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Leveraging data and backups to maintain business continuity

Business continuity is a key discussion point and concern among senior executives in 2020. Already, in January, more than 75% per cent of businesses were reporting the expectation that there would be major changes to the way that their organisation manages business continuity this year. That was before COVID-19 swept across the globe and upended the way that we work entirely.

The new pandemic has driven home the importance for organisations to have robust continuity strategies in place. This is especially important as companies are now navigating through uncharted waters, where the majority of the workforce are working remotely.

Having complete strategies in place for keeping the lights on is paramount, and data backups are one of the most important cogs in the business continuity plan, as the loss of critical organisation’s data can become a business-ending event for most companies. Most companies recognise this, and around 10 per cent of total IT budget spend goes specifically into storage and backup solutions.

The main challenge organisations are facing is keeping backup strategy in-line with business operations. Within the last two years, 90 per cent of the entire world’s data has been generated, demonstrating just how accelerated data generation is in business. Beyond the raw increase in data, environments have also become more complex, with research showing that 68 per cent of organisations have environments that are more complicated now than they were two years ago. Having a solution that can handle that data challenge, and have the agility to scale up, should be part of every business’ continuity strategy.

Data backup plan checklist

With organisations looking to use data in more sophisticated and complex ways, data backup plans need to evolve in tandem. When planning, every organisation’s data backup plan needs to be able to define and address the following:

  • Who within the organisation is responsible for executing the backup plan, taking into account access to sensitive data.
  • Schedule of backups and system checks. The more frequent the backup, the more costly the process will become. The key to increased efficiency of scheduling, and ability to undertake backups more frequently, is to have automation built into modern backup solutions.
  • A complete understanding of every system and data pool that needs a backup.
  • Proper procedures to recover and restore data when necessary.

In addition, organisations need to grapple with increasingly strict regulation around the data they hold, such as GDPR. Data backup systems need to be modernised so they are compliant and adaptable as new regulations are introduced. For example, a potential issue with GDPR is the requirement to be able to call up customer data instantly, with hefty fines imposed if the business is unable to do that. A backup system needs to take this regulatory requirement into account in its design.

A pain point organisations are facing is that their existing backup solutions are proving to be inadequate as they navigate through digital transformation projects, adopt more cloud services, and look to leverage data in more strategic ways.

Learn how Cisco and Veeam can secure, back up and recover your data

Pain points with data backup

IT leaders are facing a number of bottle necks in modernising their data backup systems. As alluded to above, the risk of falling behind the curve with backup technology is a big one. Legacy systems, stalled transformation projects, and tightening budgets are all having an impact on the ability for backup systems to meet modern requirements and be a true business continuity system.

Legacy systems tend to be expensive to manage; with high overheads, slow time-to-value, and the requirement of a ‘hands-on’ IT team to keep it running, drawing resources away from working on value-adding. There is also concern over the protection of the backed-up data, in both a technology sense and the physical media itself.

Some of the technical issues that organisations face with backup solutions include:

  1. Shrinking backup and recovery windows – there is great demand on application availability, so the opportunities to run a full back up or recovery when necessary are less frequent. With more people working remotely with flexible hours, these windows are going to become smaller.
  2. SLA compliance –inability to provide adequate backup and restore levels to meet business requirements.
  3. Remote data sources – organisations are also struggling to develop solutions that would allow them to access data created remotely from mobile devices.

Addressing these pain points has been the focus for Veeam for many years. Recently recognised by Gartner as a 2020 Gartner Peer Insight Customer’s Choice for Data Center Backup and Recovery, Veeam solutions are reliable, easy-to-use, and fully support modern cloud environments.

Veeam has over 365,000 customers worldwide, including 81 per cent of the Fortune 500. When polled on the strengths of Veeam’s solutions for backups in cloud and virtual environments, customers said Veeam’s reliability was the point of differentiation, citing three particular reasons:

  1. Veeam achieves recoveries with consistently positive outcomes in test and production environments.
  2. Veeam’s ability to automate risk-free “sandboxing” of test backups ensures recoverability; and
  3. Automated reporting that informs IT of the successful status of nightly backup’s delivers efficiency and reliability without the overview of human IT experts.

Essentially, Veeam is the respected name in backups because it has the ability to recover data at the point it is needed the most. For organisations scrambling to update business continuity strategies, this provides true peace of mind.

Learn how Cisco and Veeam can secure, back up and recover your data

Partnering with Cisco for industry-leading storage solutions

To further entrench Veeam as the backup solution of choice, the company has partnered with Cisco to offer a comprehensive storage solution, developed specifically with backup and business continuity in mind.

The solution combines the Cisco UCS Storage Servers or Cisco HyperFlex hyper converged infrastructure with Veeam Availability Suite. The result is a solution that is highly available, cloud-ready, and able to assist businesses with high numbers of remote workers and off-premises data, which is particularly pertinent with the modern employee.

Specifically, the solution delivers:

  1. Availability

    The Cisco UCS offers high performance and high disk density, while also offering pre-validated configurations that have been sized and tested, making it easy to deploy and scale rapidly.
  2. Quality price-performance ratio

    With automation enabling scalability, the solution also offers maximum efficiency, and gives organisations greater control over the cost of maintaining capacity.
  3. 24/7 Function

    Through this solution, recovery times for tier-1 applications will be less than 15 minutes for the majority of workloads. Organisations can ensure they have a continuous level of protection for critical data and applications, and minimal disruption if a restore should be required.

In terms of measurable value back to the user, the Veeam and Cisco UCS combination promises significant gains:

  • Higher performance – almost 30 per cent (28.9 per cent) better performance benchmarking – 10.44TB per hour versus 8.1TB/hour.
  • Better price to performance ratio – Veeam/Cisco offers a 49 per cent lower price/performance ratio than the nearest alternative at $37.26 per gigabyte per hour versus $73.16.
  • With the Veeam management console, IT professionals need to only interact with the solution for 20-30 minutes daily, or to invoke restores.

To demonstrate how robust this solution is, research shows one-third of organisations were able to recover from ransomware simply by having a Veeam/Cisco system in place. Ransomware costs business more than $US75 billion per year, with downtime costing averaging at $64,000, and individual cases surpassing $18 million dollars for cost of recovery. The challenge with many cases of ransomware is it gets everything, and requires a complete restore, and in some extreme cases can lead to a truly extended process. The Veeam/Cisco solution gives organisations the best chance to get their systems back up with minimal data loss and avoid paying for extortion fees.

Learn how Cisco and Veeam can secure, back up and recover your data

Veeam and Cisco in action

For the government sector, data security and integrity is of the utmost importance and the stakes are sky high.

This is why AUCloud – a sovereign cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider that focuses exclusively on providing services to the Australian Government and Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) customers – maintain a complete focus on providing its customers with both.

AUCloud needed to find a cost-effective data management and backup solution that was easy to deploy and provide to customers.

It found its solution in the combination of Veeam software, and Cisco hardware. AUCloud head of compute, storage, and backup, Peter Zafiris, said of the solution: “The Cisco-validated designs around integration with Veeam made it easy to set up and use. It also aligned with our business as we were close partners with Cisco.”

“We are one of the exclusive numbers of providers globally to achieve Cisco Master Partner for Cloud and Managed Services status.”

The benefit of the solution to AUCloud has been three-fold:

  1. Improved reliability and stability –AUCloud are completely confident if a major incident were to occur, the processes and technology would have the capability to resolve the issue within a matter of hours.
  2. Cost-effectiveness – For long-term retention of data, Zafiris said Veeam’s solution offers a cost-effectiveness that other bids were not able to match.
  3. Efficiency – Because the Veeam and Cisco solution is so easy to set up, configure, and maintain, AUCloud has needed to allocate fewer resources to it. With backups being almost instantaneous at times, the resources required to leverage this solution are significantly lower.

In addition, another key benefit the AUCloud team experienced was the level of support from Veeam. “We’ve got excellent local support from Veeam, which is very important to us,” Zafiris said. “The Veeam engineers in Canberra support our internal engineering and product teams.”

With this backup and restore solution, AUCloud’s customers are able to proceed with their IT strategies secure in the knowledge that their providers have the data both secured and protected.

Learn how Cisco and Veeam can secure, back up and recover your data

Veeam and Cisco - Everything you need to know

This webinar explains how Cisco and Veeam® deliver solutions to secure, back up and recover your data wherever it resides. By combining Cisco Data Center products and Veeam solutions, customers eliminate data loss and slow data recovery, helping to minimise risk, decrease downtime and easily adapt to business changes to meet the most stringent recovery objectives.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about:

  • Backup from Storage Snapshots
  • On Demand Sandbox™ from HyperFlex snapshots
  • Recovery from Cisco HyperFlex snapshots
  • And much more!

Presenter - John Wood Solutions Architect - ANZ

Watch the webinar now

Maintaining businesses through any threat

Data loss can come from many different sources, from staff mistakes, ransomware attacks or other hacks, to physical destruction of property (though a natural disaster). As organisations become geographically diversified, data being created and transferred in cloud has created an issue that organisations will need to manage.

With the cost of downtime estimated to range from $1 million per hour for Fortune 1,000 companies, to $137 to $427 for small businesses, having a robust data backup solution can help mitigating against the worst of the damage and help businesses get back on its feet as quickly as possible.

If your environment is currently running on legacy systems, it is not only costing you from an inefficiency perspective, but also raising the risk profile of the entire organisation. With Veeam, you will not only address the headaches your backup environment has been giving you, but you will be significantly boosting your organisation’s continuity and resilience strategy.

Contact Veeam for a demo

Resource Centre

  • Solution Brief: Cisco HyperFlex Systems and Veeam

  • Examining the Shared Traits of Veeam Availability Solutions and Cisco UCS Storage Servers

  • Case study:AUCloud safeguards Australian government data with Veeam

  • Customer story: Red Bull

  • Tech talk: Cloud mobility with Christ Hiatt

  • Tech talk: Why backup office 365? with Dilupa Ranatunga

  • Tech talk: Accelerate your business using existing data with HX & Veeam DataLabs with John Wood

  • Tech talk: Veeam data protection with Cisco HyperFlex with John Wood

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