Want to be the public-cloud hero of data protection in your organization?

You can, you know.

I know, because I’ve done it. I’m the public-cloud hero of data protection in our organization.

That’s me in the photo. Of course, I didn’t always look so noble and valiant. Plus, my hair used to be a lot shorter and I wore boring eyeglasses.

In fact, I used to feel quite uninspired and morose about the data protection strategy in our company.

And who wouldn’t?

“Data protection is cool.” Said nobody. Ever.

There’s plenty about data protection to feel uninspired and morose about. Disaster recovery here, long-term backup retention there, hybrid cloud storage upstairs, tape drives out back, backups copied to co-los next door . . . Our data protection strategy wasn’t a strategy. It was a patchwork. And keeping up with it was a big pain in the neck.

“You have one job,” said my boss. “Stay a step ahead of the next catastrophe.”

So there I was day after day, thanklessly staying one step ahead of disaster. I made sure that we always knew where our data was. I checked that we could get it back from three or four different sources if things went sideways and we needed to recover from a real mess. I maintained our tape libraries. I went home. I worked out. I ate dinner. I went to bed. I got up in the morning and kept doing the same thing.

There’s not a lot of glamour in a job where you spend all your time with your data assets in a sling, amirite?

Turning the corner on the public cloud

One day, I came across a survey report called Leveraging the Cloud for Backup and Disaster Recovery with NetVault® Backup. Since I had been at the intersection of Hopelessness, Dejection, Melancholy and Gloom for quite some time, I figured it would be right up my alley.

I downloaded the report and read it. Slowly, I began to see how other IT administrators like me had discovered the huge role that the public cloud could play in backup and recovery.

If we moved our backup and disaster recovery to the public cloud:

  • We wouldn’t need secondary data centers for those functions.
  • We’d enjoy reduced maintenance and less patching.
  • We’d get geographic separation from our on-premises infrastructure and better protection for our data.
  • In a real disaster, we’d have the option of quickly recovering in the cloud itself while our on-premises data center was out of commission.

Best of all, we wouldn’t be alone in this — not by a longshot.

  • In the survey, 60 percent of organizations use public cloud as part of their disaster recovery strategy.
  • For long-term backup retention, 57 percent are currently using public cloud storage for everything from placing backup files in AWS to implementing full-on, direct-to-cloud backup.
  • As for tape, 59 percent see cloud as a viable replacement, and another 30 percent have yet to take the first step but want to.

For me, the biggest eye-opener was the viability of direct-to-cloud backup as a data protection strategy, which 37 percent of my peers are already doing. Another 29 percent see it as a viable strategy but aren’t yet doing it. Direct-to-cloud backup has traction.

Then suddenly, the cloud parted.

“Holy hybrid!” I exclaimed, realizing that we could take advantage of the relative strengths of both cloud and on-premises infrastructure.

Suddenly I began to see the light, and it was coming from the cloud (just like in the photo). I clenched my fist and stretched it heavenward (just like in the photo), and no more was I uninspired and morose about backup and disaster recovery. I could see that we had a New Path Forward — into the public cloud and hybrid data protection.

I became the public-cloud hero of data protection at our company, overseeing the gradual migration of our backup and disaster recovery workloads to the cloud. We’ve found that it’s possible to protect our applications and data both in the cloud and on premises using a single tool, which means much less headache for me.

“How did you become such a cloud hero?” my co-workers ask.

“I read the survey report, Leveraging the Cloud for Backup and Disaster Recovery with NetVault Backup,” I tell them. “You too can read it. It’s a free download.”

The eyeglasses and cape aren’t free, though.

Heroes have to earn those.

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Photo credit: Porapak Apichodilok

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