Protecting Data in the Cloud Era

Today, there is no doubt: Data fuels the federal government’s mission. And federal agencies are working to harness the power of data. For example, the federal government’s proposed 2021 budget funds the development of a U.S. Federal Data Service within the Commerce Department. The budget also puts a priority on bolstering the data science workforce to support initiatives in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

But with more data comes more challenges. They include:

  • Managing the massive growth of data. Growth is happening across both traditional and unstructured data, such as video and text, making the maintenance, storage and complexity of data real hurdles.
  • Extending protection to applications. That might be third-party software that employees use for productivity, enterprise resource planning or custom web software designed for public use. Many applications must be backed up while running, which requires application-aware backups that include pending transactions and data sitting in memory.
    • Application containers, which are growing in popularity, are an important consideration.
    • A container is a small bundle of one or more applications that can run on pretty much any system.
    • An orchestrator is software that manages containers, moving them from one server to another to ensure that resources are available.

Think of application containers as metal shipping containers and the orchestrator as the transportation folks who move those containers from trucks to trains or cargo ships, as needed. All of those assets — data, applications and containers — must be protected whether they exist in an on-premises data center or in the cloud.

The Case for the Cloud

The cloud has proven to be an effective repository for backups — easy, quick and able to scale on demand. As agencies continue to modernize their infrastructures and adopt digital transformation initiatives, the use of the cloud has become a key platform.

With the cloud in mind, agencies have a variety of strategies at their disposal to ensure their assets are properly protected. They include:

  • Backup and recovery from on-premises to the cloud
  • Backup and recovery in the cloud
  • Disaster recovery to the cloud

Having choices is a good thing. But this all sounds like several standalone solutions, each with different tools and prices, which would mean more pressure on constrained IT staff and budgets. What agency IT departments need is a single, flexible and easy-to-manage solution to protect sensitive data and all other assets.

This blog post is an excerpt from our recent pocket guide, Protecting Your Cloud Data from Ransomware and More, download the full guide here to learn how federal agencies can find a backup and recovery solution to combat ransomware and other cybersecurity challenges.

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