5 Steps to Take Backup from Good to Excellent with Microsoft Azure
If you are looking at moving more business processes to the Microsoft Azure cloud to save cost and gain agility, your data protection is a likely candidate for cloud migration too. However, data privacy can become a concern when your sensitive information "blindly" moves to the public cloud. Therefore, without forethought, rushing to the public cloud may leave you exposed to data privacy risks, and with increasing bills just to name a few.
So, it is more than just backing up data to the cloud. It is about moving the right data at the right time to the right storage destination. It is about setting up the foundation that gives your company the visibility, management control and protection of the data no matter where it is in its lifecycle.
While you probably started your cloud journey already, below are five important steps to keep in mind as you progress.
1. Gain visibility in the data you store
52 percent of your data is what we call "Dark Data,"1 the value of this information you have not yet identified. It may include business critical data as well as useless Redundant, Obsolete or Trivial (ROT) data. Either way, it consumes your tape and on-premises disk storage resources without making any impact to your bottom line.
You need to explore and understand this "Dark Data," as soon as possible because it might contain high-risk non-compliant data, which can lead to significant and unseen business risk at the heart of your corporate IT systems.
Therefore, before you migrate any of your data to Microsoft Azure give it some forethought. Make sure that you know what type of data you have. More importantly, identify what data can safely live in Azure and what data must stay in your on-premises data center.
2. Improve backup efficiency
67 percent of organizations expect to use two or more unique backup products in 20172.
If you are one of these organizations, then your ability to track down a file for recovery quickly, or enforce a new backup policy that spans all backup silos globally is very restricted.
Using multiple point tools for backup may sound like a good idea because it can solve the immediate pain point of providing adequate data protection for your physical, virtual or cloud environments. However, it does increases complexity and creates longer-term issues around management and consistency when it comes to business continuity and compliance, as well as increasing costs.
Evaluating an appliance-based approach can be the first step towards backup consolidation, in which all backup tasks can be managed and monitored from one data protection platform, driving down the operational costs of running a backup infrastructure.
Plus, an appliance can function as a powerful data mover for your tertiary backups to inexpensive Microsoft Azure cloud storage.
3. Complement backup with archiving
41 percent of your data is “stale,” 3 unmodified in 3 years. Therefore, of questionable value. Moreover, 15 percent is “ancient,” 3 meaning it has not changed in 7 years.
Imagine, you can archive a significant chunk of your legacy data. You will end up with less production data to protect which means you improve your backup process, backup faster and save money.
So, instead of wasting more expensive primary storage and backup resources, leverage an archiving solution to reduce the production data consistently. By doing so, you free up precious storage resources by moving legacy data out to an inexpensive archival storage tier, such as Microsoft Azure cloud storage, for long-term retention without compromising your ability to search it on-demand on the network for compliance or e-discovery.
4. Migrate backups to inexpensive Microsoft Azure Cloud Storage
48 percent of organizations still use some form of a tape-based solution2.
But the reality is managing tape is a real pain. Backups and recoveries take too long, and success is difficult to verify. Media management is required to ensure freshness, costing time and resources. Also, these challenges do not include tape technology transitions and associated expenses.
To become more productive, reduce cost and more importantly spend more time on initiatives that drive innovation, you must rethink your backup processes. Primarily, your backup storage.
So, instead of using tape for long-term offsite protection, you can leverage durable, inexpensive cloud storage such as Azure Hot or Cool storage. Storage lifecycle policies ensure that your backups move automatically offsite, readily accessible and quickly recoverable on the network. If data privacy is a concern, then a hybrid approach enables you to retain control over your sensitive or regulated data by storing it in an on-premises backup appliance, while still being able to utilize Microsoft Azure for less-sensitive data.
5. Extend on-premises backup policies to Microsoft Azure workloads
Today enterprises run 32 percent of workloads in the public cloud4. Moreover, with Microsoft Azure adoption surging from 26% to 43%4, it may be very well that you host some of your applications in Azure too. The question is how do you protect these applications and its data?
Just relying on your cloud vendor's proprietary snapshots or backups is the “easy” route. This approach may not create an immediate problem, but as your cloud workloads become mission-critical, backup becomes equally important. Making native snapshots of your Azure virtual machines is not always practical and likely to cost you more long term while you risk lock-in with the provider. If you want to start using a different cloud provider or transition back to your data center, relying on a cloud provider’s snapshots makes this move more challenging because all backups are useless when you move.
Veritas extends enterprise data protection to your cloud applications which means you have one tool for all your backups. And, with Veritas the backup format stays the same and is usable whichever cloud provider you use. You can easily duplicate backups taken in Azure to any other cloud, or you own data centers, so you are never locked in.
Advance your digital transformation with Veritas and Microsoft Azure
The choice of where to store your data and where to migrate your applications has growing implications that can impact your digital transformation. Partner with Veritas to help you lower costs, mitigate risks, and gain agility from adopting Microsoft Azure cloud services as your business digitally transforms.
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