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How Modern Agencies Outgrow Their Data Backup Strategies

As modern IT organizations innovate faster, legacy backup solutions and recovery infrastructure cannot support forward-looking initiatives. It’s time to take your data protection to a new level with a modern, future-ready approach that will set you up for success — today and in the coming years.

This will be a common theme throughout 2021. The shift to remote work in 2020 forced many agencies to begin or accelerate IT modernization initiatives, often involving the adoption of public cloud services. Now they need to ensure that their data backup strategies work in this new environment.

“The planned and forced IT modernizations that we’ve seen accelerated because of COVID have also been an accelerant for data protection strategy changes,” said Jeff Reichard, Senior Director, Enterprise Strategy at Veeam Software, which provides a cloud-based data management platform.

GovLoop spoke with Reichard and with Salim Ruffin, Senior Manager, System Engineering for Federal at Veeam, about three key factors that agencies should consider when developing a new backup strategy.

1. Service resilience vs. data availability

Agencies often move applications and data to the cloud because cloud service providers (CSPs) can deliver superior uptime. The problem is that service resilience is no guarantee of data availability.

For example, Office 365 provides a resilient platform for email, Ruffin said, but “I think we’ve all had times when we deleted emails that we later regretted.”

In fact, in a recent Veeam survey of organizations worldwide, 37% of respondents said they had experienced data loss due to user error or accidental deletion. The agency, not the CSP, is on the hook for protecting itself against such loss. As agencies extend applications and data to the cloud, they need to ensure their backup solutions extend as well.

2. The complexities of cloud native

As part of their modernization efforts, a growing number of agencies are adopting cloud-native technology, such as containerization and Kubernetes, which makes data backup even more complex.

Containers are small bundles of code that can be easily deployed to different platforms, while Kubernetes is an open-source platform for automating the deployment of containerized applications. Those applications might be drawing data from any number of sources — all of which must be addressed by a backup solution.

3. Data portability

One of the benefits of containerized applications is that they are easy to move from one cloud platform to another — or from the cloud to on premises and back again. That provides agencies with the flexibility to shift workloads as their requirements change. But it also creates data backup headaches.

To ensure high data availability, agencies need a backup solution that spans the entire application environment, from physical to virtual, and cloud and cloud-native platforms, Reichard said.

Agencies might be tempted to bank on their legacy data backup solutions as they move forward with modernization. But, realistically, given the demands of the evolving IT environment, that is a choice that they cannot afford to make.

This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s new guide, “Agency of the Future: Common Misconceptions Holding You Back and How to Break Free.” Download the full guide here.

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