As enterprises begin to accumulate petabytes of data, the demand for reliable, secure backup is growing. Existing legacy solutions such as off-site tape vaults can’t deliver the performance needed or meet stringent recovery time objectives when restores are necessary. And on-premises disk-based storage is expensive and must be constantly managed, maintained and upgraded.
This brief looks at the benefits and total cost of ownership (TCO) of cloud-based storage solutions for backup and specifically addresses how organizations can avoid many of the hidden costs inherent in most cloud storage platforms.
The world reached the zettabyte age in 2012, when the amount of new data created that year first reached 1 ZB, or a million petabytes. By 2018, that number reached 33 ZB, and according to a recent Forbes article, the amount of new data will increase to 175 ZB by 2025, thanks in large part to the amount of unstructured data now being collected.1
To compound the problem, enterprises increasingly want to retain—or even hoard—all that data, keeping it on hand in the off chance that old data could be put to new uses as more analytics tools emerge. For example, energy companies are mining archived seismic data to find new sources of oil and gas.
As the amount of data balloons, the role of backup becomes increasingly important. What good is retaining years of data if a simple outage means it is lost forever? Yet surprisingly, more than half of all enterprise data is not backed up regularly2, and about 20% of folders are never backed up at all3.
As businesses retain data for longer archival periods, the expense of keeping several years’ worth of data also grows. And for many organizations, the cost to keep it all becomes excessive, forcing exceedingly difficult decisions over whether to delete data that might become a valuable asset in the future.
The role of backup is also changing because of the sheer volume of data involved. Of course, backup is a critical element of any business continuity and disaster recovery plan. And as data privacy regulations worldwide grow more stringent, backup’s role in compliance, governance and legal hold requirements puts pressure on organizations to ensure backups are reliable and secure.
However, keeping up with the accelerating data growth by using tape and on-site (or remote) disk secondary storage presents a clear scalability challenge, and the sheer volume of data may make those approaches to backup insufficient to meet recovery point and recovery time objectives (RPO/RTO).
Additionally, the challenges of backing up client devices, SaaS application data, and physical and virtual servers, whether on premises or in the cloud, can be overwhelmingly difficult and put a strain on valuable IT resources that could be better utilized elsewhere. Even data migrations in upgrading to newer on-premises backup solutions can present availability and data loss risks.
As a result, many enterprises are now looking to cloud- based backups and storage to get out of the on-prem data center business and eliminate the management and risks associated with physical backup products.