Four ways to become master of your cloud data

23 April, 2017
Four ways to become master of your cloud data

Bassam Hemdan is Area Vice President at Commvault Middle East and Africa.

Early Tuesday a public cloud had an issue and many IT departments got the call they do not want: Our website is down, ecommerce is down. What else is affected? What are you going to do about it and when?

Just after noon US Eastern Standard Time, the Amazon Simple Storage Service, cloud storage buckets in US-East-1 region, had a situation where increased error rates were affecting connectivity to major websites and services. The effects were widespread. Government, technology, sales, marketing, academic and ecommerce sites were down or too slow to function. Companies lost money and people were upset.

While some customers were understanding, others threatened to pull their business. Many publicly shared their discontent on social media. Companies experienced the kind of media coverage they do not want.

The big lessons from that day: know where your data lives and know how quickly you can recover data for your business.

Lesson #1: Manage data by region

It is okay to put all your data in one public cloud, but you need a viewpoint of where the data lives across regions. If a region has an outage, your data management platform should give you a clear view of data across multi-regions.

If your data lives in the East, ensure you have a complete data backup in the West or a region on another continent. If an outage happens, you can recover quickly in the other region and keep your business running during the service outage.

The important part here is backup. Critical data and services native to the cloud should ensure backups are scheduled in and across from clouds so your data is available. Automated backups, and the ability to verify those backups, make your life a lot less stressful.

Lesson #2: Know where your data lives

Unfortunately, today many companies found out what ran in the Amazon S3 US-East-1 region. Really, you should already have the locations of all of your data available at your fingertips. When you move data to a public cloud, do not assume data is protected across regions. Actively manage your data storage so you know where your company’s most vital asset – data – is located.

You need a dashboard that quickly shows you what data is affected by an outage, letting you create a quick report and have the answers before the CIO calls. So, if the East is down, you know and are already working to recover in the West.

Point solutions for data backup or cloud recovery do not give you a big picture view of the data landscape – and you will have multiple versions of the truth. Plus, do you really have that much IT headcount to look at multiple point solutions and piece together a report of what data is affected?

Lesson #3: Have a data recovery plan B

Hopefully you have been maintaining a copy of your data outside your primary region. Perhaps you have been making copies on-site and moving them to the cloud or vice versa. Regardless, you now have to look at how to bring your services online somewhere else. Do you even have that capability?

What if all your data was in Amazon AMI format and your on-premises infrastructure is Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware? How do you crack into the data and make it usable? You need the portability to move data between locations and across platforms – flexibility that is beyond what the native cloud tools can offer today.

If a source is unavailable, you need to enable recovery in place, out of place, and between different hypervisor platforms. If US-East-1 is unavailable, you need flexibility to restore that data locally, or into AWS US-West, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, or others.

Lesson #4: Develop a data strategy today

Many IT teams are working on data strategies that include from cloud to on-premises and from cloud to cloud. An outage gives everyone a wake-up call to get serious about a data management strategy. An increased focus on the management and protection of data is a differentiator for customers thinking about keeping their business running and ensuring their organisations reach their data management goals.


Key takeaways

  • An outage gives everyone a wake-up call to get serious about a data management strategy
  • Actively manage your data storage so you know where your company’s most vital asset – data – is located.
  • Automated backups and the ability to verify those backups make your life a lot less stressful
  • Critical data and services native to the cloud should ensure backups are scheduled in and across from clouds
  • If a region has an outage your data management platform should give you a clear view of data across multi-regions
  • Many IT teams are working on data strategies that include from cloud to on-premises and from cloud to cloud
  • Point solutions for data backup or cloud recovery do not give you a big picture view of the data landscape
  • When you move data to a public cloud do not assume data is protected across regions

It is important to know in which region your cloud data is resident says Bassam Hemdan at Commvault.


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