While working backups are essential, Warren Olivier of Veeam South Africa pointed out when backups are virtualised, they can also be a valuable business tool, particularly as businesses deal with the need to be always-on and always available.
Olivier elaborated that virtualised backups can be used in a myriad of other ways, such as being utilised for trouble- shooting, testing and development. “In a virtual environ- ment, every server is just another file. That means you can make a new, up-to-date copy of that file every couple of minutes. If you’d like to use one of them to test a new soft- ware patch or some code under development, it’s easy and there is zero risk. There’s no longer any difference between the testing environment and the production environment,” he explained.
Right tools for the right time
In a nutshell, this means that virtualised backups could be used as a production environment in their own right, effectively offering businesses greater agility. The problem, according to Olivier, is that there has been a lack of tools available to business at the right price.
To this end, the company offers Veeam Availability Suite, which is aimed at ensuring that data centre managers enjoy all the benefits of the flexibility of virtualised backups, says Olivier. “Virtualisation has changed the game, but it’s taken a while to really explore all the possibilities. Our new tools combine all the functionality that is used to require separate tools for backup, replication, WAN acceleration, archiving and business continuity,” he asserted.
Rising to the challenge
Additionally, Olivier believes companies are facing new challenges. The first of these is that while the preponderance of data has expanded exponentially, company’s backup window – the time they can comfortably make backups – has only become smaller. Secondly, businesses are increasingly under pressure to be available and accessible 24/7. What’s more, the stakes have also been raised; if a company has a critical failure, it simply may not be able to recover its reputation.
Indeed, one example of a company that recently found itself painfully discovering how quickly a business can be obliterated is code hosting service Code Spaces. The company, which was relying on Amazon’s cloud, had its EC2 control panel hacked and was being held to ransom for a cash amount. When the company took countermeasures, the cybercriminal proceeded to delete all of its hosted customer data and backups stored on the cloud, which led to the company folding almost overnight.
Insurance and assurance
Code Spaces’ fate doesn’t only highlight the necessity of having multiple backups on different kinds of storage. It also shows when an organisation does become victim of an outage, whether maliciously caused or due to natural disaster, how quickly it’s able to be up and running could be a matter of its continued survival versus its sudden death. For Olivier, along with being a business tool allowing for great agility, and ensuring that one’s business is secured in the event of a worst case scenario, he asserts that the reliability of its backups is paramount. “Our focus is on guaranteeing that businesses can be always-on while providing them with reliable backups, allowing their owners to sleep better at night even as the world changes around us,” he concluded.