Checklist for selecting best data protection appliance for your enterprise
Nikhil Korgaonkar, Regional Director of Arcserve India and SAARC, explains four common use cases for data protection devices and how to search for potential platforms to find one that best fits your business goals.
Nikhil Korgaonkar, Regional Director of Arcserve India and SAARC
Organizations are under great pressure to cope with unstoppable data growth while protecting complex workloads from IT disasters. Whether these IT disasters are caused by system failures, hardware malfunctions, or cyberattacks, companies employ all kinds of sophisticated technologies to protect their critical business assets. What is important is the willingness of a company to recover and restore data in the event of a system failure.
Businesses today should recognize that IT disasters cannot always be prevented and a strategy for data protection and data recovery is important. For example, a turnkey data protection appliance is one such solution that offers a number of benefits in one place – data backup, disaster recovery, and cybersecurity.
When shopping for your business, it is a wise decision to make sure the appliance you choose includes all of these features. Such an all-inclusive solution offers a central interface for backup processes, tools and infrastructure. It reduces complexity by eliminating the need to procure individual components and consolidates hardware and software on a single platform. Such simplified procurement leads to fewer potential vulnerabilities, faster recovery and higher data availability.
Just as not all fingers are created equal, different devices have different functions. It is therefore wise to first identify certain issues that the device needs to address before committing to one. Below are four common use cases for data protection appliances, as well as the features you need to look for on potential platforms to find one that best suits your business goals.
Fill in the gaps to tackle unplanned disasters
2020 was a pivotal year: it forced companies to reevaluate their disaster recovery plans and identify factors that could lead to data disasters if something unplanned happens. Lack of awareness of network security, gaps in digital infrastructure, and poor cyber hygiene were seen as some of the vulnerabilities businesses should address.
It is now widely recognized that disasters can come in many forms, from ransomware to natural disasters to global pandemics, and it is important to be prepared for anything. Investing in a robust data protection appliance is a smart step in protecting your business. Whenever a disaster occurs, it is ensured that the company’s data and systems are up and running in the shortest possible time.
When determining the right appliance for your business, consider the following features:
- Turnkey backup, disaster recovery, high availability and cybersecurity functions
- High availability options for continuous data protection
- Bundled flash-accelerated storage, robust server processing, high-speed networks, and heterogeneous data protection software
- Support for on-premise, off-site and in the cloud workloads
Cybersecurity is important, but privacy is central
Cyber attacks have reached the size of targeted campaigns that can cover entire corporate networks of critical infrastructure providers such as hospitals, government agencies, and financial institutions. In June 2020, the cyber attack on the servers of the National Highway Authority of India made headlines across the country. It is important to note that while the ransomware attack took place, it did not result in any data loss.
What most organizations overlook is that the main problem isn’t the attack itself, it’s the loss of data. The cost of a data breach is high and increases year on year. A 2020 report by the Ponemon Institute helps better explain this context. In India, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $ 2.0 million, up 9% from 2019 to $ 1.83 million.
It is important to understand that preventing cyber attacks is not the be-all and end-all – that is exactly what these attacks are aimed at. In most cases, these cyber attacks are intended to disrupt data by:
- Deactivating data access
- Steal company data
- Make an organization’s data unusable
- Public disclosure of sensitive company or employee data following a legal and PR nightmare
- Selling customer data on the DarkNet
- Extortion of sensitive data
- Repeated attacks on the same organization once it has identified its vulnerabilities
Therefore, while cybersecurity is a top priority, the defense mechanism must focus more on salvaging data than preventing the attack itself. Companies in highly regulated industries like BFSI and companies with known security vulnerabilities should look for an appliance that has:
- Combined cybersecurity and data protection
- Ways to Prevent and Eliminate Threats
- Artificial intelligence and a deep learning neural network
Take into account the 100% availability of services and infrastructure
When Google services faced around 45 minutes of downtime in December 2020, there was a big uproar around the world – #googledown started the trend on Twitter in no time. What prevents smaller businesses from having longer and more frequent downtime when businesses of Google size and resources can experience disruption to their services?
Today’s consumers demand 100% availability for applications. Planned or unplanned downtime doesn’t go down well with them. And when it comes to data loss, the stakes increase exponentially.
With these high customer expectations and relentless attitudes, it is critical that organizations have data protection strategies in place that can restore business operations and quickly restore critical systems, applications, and data, and maintain revenue, productivity, and reputation.
For minimal downtime and happier end users, look for an appliance with:
- Integrated endpoint protection
- Hardware with high redundancy
- Hardware support on site
- Proven data protection software
Prepare for protection as the data grows in your organization
Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that the world will have to store 200 zettabytes of data in the cloud by 2025. This explosive data growth shows no signs of slowing down, which means businesses need to be prepared to deal with it.
Scalability is an important component of data protection. It is therefore important to choose an appliance that can grow with the company. Next generation appliances protect large amounts of data (e.g. petabytes) and complex workloads from IT disasters and cyber threats.
To ensure disaster recovery and backup functions that are infinitely scalable, companies must look for an appliance with:
- Automated data recovery functions
- Easy expansion options
- Global source-based deduplication
- Cloud-native capabilities that integrate on-site and off-site disaster recovery
- Multi-site replication and tape integration
There is not much that can be said about the year 2021, especially when it comes to the challenges for companies. At the end of the pandemic tunnel, however, there appears to be some light, which will hopefully point to more stable business days. Data protection appliances can take some of the uncertainty out of the equation by simplifying data protection and disaster recovery with an all-in-one consolidated solution. To ensure the company gets the most out of an appliance, the tips above can help you identify the features that match your specific business goals.
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