Flash Array DP: It's the Collaboration, Stupid!

Know a smart kid who just got connected over the holidays with a new tablet or computer? What happens next?  He or she is probably collaborating as we speak with newfound digital peers.


Let’s set aside the usual suspects when talking about the future of data protection: massive data growth, evolving IT budgets, virtualization and cloud-based resources.

Let’s focus on kids instead. More and more of them are destined to become always-on knowledge workers that depend on digital infrastructure. Already, the younger generation of employees is spending 61% of each week engaged in digital collaboration (McKinsey Global Institute analysis). Tech-savvy young people are creating a whole new “social” economy. What does that means for backup strategies, now and in the future?

These workers’ “priorities and preferences will dictate what the workplace looks like,” says Ernst & Young Global Limited. Keeping them connected is already a trillion dollar business (MGI). In their 24x7 world, you can’t take workloads offline. Backups simply need to become invisible. And they can’t compromise end-user availability.

The heat is on for businesses to become digital businesses and for IT to meet unspoken business expectations: to be an always-on utility that is connected, protected and fast.


But how?


Disruptive technologies like flash are a big part of the answer. Many organizations are adopting a data protection strategy based on flash technology – using all-flash arrays or hybrid flash arrays.

But flash backups can backfire in a spectacular way if organizations install flash-based backup solutions without rethinking long-standing backup practices (i.e. restoring a file or drive rather than a workload) or without the “intelligent” backup software that can deal with rapidly changing data sets.


Who's got your back?


While there is ever less tolerance for disruption of digital collaboration there is not much certainty about how to avoid it.

Executives, by a wide margin - 72% - are “less than very confident” (2014 Forrester Research) their organization can fully restore critical systems with their current strategies and technology.

The way to restore confidence in critical systems is to deploy a data protection strategy that can make backup data as available as live data. One effective practice, for example, is to create a warm standby virtual machine that is always ready to use.

With the right backup strategy, your users can get back to collaborating in 15-20 minutes with little-to-no data loss. Here are the steps:


  • Users resume work directly from the backup file without waiting for a complete system restore
  • Presents the volume metadata to the Operating System instantly, making that data available on demand.
  • Restore the data in the background, even though the volume, its data, applications and services are already back in production


Future-proof data protection

Our economy is on track to become more social and ever more dependent on young people collaborating in the digital workforce. Fortunately, flash-based arrays are introducing big changes into data protection strategies that have the potential to create a more resilient digital workplace.

The stakes are high. If social technologies can function seamlessly – allowing skilled young people to fully collaborate – it could raise the productivity of their interactions by 20 to 25 percent (MGI again)!

A future-proof data protection strategy has to do more than just keep smart young people connected. It needs to focus on enhancing and accelerating their collaboration.

Here’s our paper to help you do it: