In this fast-paced technological environment, businesses are facing unprecedented challenges when it comes to data security.
The exponential growth of data sources and real-time communication channels supplemented by data security concerns have forced IT professionals to look beyond the conventional backup methods. Here are some of the data backup challenges in 2019 that all business and IT professionals should consider.
Managing the Growth of Data Volume
In this age of information, the size and volume of data are amplified in almost every organisation. Companies are overwhelmed with data, making it extremely complex to analyse, consume, interpret, and more importantly, store it without compromising on its integrity.
Data management becomes even more challenging for large-scale businesses, multi-national organisations (MNCs) and those organisations which operate in heavily regulated industries such as healthcare, finance, pharmaceuticals, and those covering different industry verticals.
Moreover, the introduction of big data and Internet of Things (IoT) has further accelerated the growth of data, which is surpassing the capacity of normal computing. Thus, the traditional techniques of data backup are inadequate and unable to serve as an effective data contingency strategy. Consequently, data administrators are switching towards cloud data management for optimal backup capacity and performance.
Handling a Variety of Data
If we go back a decade ago, data usually consisted of documents, spreadsheets, pictures and media content with minimal storage requirements. This type of data still exists, however, it requires a substantially large amount of storage space compared to its predecessors due to its superior quality. For instance, files which previously required a few kilobytes of storage now need several megabytes of storage.
Furthermore, data is available in a variety of forms due to the widespread adoption of multimedia and intensification of digitalised content. To give you an idea, there are around 40 different audio file extensions alone so you can imagine the amount of diversification in digital files. When we talk about companies, they are dealing with multiple data channels which handle all sorts of data formats, therefore, they need comprehensive online backup solutions to manage their workflow and store data securely.
Maintaining Large Databases
It’s not just documents and multimedia files that have contributed to data amplification, but large databases, which contain hundreds of TBs of data, especially when we talk about large enterprises. These databases store multitudes of data variants including auditing data, performance data, logging data, diagnostic data, and different types of confidential and important information.
Moreover, businesses are leveraging big data, which is large sets of unstructured data, to gain valuable insight into different aspects of business such as consumer behaviour, market trends, and risk analysis, amongst others. Due to widespread interest in analytics of big data, enterprises have started storing practically every conceivable piece of data in their databases, augmenting the requirements of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
Compliance with Regulations and Good Governance
In light of recent scandals of Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, and Google data privacy, there has been increased scrutiny and demand for oversight on user data. Moreover, the introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on data protection and privacy has further prompted organisations to take preventative measures to conform to privacy laws and regulations to ensure confidentiality and integrity of their data.
Furthermore, the retention requirements which are primarily dictated by regulations also present challenges to large organisations. The long-term retention of data might have become easier due to digitalisation, but the amount of storage they require increases the data burden for them i.e. the increase in total volume to preserve, means higher amount of data to protect. Therefore, organisations mitigate the risk by using professional companies who offer backup as a service (BaaS) to maintain a secure backup of their data.
When we talk about large enterprises, particularly those who are operating in healthcare, aviation and financial sector, they work with real time data; thus, they require extremely fast and flawless data processing channels. Therefore, they have to establish a setup to retrieve data seamlessly. The continuous inflow and outflow of information accompanied by a constant change in datasets makes data backup an impractical task. Therefore, these organisations could engage a managed service provider (MSP) to maintain a backup of their data.
Using cloud data management also allows them to work in real time and retrieve data at any time while ensuring that the system is creating automatic backups of new information. Though using cloud servers to store data facilitates collaboration and real-time workflow, it also comes with the inherent risk of data destruction, possibly by an accident or miscommunication. For example, if an employee accidentally deletes a folder containing important files, it will be wiped from the server and everyone’s computer.
Therefore, it is critical to maintain restoring points on a regular basis. A restoration point will retrieve the data that has been damaged, lost or stolen back to its original condition. Again, maintaining secondary storage to make a data restoration point further increases the need for data storage. Professional companies that offer disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) can troubleshoot these problems by structuring a smart backup plan and, as the name suggests, devising a disaster recovery plan.
In the end, everything boils down to the cost of data storage. Previously, companies used to save data in their in-house servers, but most of them are shifting on private cloud or hybrid cloud storage platforms. This eliminates the need to set up an infrastructure and hire a full-time IT department. Not only does it enable businesses to focus more on their strategical operations, but it also allows them to save a substantial amount of money.
This is not only highly beneficial for large enterprises, but is also particularly useful for small businesses, as they don’t have to invest a large amount of capital to set up an infrastructure, nor do they have to employ IT professionals for managing their data. The servers and computing equipment to maintain databases can cost a fortune. Moreover, there is a significant shortage of professionals who know how to integrate and manage the big data ecosystem. Thus, a substantial chunk of the IT budget for companies can be saved.
Cloud data management also helps companies eliminate the risk of losing their valuable data due to fire or physical harm, ensuring enhanced level of data security that too at a lower price than conventional physical servers. The costs discussed earlier coupled with insurance and security costs will be replaced by a monthly fee to the service provider, which may be considerably lesser and also help organisations during budgeting.
These are only a few of the many challenges pertinent to data backup that organisations are facing in 2019. Dealing with issues such as growing cluster complexity and system management, data centre cooling, power, and floor space limitations will be extremely difficult, and it will be interesting to see how tech giants and data storage companies find a solution for this problem.
Until then, acquiring the services of professional companies offering BaaS and DRaaS are the best bets for companies who are looking to backup their data effectively and securely. An MSP should also provide future proof, easy to manage backup solution with improved database backup and instant discovery feature, which will translate into increased productivity and improved operations.