Point of inflexion reached for cloud replication and portability

By Arun Shankar   11 January, 2018
Point of inflexion reached for cloud replication and portability

Rick Vanover, Director of Product Strategy, Veeam.

PREDICTIONS 2018

It is hard to put down specific predictions for a year, but the reality is the technology landscape provides endless possibilities for organisations to provide great services for the datacenter and the information it provides. Here are some of what will make 2018 different:

Disaster recovery 2.0

2017 was unfortunately an incredibly bad year for both the number and intensity of natural disasters. This will encourage organisations to challenge many of the fundamentals of disaster recovery and business continuity. One specific bit of best practice, to challenge is the idea that 10 miles is enough distance for accepted separation.

This year’s fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods clearly demonstrated that 10 miles is nowhere near enough distance. This realisation paves the way for cloud and service provider technologies to provide the solution to the distance problem, as well as additional missing capabilities and robust tools that orchestrate the process to give organisations the Availability they need in a disaster.

Portability is king

Organisations will be more comfortable to move workloads around as they see fit. Whether that is on-premises, in the hyper-public cloud, in a service provider or a complete transition to a Software as a Service model, the right platform to run a service will prevail, and organisations will do what is needed to move these workloads and keep them Available. The important takeaway to remember is that responsibilities do not necessarily change when applications, data and services move to a new platform.

Managing data versus managing storage

Organisations will take a marked approach to looking at their data and managing it better. The explosive amount of data coming in really is not sustainable. Organisations will take a serious look at archiving selected data, which will require policies to be re-written, conversations with the business and even new platforms leveraged.

These new platforms will include offline object storage technologies like Amazon Glacier or Azure Cool Blob storage. This will be a great way to comply with business rules for long-term retention of that isn’t accessed often. Additionally, this is a great middle ground when organisations can’t agree on when to delete data.

Cloud replication hits an up-turn

Business continuity for digital services has been a significant focus for every executive over the past decade. Enterprises no longer just offer digital services, they are the digital services which they provide. Down time is not acceptable. This recognition has led to highly available designs running on virtualised infrastructures. However, many of the natural disasters around the world in 2017 have raised the concern that single datacentre design is not sufficient.

This concern, coupled with the cost of running active-active configurations across multiple data centres, will cause an exponential growth of replication to the cloud for the purposes of failover. The cloud has always provided excellent return on investment for variable load services, and disaster recovery is no exception. This will lead to hockey stick growth of cloud replication to fill a critical business need in 2018.

Data recovery automation will not move mainstream

As an extension of cloud replication, many organisations will realise that recovery time objectives are very much dependent upon the orchestration and automation of recovery. Having a backup of the data, or replicating the data to a cloud provider is not sufficient to maintain minimal RTOs.

This will cause forward thinking enterprise and service organisations to focus on orchestration and automation as an essential component of business availability. These test plans will be designed, tested, documented and run on a regular schedule to provide attestation of the readiness for data recovery. However, data recovery automation will not cross the chasm into mainstream adoption through 2018.

“This year’s fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods clearly demonstrated that 10 miles is nowhere near enough distance”

“The cloud has always provided excellent return on investment for variable load services, and disaster recovery is no exception”

“Leveraging the cloud as a business tool rather than a destination will lead to the re-patriotisation of workloads after an initial trial”

“Data recovery automation will not cross the chasm into mainstream adoption through 2018”

“Data enablement will drive business value and cause the enterprise to re-evaluate existing storage models”

“Data ownership and privacy will gain Board-level visibility”

Recent years and high visibility data breaches such as Equifax have increased security concerns to the Board level. However, in 2018, the pending enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation and customer privacy concerns will raise the visibility and focus on data ownership. It will no longer be sufficient to depend upon SaaS services to ensure customer privacy, or for existing security implementations to enable data ownership and privacy rights.

End users and customers will demand the right to be forgotten, the right to be informed of data breaches, and the right to withdrawn consent. These demands will put a focus on data ownership and privacy rights. In 2018, we will see a distinct set of controls and Board level visibility on this emerging area of compliance.

Bi-directional cloud workload migration

It is impossible to engage in the IT industry and to ignore the noise and marketing on cloud. Every CIO and IT administrator has had some level of engagement and pressure to both investigate and implement cloud services. The past five years have caused the cloud IT conferences to surpass the size of on-premises conferences.

Cloud vendors tout the eventual migration of all workloads to cloud, while virtualisation and hardware vendors speak of multi-cloud. In 2018, we will see significant one-way migration towards cloud in one specific area: Software as a Service. The simplicity of SaaS services such as corporate email systems, collaboration, HR, CRM and payroll will lead to a one-way cloud migration.

From a cost, efficiency and expertise perspective, it no longer makes sense to run these SaaS services on-premises. However, IaaS workloads will see a mix of migration both to and from the cloud. Many enterprises will quickly learn that migrating enterprises services to the IaaS cloud increases cost while delivering minimal additional benefits when the workloads are not variable.

Leveraging the cloud as a business tool rather than a destination will lead to the re-patriotisation of workloads after an initial trial. This bi-directional IaaS movement will continue through 2018 as the enterprise discover and put a renewed focus on where and why cloud adoption is most appropriate.

Increasing focus on data enablement

Data protection and data security have been a core focus of every IT organisation for the past several decades. This has always been a cost centre and expense for the business that has been driven by compliance and regulatory pressures. However, in 2018, we will see an increasing focus on how this same data content can be turned into a business enablement asset.

Investigation into data use for development operations, patch testing, analysis of data sets through machine learning and other emerging techniques will lead to data being used for positive business value rather than solely as an insurance policy for negative outcomes. Data enablement will drive business value and cause the enterprise to re-evaluate existing storage models.

Ransomware preparations galore

There are so many non-IT issues that organisations are dealing with today. The threat of ransomware of ransomware is real. Next year we will see that risk grow, not only because the number of attacks will increase, but also because we may start seeing insiders making ransomware as a service kits as well. There will be no shortage of resiliency options for organisations to protect against ransomware from the inside and the outside.


Rick Vanover and Danny Allen at Veeam present their predictions for disaster recovery, data growth and availability across the year ahead.

Danny Allan, Vice President for Product Strategy, Veeam.

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