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Delivering business success with hybrid and multi-cloud data management

What a year 2020 has been thus far, and, if it has taught us anything, it is that we always need to be prepared for the unexpected.

As we approach 2021, when organisations will be more distributed and digital, there will a strong focus on delivering business success with hybrid and multi-cloud data management.

With so many different cloud services – from infrastructure to applications – gaining traction across the enterprise, a multi-cloud strategy is more important than ever.

Without a 2021 cloud strategy and roadmap, your organisation risks uncontrolled siloes of data and the potential for downtime and loss of information.

Leveraging value, protecting and managing data risks will be the top priorities for CIOs as organisations begin their 2021 technology and transformation plans. Agile organisations will need a strong partner ecosystem to assist them in the planning, execution and ongoing management of their cloud data management platform.

And with more people working remotely, end-user and customer experience is a growing business imperative. A multi-cloud strategy will deliver secure, remove working that is scalable beyond 2021.

Enhancing customer experience, delivering new business opportunities with greater cost savings continues to drive greater impact on IT to deliver these business priorities via uncontrolled data growth, increasing complexity, regulatory compliance and increased security threats.

Multi-cloud data protection has now extended into the increased growth and usage of productivity suites like Microsoft 365.

Don’t expose the business data to risk in 2021, have a backup and availability plan that spans across many clouds.

Multi-cloud data management and the modern data centre

Today’s data center is no longer confined to a company premises. From physical and virtual machines in public data centres to leading-edge platforms and applications on-demand.

Multi-cloud and the modern data centre are the driving forces for digital transformation, which is exciting, but also challenging.

For many businesses, the path to digital transformation presents challenge — including reliance on legacy systems, ongoing skills gaps and application performance concerns. Cloud data management provides a modern data protection solution that unblocks potential pitfalls and delivers the results your organization needs to succeed.

There are many facets to multi-cloud data management, from lift-and-shift where workloads are moved to the cloud unchanged, to cloud native where workloads take advantage of on demand databases and application services.

The two can be managed together to protect your customer’s data and there are many options for cloud native tooling to create a new modern data centre architecture

What is at stake? The impact of downtime can mean the difference between business success and failure so it’s time to prepare for any event.

Be prepared with cybersecurity and data loss prevention

Multi-cloud delivers many benefits, but it also makes security and data loss prevention more important than ever.

Just because data is in the cloud doesn’t mean it can’t be compromised, lost or stolen. A cloud outage or problem can lead to loss of business and it is now incumbent upon MSPs to include cloud as part of your customer’s DR and business continuity strategies.

  • Disaster recovery revives the company’s operations and processes once disaster strikes, it IS about bringing things back (e.g. applications) — this is how you respond to a disruptive
  • Business continuity is focused on mission-critical services that your business needs in order to properly function. It IS about services and putting users back to work.

Disaster recovery is a part of business continuity planning and together they answer the “what if disaster happens?” question and both determine what the next steps are that need to be taken to keep your business afloat.

The risk of data loss is ever-present and evolving, and the move to multi-cloud architectures is a good example of this of how business continuity is at stake.

This will also deliver your customers critical insight on ransomware, malware and disaster recovery.

Modern, multi-cloud data protection

With the multi-cloud opportunity growing fast, a data protection strategy and environment must extend across all clouds in use.

Traditional backup tools might struggle with cloud integration and there are modern options that help manage data protection in a consistent and more automated way.

Data drives everything in the cloud and you need smart solutions to protect your most prized resource.

A production upgrade needs modern protection and nothing slows down new production deployments more than discovering your modernised production is moving you from well-protected to unprotected (or unrecoverable).

  • When you embrace converged or hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), legacy virtualization backups are inadequate.
  • When you modernize your storage platforms, having separate mechanisms for backups vs. snapshots vs. replication won’t work.
  • When you move from on-premises Exchange servers to Office 365 servers, most back-up solutions cannot follow.

It is time to explore modern data protection from any environment, across any workload, to meet evolving demands.

