Data Management is undeniably the future of Data Protection (and not just “better backup”), meaning that the days of simply making copies in case bad things happen are quickly waning.
- Yes, you need previous versions – some folks call those backups
- Yes, you need data survivability – some folks call them replicas
- Yes, you need rapid recovery/reversion – some folks call them snapshots
BUT, you can barely afford to make those copies – and frankly, you probably need more versions, for longer, and with even greater agility, than what you are already doing. Meanwhile, organizations are continuing to struggle with storage growth, including both production and protection storage. So, as an IT Operations or backup person, you need more than you are currently doing, even while being asked to cut back. The answer is to reimagine the breadth of data protection outcomes as part of a data management strategy.
The industry calls this “Copy Data Management” – a term and solution category that was quite literally established by Actifio. Various vendors now use a variety of terms to describe the much broader range of IT agility that can be enabled not just by “smarter” data protection, but more importantly by the enablement of data to accelerate businesses and users (instead of simply making what-if copies for recovery). To be clear, organizations truly cannot afford to keep doing what they have been around data protection or ad-hoc copies.
Actifio has continued to champion what ESG refers to as Data Management and Enablement, with recurring and disruptive innovation that is epitomized in their recent 8.0 release. This is an exciting release particularly because of the cloud-agility aspects of the ever-broadening feature set. Whereas early Actifio offerings were about agility, including recoverability and re-use/enablement, of on-premises architectures, their latest release is firmly grounded in multi-cloud. This cloud-first approach isn’t just about flexibility of which cloud (with all of the majors represented) but also the agility and mobility in‑between them. ESG research shows that a majority of organizations intend to be multi-cloud, with further presumption that production data will very likely be in a different location than the protection instances; for both enablement scenarios and to ensure data survivability and therefore business resiliency.
For many organizations, data protection is a must – with previous versions, rapid recovery, and data survivability all being paramount (with or without terms like backup, snapshots, and replicas).
For far too many of those organizations, data management is misperceived as merely aspirational but prohibitive due to adding even more infrastructure and such.
Instead, organizations would be well served if they re-imagined their IT architecture with a holistic view of production, protection, and non-protection (enablement) use cases within a single strategy. Those are the kinds of architectures and strategies that can be powered by Actifio and its most recent offerings.
Jason Buffington (@JBuff) is the Principal Analyst at ESG focusing on all forms of data protection, preservation, management, and availability. He has actively deployed or consulted on data protection solutions for 28 years, working at channel partners, various data protection vendors, Microsoft, and now the Enterprise Strategy Group.
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