ACCORDING TO IDC, there will be 44 zettabytes of total data in the world by the year 2020.
With the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and digital transformation becoming core strategies in the enterprise in 2016, organisations are now having to face up to the very real possibility that, by 2020, the globe will have to handle 44 zettabytes of total data.
While this is just a forecast by IDC, it's not looking unrealistic.
Along with the new focus on data, its monetary value is also rising exponentially, and this means protecting data is now more important than ever. But what are the best ways to go about it? Here's our top four:
1. Consider integrated backup
While such a thing should be standard by now, a lot of organisations are still resting on their laurels with near-manual backups, usually scheduled, but often not. Losing data can now realistically mean the loss of a whole business, and with GDPR on the way, having backup data to prove a paper trail if needed has never been more crucial. Integrated backup is faster, often way more reliable, and has also been shown to keep costs down.
2. Move to the hybrid cloud model to keep sensitive data on-site
Recent Computing research shows that only a small number of companies are actually hybridising their cloud approach, despite many intending to do so, but there are many advantages to the model from a security point of view.
The ability to take advantage of the flexibility of cloud while keeping core data storage and protection functions on-premise are manifold: cost-saving by only using services and storage required at the time, and a more reliable source of backup if all on-premise servers are destroyed are two very obvious pros.
3. Renovate your legacy data centre systems - the time is now
It's becoming a less and less viable excuse to just 'muddle through' with an ancient UNIX mainframe and some clever coding bolted on to keep up with the Joneses. If moving to the cloud, or hybrid cloud, implies issues for you due to working in a regulated industry or simply not being able to shoulder the cost, optimising and renovating your data centre systems is another good approach in the meantime.
Whichever way you look at it, your customers - both internal and external - are going to be expecting zero data loss and zero downtime in a world of seemingly infinite, high-value data.
Accelerated backup, high-speed recovery and self-service capabilities for end users are all a necessary now, so make sure you can handle it.
4. How many vendors...?
It's linked to the above point, but if your 20-year-old system has been merrily bumbling along for your company's entire life, you're going to have picked up a whole number of different vendors handling your backup and storage by now. The dawn of 2017 is an excellent time to start questioning how many of them you need serving all those different functions.
Data protection and management solutions should now - at the very least - have support for multiple hypervisors, so put such solutions on the Christmas list.
While software-defined storage and software-defined networking promise to help integrate different vendors, uptake is still tiny at this stage and many vendors are not playing ball. Therefore selecting a vendor that will allow you to adapt in the future is still a very important consideration. µ
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