Managing Microsoft 365 data and shared responsibility

Many organisations include the Microsoft 365 productivity suite as part of their cloud suite and this is mostly reliable and available.

What many customers need to know is there is also a shared responsibility for data protection with Microsoft 365 – the data is available, but there are limits backup and retention.

As more workloads move to the cloud, customers need to understand that SaaS applications typically don’t have built-in data protection or don’t offer long-term data retention, and this might even be a regulatory requirement for your customer’s industry.

The results of a Veeam customer survey (September 2019) tell the story. Of over 1,000 IT Pros surveyed, 80 per cent had experienced data loss in Office 365 – from simple user error to major data security threats. Add to that 60 per cent of sensitive cloud data is stored in Office documents, and 75% is not backed up.

You can use Microsoft 365 with confidence, but customers are responsible for their data within the service. For example, Microsoft 365 includes built-in data replication, which provides data center to data center georedundancy. This functionality is a necessity – if something goes wrong at one of Microsoft’s global data centers, they can failover to their replication target, and, in most cases, the users are completely oblivious to any change.

But replication isn’t a backup and this replica isn’t even your replica; it’s Microsoft’s.

Furthermore, SaaS usage has uncovered unique internal and external security threats, as well as common data deletion scenarios and retention policy gaps.

To be fully protected, you need both a backup and a replica. This fundamental principle has been the bedrock of Veeam’s data protection strategy for over 10 years.

WESCEF case study

Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers (WesCEF) delivers a world-class business continuity and disaster recovery strategy with Veeam, Cisco HyperFlex and Amazon S3.

WesCEF was faced with the challenge of slow recovery. The company was using three backup solutions, but none of them could recover critical systems fast enough, including the ERP.

And if details of customer accounts are not visible, and the business is unable to resolve queries or add new customers requesting gas or fertiliser supplies.

Veeam became the backbone of each business unit’s BC and DR strategy, revealing remarkable scalability as data grew by hundreds of terabytes in two years, and stellar sustainability as WesCEF modernized the IT infrastructure. Cisco HyperFlex was deployed first, followed by Microsoft Office 365 and then Amazon S3.

Veeam increased data recovery speed tenfold (taking minutes rather than hours) and proved IT can be a business enabler.

“Veeam is incredibly scalable, no matter what we throw at it. It’s simple to use and it always works, underpinning our business operations now and into the future. Veeam provides the best data protection on the market, offers the broadest integration with storage and lets us reliably retain data as long as we need in the cloud,” says Adem Cahtarevic, Technology Systems Manager, WesCEF.

Veeam backs up 450TB across 550 virtual machines on-premises from HyperFlex storage snapshots for fast, local recovery and replicates this off-premises for DR.

Veeam Agent for Oracle Solaris ensures ERPs are protected, and self-service portal Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager gives each business unit the opportunity to recover critical data and applications on their own including ERPs.

Each business unit wants access to all the data it accrued over decades, which is why Veeam Cloud Data Management is so important – helps protect the data and keep it available forever in S3.

The most recent restore point can be instantaneously restored and backups are immutable, helping protect backups from being modified or deleted by hackers and ransomware.

Learn More About How WesCEF Cultivates World-class BC and DR Strategies with Veeam

The way of the future

Multi-cloud is the way of the future and customers can take advantage of a range of workloads without compromising data protection.

Start by taking to your clients about their on-prem and cloud services to determine if they are getting the most out of existing data protection tools.

With Veeam you will gain a clear direction as it relates to cloud data management, including:

  • What customers are looking for and key market opportunities for growth in 2021.
  • How to strengthen services capabilities to meet new business demands in hybrid/multi cloud data management.
  • The importance of enhancing partner experience levels to drive profitability, reduce risk and improve customer experience.

Resource Centre

  • 6 Critical Reasons for Office365 Backup

  • Disaster Recovery Preparedness Gaps Highlight Future Vulnerabilities

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service for Service Providers

  • SaaS Data Protection for Service Providers

  • VCSP Off-site Backup Overview

  • Cloud data management