New Technologies Bring New Challenges for Enterprise Backup

By August 12, 2019 Smart Data Protection

If you’re responsible for managing your company’s backup operations, then it won’t surprise you to learn that backup is the largest application in the data center. You know the responsibilities all too well:

  • Monitoring and tuning backup software
  • Testing new release features and installs
  • Installing security patches
  • Analyzing server performance
  • Monitoring storage capacity
  • Configuring servers and storage
  • Installing and configuring your backup software

The list goes on and on.

But the challenges of managing backup today won’t be the challenges of tomorrow. Some major industry trends stand to impact the backup landscape dramatically. Chief among them are:

  • Multicloud deployments — These days, implementing cloud into backup workloads is becoming a foregone conclusion. Likely not everything will go to the cloud, so it’s conceivable that certain volumes of data will be protected on-premises, while others will be backed up to AWS, and still others will require replicating across multiple cloud platforms: Alibaba, AWS, Azure, Google, and IBM.
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence — While ML and AI aren’t yet fully baked, there’s no question that they’re already making possible things that were impossible before — and data protection will be no different.
  • Cyber security — Did you know that between Yahoo and the recent Marriot breach, about half the world’s population had its data exposed? Cyber security is likely the largest threat that we will encounter in this lifetime. We’re only at the tip of the iceberg in terms of how we implement, manage, and deliver data protection and ensure regulatory compliance in the age of cyber attacks.

Those trends suggest that the challenges of backup will become more complicated to manage.

Also, consider these additional factors:

  • Learning curve — As SaaS and cloud become incorporated into backup solutions in new and innovative ways, you’ll need to be more and more comfortable with them, and the learning curve will only increase. If you’re part of an enterprise that was “born analog” (as opposed to being built for the cloud from inception), then research shows you have an uphill battle.
  • Multiple storage mediums — Not surprisingly, cloud use is growing, and on-premises disk use is falling. At the same time, 89% of organizations plan to keep tape for the foreseeable future*. So, from a backup admin perspective, you must support legacy formats like tape and disk while also modernizing and integrating with public cloud storage.
  • Multiple backup applications —Sometimes you need to support legacy systems or maintain access to historical data; sometimes different backup applications work better for different workloads; sometimes you need specific features and functions. Whatever the reasons, 83% of organizations will run more than two unique backup applications, and 28% will run more than four*.
  • Compliance — There’s also the need to adhere to compliance requirements like SOX, HIPPA, and GDPR — a burden you can’t take lightly. 68% of companies failed compliance audits in 2018, and a failed audit can result in legal action, data loss, fines, revenue loss, and negative public perception*.
  • Cyber security — I know, I know. I already mentioned this, but I can’t stress it enough: Cyber attacks are the biggest threat to backup landscapes. In 2018, 62% of companies acknowledged that backup environments are in dire need of improvement around cyber protection, and 70% of companies fear that backed-up data could be cross-contaminated with malware or corruption*. More and more organizations are adopting CSO security and air gapped recovery topologies to ensure that at least one copy of data is completely isolated from malware attacks, ransomware attacks, and data corruption attacks.

It all adds up to a direct impact on you and your team in the form of:

  • Increased overall complexity
  • New knowledge and skills required to manage and operate
  • Siloed reporting, management, and visibility
  • Increased integration requirements
  • Myriad contracts, support, and payments
  • Increased provisioning tasks

When you consider the ever-looming danger of a data breach and its immense risk to the business, these increasing requirements become a pressure cooker. Nobody wants to be the next Marriott, Equifax, or Yahoo.

But it doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom. Cobalt Iron has a solution to simplify all this complexity while delivering security, reliability, and ease of use. If you are ready to consider a new approach to enterprise data protection visit our website to learn more about Compass.

What new technologies do you see presenting challenges for backup? We would love to hear your thoughts and additions to this list.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Email me at 

*Enterprise Strategy Group report; “2018 Data Protection Landscape Survey”

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