What North American IT Administrators Can Learn from European Counterparts

It’s not exactly a news flash – Europe is a very different market than North America. Different languages; different currencies; different business demographics; different regulations; different approaches to common problems. But when it comes to data protection, backup and recovery, a recent technology spotlight from IDC UK shows many of the challenges faced by North American IT administrators are very similar across the pond.

After all, if one were to argue the “global economy” remains somewhat segmented because of currency differences, the “global data environment” is far more cohesive because of the simple fact that data is data, no matter where you are.

So rest assured, my North American data protection friends – you are not alone!

But what else can we learn from the similarities? Data may be the same across the globe, but as any folks who interact with our customers will tell you, some products are more popular in different parts of the world, which means our counterparts in other parts of the world are solving similar problems in different ways. That is an opportunity to learn something new!

This new IDC paper and survey focuses primarily on the growth of purpose-built appliances in Europe – a trend that is happening across the globe. European IT administrators are increasingly applying appliances to their top data protection priorities:

  • Ensure retention and compliance
  • Reduce storage-related costs
  • Protect virtualized servers
  • Expand storage capacity
  • Enhance disaster recovery

Do these priorities look familiar? I bet they do.

One interesting point in this survey is that “retention and compliance” is the top priority, where as I have seen that predominantly as a secondary priority in some North American studies. This is probably due to the pending ratification of the European data protection regulation, yet that does not mitigate the fact that North America, Europe and indeed the rest of the world are, and will be, subject to increasing compliance regulations.

So how do appliances address these priorities? Glad you asked.

  1. Focus – be it a backup and recovery appliances or deduplication appliance, appliances add focus to an environment, ensuring certain work is covered. The can be used to address any of the above priorities and can be deployed quickly and easily, usually within an existing architecture.
  2. Reduced costs – compression and deduplication can reduce storage costs and bandwidth requirements, directly impacting the bottom line.
  3. Flexibility – because of their focus, appliances add flexibility to both the deployment and operations of a backup and recovery environment.
  4. Scalability – because appliances can be easily deployed and are easily managed, they can reduce the need for human intervention and grow with a data environment.

Worldwide, organizations are seeing these benefits and turning to appliances more and more. In September of 2014, IDC release its worldwide sales numbers for worldwide purpose-built backup appliance (PBBA) factory revenues in the second quarter of 2014. Overall, revenue grew 8.4 percent year over year and is expected to continue to grow.

Over the next few weeks we will be discussing the benefits and intricacies of appliances – purpose-built, backup and recovery, virtual appliances, and more – so check back for new insights.