Enterprises are quickly accelerating their move to the public cloud to escape the complexities of infrastructure while leveraging public cloud innovation, scale, and economics. This shift has changed modern IT from a cost center, focused on managing infrastructure, to a business value driver, focused on getting leverage from data. The public cloud has delivered tremendous value to the enterprise, but a new mindset is required. Without a new mindset, you are bound to replay the same challenges you had before as they follow all with you on your new journey.
Over the last ten years, the journey to the cloud has provided 3 big lessons that have shaped the way enterprises approach the cloud in the current era. Shadow IT showcased the value of agility and scale, but also alerted us to the fact that a security-first mindset is required as data becomes dispersed across clouds. The cloud-first era reminded us that the cloud is costly if you leverage the same on-premises methodologies in the public cloud. The goal of today’s era, I like to call the cloud smart era, is to accelerate to the cloud intelligently by taking advantage of public cloud innovation, scale, and economics.
One core business function that did not evolve along this journey is data protection. If you look at the data center today, the data protection methodologies are robust including replication between storage arrays, snapshots, backups, replicated backups, and tape backups for offsite storage. But in the public cloud, data protection solutions are minimal, especially for backup. Today’s options include a virtualized version (or cloud retrofit) of the same legacy backup product you use in your data center today or volume level snapshots you have to orchestrate in the public cloud. Let’s take a look at the challenges of each of these options.
Legacy Backup Product – “Cloud Retrofit”
Traditional backup products have been in the data center for years. Most of these solutions are 10, if not 30 years old. As we saw in the cloud-first era, lifting and shifting existing products as a virtualized appliance, even with a “cloud-like consumption” model, results in complexity, higher costs, a software bill, a cloud bill, and a lack of scale and agility. Without re-architecting or rebuilding these backup products from the cloud up, the result is the same on-premises challenges enterprises are running away from in the first place.
Native Cloud Snapshot Management
Most enterprises have seen the complexity and false claims of the traditional backup products and decided to roll their own snapshot managers or orchestrate the creation of those snapshots. Snapshots are suitable for a quick recovery of a volume to a point in time, but cannot deliver long-term cost-effectiveness, file searching capabilities, or single file restores with any ease. Imagine if you accidentally deleted a few files across multiple volumes, need to go back in time for ediscovery, or require data to compare from 5 years ago. Having snapshots as your only tool makes life very painful. Another area of concern is putting your primary data and snapshots in the same account, which brings the additional risk for ransomware or bad actors who could compromise the data and the “backup.” To alleviate this issue, many users copy their snapshots to other accounts to keep them separate, which incurs additional egress costs. If this was not challenging enough, most enterprises have 10s, if not 1000s of accounts in the public cloud, so the challenge grows exponentially.
What enterprises demand is a secure, simple, and predictable SaaS data protection solution that follows along as they accelerate their journey to the cloud. At Clumio, we have the luxury of building products in a cloud-first world, building services natively from the cloud up, without any legacy products or services in our platform to change or evolve. We develop products that give our customers a competitive advantage by removing the complexity of legacy backup solutions and protecting data as enterprises accelerate their journey to the public cloud. We believe that backup should be a service provided to the enterprise with a simple 15-minute setup, the quick discovery of all data assets, global search, single file, volume, or application recovery, with a security-first mindset. And this is just the beginning. In my next blog post, we will dig deep into how Clumio solves the multi-cloud data protection challenge.
Take care and stay “authentic” SaaSy my friends.
By Chadd Kenney
Vice President and Chief Technologist