Organizations have unique requirements for how their data is used and protected. No two customer environments are identical. Each is different in terms of vertical market, applications, size, recovery point objectives (RPOs), and recovery time objectives (RTOs). Organizations must define each of their requirements to design the best overall strategy for protecting their data.
As detailed in the Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index (GDPI), data protection challenges facing organizations today stem from multiple factors:
Organizations are also treating data types differently when it comes to protection. For example, a healthcare organization might place more value on protecting their EPIC or Meditech applications than on their non-critical applications. Each organization sees distinct differences in the value of each application or set of data, and what is mission critical to one might not be to another. Thus, each organization must evaluate the cost of data loss to determine the resources that they should budget for data protection. The more you value data, the more it costs to lose it. Further, organizations in the European Union are subject to fines for not complying to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
IT risk used to be thought of in terms of unplanned downtime; however, data loss is roughly twice as expensive as downtime, according to GDPI findings. Not only does the amount of lost data potentially increase the cost, so does the value of the data itself. One organization losing 5 TB of data might assess its loss at $3 million, while another organization could lose 50 TB worth of data but assess its loss at only $1.5 million.
The GDPI study showed that three out of four organizations use two or more vendors for data protection. This finding is significant because those who had two or more data protection vendors were twice as likely to experience a disruption in the form of data loss, unplanned outage, ransomware attack, or local disaster.
Regardless of how many vendors are used, dealing with the rising costs to protect a growing environment can be difficult. Using the public cloud is one of the primary strategies that organizations are using to address the challenge. According to the GDPI, 98 percent of organizations that use public clouds report that it is part of their data protection infrastructure.
Converged infrastructure (CI) customers face additional challenges when creating a data protection strategy. Organizations often move to a VxBlock System but retain a separate data protection solution, perhaps because it was already in place. In some cases, they purchase the CI system and then retrofit data protection after the CI system is in production.
Addressing data protection requirements at the same time as implementing or upgrading to a CI system is clearly not always possible. This might be due to budgeting or purchasing cycles, or because different teams are involved in evaluation and purchasing decisions. However, applying data protection as an afterthought to the CI system might limit the system’s ultimate business value. Designing the solution with the appropriately sized backup systems is critical to optimizing the system’s value. In addition, CI customers must ensure that they have the appropriate data protection solution for the types and value of workloads they are running or plan to run. Finally, they must ensure that the backup network is cost effective, is being used efficiently, and supports the backup volumes without creating a bottleneck.
Other typical challenges that emerge with a “build-it-yourself” approach to data protection include the time it takes to become operational and the overhead associated with running various disparate solutions. Consider the inherent benefits of CI, namely that it is designed, tested, and built as one solution, which is simpler and faster to deploy, less risky to run, and provides better total cost of ownership (TCO). All these benefits also extend to the integrated data protection infrastructure.
Additionally, the do-it-yourself data protection model can be difficult for IT organizations to support—especially as organizations are dealing with a growing data center or cloud environment. Backup and disaster recovery (DR) can become proportionally more difficult as the size and scope of the environment grows.
To avoid these pitfalls, data protection should be an integral part of each organization’s overall IT transformation strategy and, thus, considered in conjunction with their CI system purchases.