Most legacy backup solutions in the market today…well… aren’t very good. Spending too much effort on backup, IT admins lack the time, resources and simply the energy to proactively tackle the real business challenges that are holding businesses back and slowing them down. The frustration is real, people!
Today’s backup technology landscape is now more agile and multifaceted than ever, offering tons of options for any size and budget, and consequently making it very hard to make the right choice. These days, IT needs to think not one, but several steps ahead, taking ransomware, vendor lock-in, storage capacity and cloud mobility, as well as unpredictable world economical and health factors, into the equation.
To add a cherry on top, the events of 2020 have now compounded these pressures like a match to a tinderbox. From the explosion of remote working to the increasing sophistication of security attacks, data protection NEEDS to be a priority. Don’t settle for “meh.” You can’t afford to put it off any longer.
List of the 5 reasons
Reason #1 My current backup is unreliable.
The most popular reason to switch primary backup solutions is reliability or a lack thereof. This comes from taking 20-year-old code (or even 30 if you can believe it) and attempting to retrofit it for the IT challenges of today. It’s the equivalent of the Winnebago in Spaceballs — absolutely ridiculous. (If you’re too young to get that joke, Google it, then watch it. That movie is great. And may the Schwartz be with you!)
In addition, dedupe databases often become error-prone and can cause complete data loss. Many solutions lack data recovery verification or only provide this availability for limited platforms (for example, VMware only). Another issue is visibility into what is working and what’s not. All too often, IT admins only find out there’s an issue when it’s too late. It’s like discovering a leak in your roof in the middle of a monsoon — not good.
Many companies chalk this up to a lack of training or skills. This is untrue. If a backup solution is stable, reliable and easy to use, then you shouldn’t need a Ph.D. to use it.
What you should expect from your next backup solution is peace of mind and a “set it and forget it” type of confidence. You deserve a solution that’s got your back.
Reason #2 Once you add everything up, it costs a lot.
When considering the cost of data protection, it’s easy to focus on the traditional costs — hardware, software and storage. Some hardware costs can come at a premium when you’re locked-in, and your software isn’t flexible enough to handle alternatives. Many software solutions include add-ons, secondary components or ongoing services, so make sure nothing is excluded from your calculation. For storage costs, we all know someone who has been burned with hidden charges and data reduction promises that never quite come to fruition. The days of simply pointing to a target are over. You need to find the right balance between performance and cost-efficiency and the recovery SLAs you’re comfortable with for the cost. Without any “gotchas.” Those are the worst.
Don’t forget the less tangible, often forgotten costs: downtime and data loss. For example, a recent study showed that one hour of downtime for a high-priority application is estimated to cost $67,651*. In addition, impacts that downtime and data loss can have on your relationship with your customers or damage to brand integrity can be quite impactful — the time, effort and resource costs to not only maintain your backup infrastructure, but also to get ramped up, trained and running at full capacity. Another is lost productivity. Few things are more frustrating to an IT pro than when they are wasting time and energy reacting to data protection issues, as opposed to proactively working on other important projects.
What you should expect from your next backup solution is a simple, yet flexible cost model, where you can use the hardware and storage you want that can snap in with the software solution you like. You should also be able to make a change in your own environment without having to cancel your weekend plans to clean up the mess.
Reason #3 That ROI never became a reality.
We’ve all been there — promised software could do something only to later find out that it couldn’t. Now you’re juggling multiple solutions to cover certain aspects of your environment or your path to simplicity just became more complex. That ROI calculator you were promised drifted away just like Homer Simpson disappearing into the bushes, taking your confidence, budget and reputation with it.
Another ROI consideration for your benefit is data reuse. All data protection solutions encapsulate a great deal of data. In today’s ecosystem, data is power, and the right ROI calculation isn’t simply crunching the numbers of time saved versus money invested, but also the value provided by putting your data to work.
What you should expect from your next backup solution (and those that are selling it) is the principle to “under promise and over deliver” — no sales engineer demo magic tricks. What you should get is a trial experience with YOU in the driver’s seat, available immediately without waiting on a systems engineer to configure it.
Maybe you can even find a solution to help you tap into the power of the data gold mine that you’re sitting on. Like adding marshmallow fluff to your peanut butter and banana sandwich, that extra layer makes all the difference.
Reason #4 My recovery times are slow, and backup windows are long.
Some backup vendors might try to wow you with an example, but when you dig into product breadth — backup configurations, architectural flexibility, snapshot integrations, replication capabilities — reality sets in. It takes time, years really, to build the required breadth.
Another key factor is recovery speeds and flexibility. Often, it’s not a story of if you can recover, but how easily and quickly you can do it. Count the number of clicks it takes you to recover something simple, an email perhaps. It may surprise you. With regards to flexibility, many solutions either lack the granularity for specific recoveries or the scalability for bulk restores.
Some solutions haven’t yet developed self-service restore capabilities, which is an IT pro’s favorite since it enables you to go on vacation, sip out of those umbrella straws you secretly like, dig your toes in the sand, maybe order those jerk chicken nachos that are soooo good — oh my goodness! Pass the hot sauce — all without worrying if a LOB user is going to break everything.
What you should expect from your next backup solution is a proven track record of continuous innovation, built on top of a strong foundation of happy customers. Imagine a product release where users are literally giddy to get their hands on code versus “let someone else QA it.”