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DR: Choosing the right approach for customers

03 Nov 2014

Data protection is a spectrum. Help your customer manage each part of that scale and you're on to a winner says Charles Clarke, Veeam Software APAC technical director.

The increased use of mobile, social media and the Internet of Things have heralded the emergence of the always-on business. As we leave behind the perimeters of the nine-to-five working day, continued access to information and applications is a critical driver of business success.

As such, the tolerance for outages has set an expectation of zero-downtime for many technology leaders today. They are not only tasked with keeping operations running (and performing) 24x7 but are also expected to have IT drive the business.

Every organisation is now a technology organisation, whether they realise it or not. The challenge is that these expectations are not often matched by budgets. This incongruence creates an availability gap: the gap between the dream of being always-on and the reality of cost and complexity to realise that dream.

The New Zealand channel is perfectly placed to help customers bridge that gap. It has strong skills around virtualisation, modern storage and cloud technologies that are the foundation of the modern data centre. The opportunity for the channel in enabling the always-on business can be recognised in something simple and obvious: offer solutions.

No one size fits all When it comes to business continuity one size does not fit all, even within the boundaries of a single organisation.

Different platforms have different recovery requirements. A key task for a channel partner is to help identify data profiles and evaluate what needs a high recovery point and time objective and ensure the right solution is available to deliver those business needs. For example, storage based replication canoffer impressive recovery point objectives but there is a high premium paid for such high-frequency recovery points.

Storage has a place in business continuity but it may be suited to top-tier applications while software based solutions, which can still offer impressive recovery point and time objectives, can flexibly protect the majority of the environment.

Tape is still used as a viable medium for backup archiving but it doesn’t lend itself to rapid, reliable recovery. Cloud computing increasingly offers an alternative for offsite data storage in New Zealand, perfect for fulfilling the 3-2-1 rule of data protection (3 copies of data on 2 different media, 1 of which is offsite). Cloud provider partners can position themselves as logical backup endpoints, providing an easy way for other partners to offsite customer data and simplify site recovery.

Management of multiple backup tools can often be considered a barrier to the ‘right’ approach. Most organisations already use a variety of tools both for backup and other functions. It is hard to build a house with only a hammer. Therefore, if implemented well, using best of breed tools for each function, cost and complexity will be significantly reduced.

Data protection can be thought of as a spectrum and a smart channel partner one who helps their customer manage each part of that scale. It is key to understand the options and offer solutions that, when combined, drive the best outcome for your customer.