Navigate the cloud with confidence

Navigate the cloud with confidence

Ian Engelbrecht, Head of Systems Engineering at Veeam Africa

The Veeam Data Protection Trends Report for 2022 has found that 97% of South African companies have experienced unexpected outages in the past 12 months. This has spurred 84% of local businesses to indicate that they will increase their data protection budgets this year by an average of more than 6% over 2021. It suggests that digital transformation has become a case of risk reduction, as well as investment in technologies to unlock future business opportunities. Not only have cloud and data management platforms grown in both importance and size as a result, but they have also become more complex. It is not uncommon for companies to mix and match between local data centers, hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Navigating the cloud with confidence requires embedding a modern data protection strategy to ensure the resilience and recoverability of your vital business data ensuring it is protected and always available.

Through a single backup and data management platform that can support cloud, virtual, physical, software-as-a-service and Kubernetes environments, Modern Data Protection enables enterprises to modernize backup and recovery, secure data against ransomware and improve application performance. When it comes to migrating to the cloud, many decision makers may question whether they are still in control of their own destiny as they may have been when it came to on-premises infrastructure and services. Effective modern data protection provides that control.

Free for all

For example, imagine if each team in a company gets to decide which workloads to move and which services they can use. Due to the wide variety of cloud offerings available, things can quickly get out of hand.

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One team might choose something like ECS (Elastic Container Service) which is proprietary to AWS. Once apps are deployed on that platform, they cannot move to another environment. However, other teams may choose a Kubernetes-based alternative such as the Kasten K10 by Veeam® cloud native data management platform that provides mobility across different cloud instances. One is inherently mobile, flexible and avoids vendor lock-in, the other is not.

A SQL team can turn to AWS when it comes to maintaining their database in the cloud. But which services do they choose? Is it a question of running the entire workload in AWS or just choosing specific relational database services?

Organizations must therefore look to involve their IT experts and standardize services on the cloud that deliver for common business purposes. Without a centralized strategy when it comes to cloud deployments, avoidable overspending, technology or process incompatibilities, security exposures, data availability, and protection gaps can occur.

Already, 78% of South African companies have a protection gap between how much data they can afford to lose after a power outage and how often data is backed up. With 86% of local businesses suffering from ransomware attacks in 2021, cyber attacks are the single biggest cause of downtime for the second year in a row. Per attack, these companies failed to recover 31% of lost data on average.

Defined view

Not only can having well-defined (and communicated) cloud policies in place mitigate against the above, the risk of data spillover, overuse and misconfiguration of cloud services can be averted by involving the experts in IT and data protection from the beginning, Departmental decision makers can be protected from adding unnecessary features to the services they choose. Hyperscalers may have a wealth of offerings, but organizations must look at what is not only cost-effective, manageable and realistic for day-to-day needs, but also for computing, protection and availability.

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A methodical approach to cloud consumption on a service-by-service basis is therefore critical.

Kubernetes for everyone

As cloud adoption continues to explode, Kubernetes has become the fastest growing infrastructure platform, and with 46% of containers in production in South Africa, it is well on its way to becoming the next enterprise platform of choice. Kubernetes brings flexibility and mobility into the process. As a technology, Kubernetes helps organizations modernize their existing infrastructure by allowing them to abstract the application away from the operating system. Effectively, they can pull the application out of the environment, and orchestrate, move and digitize it. So, what might be five instances of an app today could easily be 100 tomorrow.

But while Kubernetes provides high availability and scalability of application services, the same is not true for the data, so the need to protect it is fundamental. Solutions like the Kasten K10 make it easy by providing businesses with an easy-to-use, scalable and secure system for backup and recovery, disaster recovery and application mobility, making it seamless for developers and infrastructure teams to maintain and protect.

As with all aspects of cloud adoption, containerization can accelerate things, but still requires the business to carefully define the cloud approach and services it will use.

No matter where an organization is on its journey to or through the cloud, the use of any service is to enjoy benefits such as business agility, improved productivity, reduced costs, greater data availability, workforce optimization and more. Without modern data protection for all aspects of the adopted cloud platform, successful and efficient business operations can be compromised, disrupted and important data lost. That’s why safely navigating the cloud requires companies to also map out the backup, recovery and management of their data.

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