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Making the case for a multi-cloud data protection strategy

January 24, 2019
Multi-cloud data protection strategies

Since our inception in 2005, we’ve consistently advocated for the efficacy of backup as a strategy for preventing data loss and downtime. Back then, the primary risk factors were hardware failure, human error, malware and natural disaster. That was before businesses began pushing more workloads and applications to the public cloud. The mass adoption of software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) hardly obviates the need for backup. In fact, businesses have more reasons than ever to adopt a multi-cloud approach. By backing up public cloud workloads using multi-cloud deployment, businesses can add greater resiliency to their cloud environments and ensure long-term flexibility when seeking to further expand their public cloud footprints.

Redundancy and resiliency

As with physical and on-premises systems, the need for redundancy in the cloud remains critical for addressing the inherent vulnerabilities in single-point-of-failure networks. While public cloud providers promise – and often deliver – high levels of uptime, no system is immune from occasional interruptions. Just last year, large-scale public cloud providers suffered several downtime episodes that disrupted critical business operations and, in some cases, resulted in data loss.1 In fact, studies show that one in three businesses experience data loss in SaaS environments.2 Backing up your cloud infrastructure with a different provider eliminates the risk of relying too much on one platform.

Agility

Whether by accident or necessity, many businesses have already adopted a multi-cloud approach. A recent survey reported that 86% of respondents have already deployed a multi-cloud strategy.3 A cloud-based environment using a combination of services from AWS and Azure is no more exotic than using a combination of both Linux and Windows servers. The extra agility that comes from multi-cloud deployments helps businesses integrate new platforms without being locked in to a specific vendor. Native tools that help businesses migrate workloads into a platform are not always as efficient at migrating them out of the platform. Purpose-built cloud-to-cloud migration tools simplify the process of moving from one public cloud platform to another. This makes it easier for businesses to adapt their environments to changing markets and remain competitive. 

Optimization

We talk to a lot of IT managers and decision-makers who say they’re more concerned about finding the solution that most satisfies their unique needs, and they recognize that no one vendor can provide complete support for every system. They prefer best-of-breed solutions over one-stop shopping. On the opposite side of the spectrum are IT teams that are tied to legacy systems. Either scenario results in greater IT complexity, which reduces the likelihood that a single cloud platform can provide all the support that’s necessary. These are the same factors that drive IT teams to invest in multiple applications over time. The cloud is no different.

Takeaways

The proliferation of public clouds has transformed IT purchasing and on-boarding. It’s also changed the way IT managers think about protection. The emphasis has shifted away from protecting devices in favor of protecting workloads and systems. Our advice to them now – and to you – is the same as when we started, which is to ensure redundancy for any cloud infrastructure you have with backup. The only difference is that instead of protecting one device with another, we recommend backing up your public cloud using a multi-cloud solution. This approach reduces the chance of data loss resulting from single-point-of-failure networks. Carbonite offers a range of solutions for protecting and migrating cloud data. We believe this is the only proven way to ensure true resiliency and agility when deploying in the public cloud.

  1. CRN Magazine, The 10 Biggest Cloud Outages of 2018 (So Far), August 2018.
  2. Aberdeen Group, SaaS Data Loss: The Problem You Didn’t Know You Had, January 2013.
  3. TechRepublic, Why 86% of enterprises employ a multi-cloud strategy and how it impacts business, July 2018.

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