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Safeguarding Your Data in an Online World

Native Cloud Platform Capabilities and ISVs for Backup

It is a natural choice to seek to address backup, recovery, and disaster recovery with native cloud capabilities. ISVs, however, can offer services for multiple clouds as well as connecting on-premise experiences.

Azure Backup for Virtual Machines, for example, has the concept of a Recovery Services Vault. This will protect virtual machines and put them in the same location that they are running. Caution should be noted here about keeping backup data in the same location as the production source. ISVs in the space have taken an approach of supporting multiple regions for cross-region backup and DR. Each individual ISV will be at a different stage in its journey in this space, and organizations should press for public cloud road maps per cloud for backup and DR offerings.

The native backup offering for AWS, AWS Backup, is available to protect many services in AWS. AWS Backup leverages a backup vault, which is tied to the AWS account, and lets different resources be assigned to a backup plan.

In both native situations, one fundamental risk is in place: The same cloud account is used. ISVs have taken note of this and support multi-account backup within the same cloud. A critical recommendation is to have the backup of public cloud workloads leveraging a different account than where cloud resources are consumed. Naturally, in the cloud, there is often buildup and removal of services. The risk of deleting one or more components or data (such an Azure VM, EC2 instance, or S3 bucket) associated with backup data can be high.

Hybrid Cloud for Enterprises

For the foreseeable future, organizations will balance some form of a hybrid approach to the public cloud. This means some key services will reside on-premise, some will reside in the public cloud, and some key services may be specifically spread between on-premise and the public cloud. Hybrid organizations consistently prefer to have similar capabilities as their on-premise backup and DR strategies. It is wise to demand from ISVs a public cloud road map to see if their offering is in alignment with your public cloud strategy.

In this hybrid cloud approach, organizations will have a preference to maintain some of the capabilities that are familiar with on-premise backup and DR processes. This gives ISVs that are in use on-premise an opportunity to deliver the aforementioned road map or focus on standardization for consistent capabilities on-premise and in the public cloud for backup and DR. Switching or consolidating vendors for this reason is worth the effort now for the long-term cloud strategy.

New Options for Organizations in the Public Cloud to Safeguard Data

Recent advances from both AWS and Azure have introduced compelling new benefits for IT organizations, including the following:

  • Minimal retraining. By leveraging the same management software and technologies as on-premise, organizations can quickly extend to the cloud in these platforms.
  • Adjacent services. If other AWS and Azure solutions are to be used (such as AWS S3), these are very close to the source of the VMware options in the public cloud from a transfer and latency perspective. Backing up data to S3 or BLOB (binary large object) storage from these services can be a natural tiering of data for abstraction as well. (Continue with the advice to use separate AWS or Azure accounts.)
  • Replication options. Many ISVs support replication options from on-premise infrastructures to VMware Cloud on AWS. This enables the flexibility of moving DR from on-premise to VMware Cloud on AWS, DR from one VMware Cloud on AWS availability zone to another, or DR from VMware Cloud on AWS to on-premise.

Education, Education, Education

Simply put, users need to be better educated on how best to safeguard their data. It is important for employees to understand that there are serious repercussions for a company that does not comply with legislation.

The importance of data availability throughout all this is essential. People expect companies to have data always available and accessible. This can take the form of products and services but also secure access to their own data (photos, documents, etc.). To this end, consumers must make three copies of their data, store two of those on different storage media, with one off-site (such as the cloud). This becomes essential to protect data in the always-on digital world of today.

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