Why Backup might soon be a Relic of the Past?
By Julian Quinn, Vice President, Japan and Asia, Veeam Software
In 2010, Gartner unveiled the “Best Practices for Addressing the Broken State of Backup” report, and shared fascinating statistics about the impending dramatic shift in the enterprise technology landscape. IT professionals knew they had to update their strategies to meet the needs of the future and fast. One would think this would lead to a much more sophisticated approach and consequently, a much better state of affairs in the backup and recovery space but looking at 2016, we see that the industry isn’t quite where we had anticipated it would be. Backup is broken and it’s all about Availability now.
According to a global survey of CIOs and IT pros in 2015, organizations experienced an average of 15 unplanned downtime events each, compared to the average of 13 reported in 2014. More alarmingly, unplanned mission-critical application downtime length grew 36 percent from 1.4 hours to 1.9 hours year over year, and non-mission-critical application downtime length grew 45 percent from 4 hours to 5.8 hours. These outages now cost the average organization $16 million a year – an increment of 60 percent over 2014.
“Availability requires far more than creating a backup of the data every night”
The crux of the problem is that backup cannot provide what organizations really need Availability. Availability requires far more than creating a backup of the data every night. It requires backing up throughout the day every 15 minutes without affecting the performance of the production environment. Each of these backups need to be tested to ensure that they will restore properly, and then IT needs to be able to recover within 15 minutes if an application goes down or data is lost. In a nutshell, when a mission-critical application is down or the file server has crashed beyond repair, having a backup of that data somewhere across town on a tape in an underground vault does very little to contain the damage.
The need for Availability is rooted in the digital transformation in which executives, employees, customers and partners expect to have 24/7/365 access to data. Unfortunately, there is a very real and wide gap between the constant access user’s demand and what IT departments can actually deliver this is what we at Veeam term, the ‘Availability Gap’. How wide, you ask? Our research shows that service-level agreements (SLAs) around recovery time objectives (RTOs) are set on an average at 1.6 hours, which is far too long for a critical application to be down. But organizations aren’t even meeting this standard. Their average recovery is three hours, nearly double their average SLA. Similarly, the average SLA for recovery point objectives (RPOs) is 2.9 hours, whereas 4.2 hours is what’s being delivered, on average.
Closing this gap is a top priority for CIOs. They count high-speed recovery and data loss avoidance as the two most sought-after capabilities when modernizing their data centers, but cite budget issues and lack of skilled labor as key challenges. What they need to understand is that investing in state-of-the-art availability tools with a one-time cost amounts to savings much higher in value, overtime. Not only do these tools facilitate Availability but they also empower the business to leverage on emerging technologies like IoT, Cloud and Big Data. It won’t be long before backup becomes a relic of the past as Availability paves the way for the future.