Cloud Provides Cost-Effective Solution to Data Backup, Recovery Challenges

Agencies can’t afford not to have a strong data backup and recovery strategy. That’s just a given. The challenge is coming up with a strong backup and recovery strategy that they can afford to maintain as their data requirements grow and evolve. That is why the cloud has emerged as the platform of choice for data backup and recovery. To learn more, GovLoop spoke with Brad Montgomery, Senior Manager for Federal Presales at Dell EMC. He discussed three different use cases for cloud-based data backup and recovery.

Backing up on-premises data in the cloud

The case for backing up data from on-premise systems to the cloud is straightforward, Montgomery said: it’s cost-effective and simple. As the volume of data grows, agencies are spending more and more money on both their primary storage systems and their backup systems. Over time, they will spend additional money managing, maintaining and upgrading those backup systems. It’s a daunting scenario.

By backing up data to the cloud, agencies can get out of the business of buying and maintaining hardware, leaving those worries to cloud services providers. In the process, they can shift funding from capital expenditures (CapEx), which cover the purchase of assets, to operating expenditures (OpEx), which cover the purchase of on-going services. CapEx budgets typically are less predictable year to year than OpEx.

Backing up cloud-based data in the cloud

Market research firm IDC has predicted that 49% of data will be stored in public cloud environments by 2025. Although that means agencies won’t need to worry about managing and maintaining a lot of infrastructure, they still need to think about data backup and recovery. Even if a cloud service includes backup and recovery, those capabilities might not be sufficient.

“In particular, when evaluating cloud data protection services, pay attention to how backup is architected in the Cloud,” Montgomery said. “For example, many backup providers rely heavily on block storage, which is higher performing and more expensive than necessary for backup purposes.”

Also, public cloud services likely do not include robust deduplication capabilities, which keeps down storage costs by eliminating redundant copies of data.

Disaster recovery to the cloud

When it comes to disaster recovery, the cloud can bring some much-needed simplicity to what is an inherently complex operation.

Cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) allows an agency to copy backed-up virtual machines from their on-premise environment to the public cloud for the orchestration and automation of core DR operations: testing, fail-over (moving from the primary site to the backup) and fail-back (moving back to the primary site). Most importantly, the cloud accelerates the time to recovery.

Finally, by using the same cloud-based capabilities for all three of the scenarios described above, an agency provides a more consistent user experience.

“You want to be able to simplify your operations and improve the cloud economics through a consistent management experience across all the clouds you have,” Montgomery said.

This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide, “Beyond the Hype: Your Emerging Tech Playbook.” Download the full guide here.

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