of the main concerns with disaster recovery is speed, measured in terms of the ability to meet the pre-established recovery point, objective, and recovery time objective.

In 2016, the ability to hit superior RPO and RTO metrics which is enabled by more customized, specialized technologies along with the increasing availability of the 5G network will make adoption of DRaaS a growing trend.

Companies Respond to Increase in Data Value

The mindset of business leaders will change as the value of data continues to rise. Free services will be recognized as potentially unreliable as SME executives start to understand they shouldn’t trust something as important as disaster recovery to an unpaid plan.

Security as a Major Factor

People who are concerned about security will increasingly outsource backup to service providers that specialize in handling security for the backup of thousands of companies. The key for all businesses, regardless of size, is determining a solution that provides the necessary protection but is also affordable. Encryption of the data backup’s in transit and at rest will become increasingly more important. Because the result of these analyses will naturally point to using a third party, in all likelihood, we will see a rise in the outsourcing of cloud security to dedicated providers.

Consolidation in the Backup Market

Since custom-based application solutions are becoming much more common, there will not be many backup industry acquisitions in 2016. That essentially will mean that startups and other companies will be able to continue to innovate and grow their businesses, leading to strong market competition that sparks better and better solutions. I do believe the number of acquisitions will change in the next year as enterprise backup companies realize the scalability, security and reliability of the smaller SMB focused backup companies along with the enterprise CIO’s realization that many of these SMB offerings are enterprise grade solutions.

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