Top Considerations for Modernizing Backup in 2024

2024 has already been a year of disruptions affecting the technology industry. From renewed merger and acquisition (M&A) activity to the continued onslaught of cyberattacks, technology leaders are once again faced with a complex set of challenges. In balancing investments and innovation plans, these leaders are looking to:

  • Protect investments across applications and infrastructure
  • Leverage disruptive technology like AI/ML to scale innovation
  • Prove value to the business by demonstrating efficiencies and outcomes

It’s no wonder then that many organizations will be evaluating their backup and recovery solutions this year, as legacy toolsets fall short of modern expectations. In fact, a recent survey of 1,200 IT leaders highlighted a growing trend: 54% of organizations intend to switch their backup solution in 2024. For a deeper dive into this trend check out our blog Data Protection Budget & Interest Trends, by Jason Buffington – VP Market Strategy @ Veeam.

The Veeam Team was out in full-force last year, hearing from IT teams across the world about the challenges they’re facing heading into 2024. Here’s a round-up of the top considerations we’ve heard as organizations plan to modernize their backups:

1: Simple set-up and management

As much as we’d all love to constantly upgrade or use the latest apps and gadgets – we all know that the reality of implementing a new solution can be a painful process. Data protection is supposed to make our lives easier, so it stands to reason that switching to a new solution shouldn’t  be a herculean effort.

The unfortunate reality is, proof of concept (POC) processes in pre-sales often hide the ugly truth of this setup process, requiring organizations to scramble for professional services to overcome complex configurations.

A new solution should be a straightforward deployment, with automated, wizard-driven workflows that make setup and configuration an intuitive process. It should also have a walk-crawl-run ability to scale, so teams don’t have to wait 6+ months to realize the value of a new process.

2: Choosing your storage

In the same data protection trends survey, 29% of organizations noted that they intend to switch to a software-only data protection solution.  In a ‘do more with less’ world, IT organizations are looking to stretch their existing investments further, making room for other the disruptive innovations they want to take advantage of.

Users shouldn’t feel boxed-in to rigid storage prescribed by their backup vendor. They should have the freedom to store data on existing hardware investments, on air-gapped media (like tape), or in the cloud where continuous innovations to resiliency are more quickly adopted.

And this freedom is made even more imperative as organizations are re-evaluating their virtualization investments, migrating workloads to the cloud, and adopting SaaS applications in place of legacy software hosted on premises. Given the sprawl of data, and ongoing migration efforts, the freedom to store your data anywhere should be at the core of any backup modernization effort.

3. Breaking administrator bottlenecks

Have you ever heard of “plot armor”? It’s the idea that book, movie and TV writers back themselves into a creative corner, making it impossible for a specific character to be in any consequential danger. We all know that no matter what hijinks Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean gets himself into, he’ll be FINE!

In IT there always seems to be that ‘one guy’ who has wrapped himself in a highly specialized product set. But when all access, process and product knowledge is centralized with one team member, enterprises run the risk of a single-point-of-failure!

The right approach to data protection is to ensure:

  • The learning curve for an administrator is low enough that new team members can take on the responsibility when needed.
  • Readily available user documentation should be provided by the vendor to ensure continuity of service delivery.
  • Role-based access controls should be leveraged to offer least-privilege access to some critical users, avoiding bottlenecks.
  • Regular documentation and reporting should be produced to enable users across the IT organization with relevant information.

4. Consolidating tools for TCO optimization

As mature product sets evolve, an all-too-common development style can emerge where separate tools are created to keep up with user needs – without meaningful integration between them to smooth out the user experience. This bad habit runs rampant in data protection.

Some IT organizations use built-in capabilities for snapshots, another tool for backup, another for replication, another for disaster recovery documentation, more still for point-coverage of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS workloads. This patchwork design simply won’t meet the unique challenges of 2024 – where 3 in 4 organizations will likely suffer at least one ransomware attack.

Again in the spirit of ‘do more with less’ – a backup modernization project could be a great opportunity to consolidate disparate tools and standardize on one platform. This standardization often removes manual processes and tribal knowledge from the equation, ultimately saving organizations the opportunity cost of countless hours of unnecessary administrative work.

5. Detecting and remediating ransomware

As organizations evaluate switching their backup solution, 31% are looking to enhance their detection and remediation capabilities for cyber attacks or ransomware.

2023 became ‘the year of cyber’ for Veeam. We committed our R&D and GTM efforts to aligning the outcomes backup and recovery can drive with the unique needs CISOs and CIOs face in this new reality. In doing so, we learned that many organizations relegate backup solely to the recovery process. Veeam Data Platform 23H2 broke new ground by making backup and recovery a much more proactive function.

When malicious activity occurs in your backup data, you must act fast, not wait for a report to tell you about the activity or be blind to actively escalating file activity.  Veeam provides stronger detection with a security and compliance dashboard of the real-time health of your data and flagging suspicious file activity mapping to malware definitions.

If your current backup solution can’t support detection and remediation efforts, it simply isn’t good enough for your organization.

6. Recovering from any disaster

The time to figure out a disaster recovery process is not when you’re in the middle of one. We hear from organizations all the time that they are currently using multiple, unfamiliar, disconnected tools to recover – often without executing meaningful testing or documentation to proactively prepare.

Even in 2024 many of the same issues affecting infrastructure 15, 20, 30 years ago remain threats to availability today. To solve these evergreen problems, a mix of tried-and-true best practices and new innovations can make disaster recovery a much less painful process.

  • Unified tools including documentation, testing and orchestration can offer confidence unattainable with most legacy offerings
  • Automation that connects capabilities, runs testing without impacting operations, and seamlessly executes an orchestrated recovery
  • Restore options that make mobility and failover to other locations and storage types a seamless process

Modernizing with Veeam

Veeam has a long history of being a simple, reliable and effective platform for organizations of all sizes – an experience shared by Lee Speaks, Senior Systems Engineer for Hanover County in the United States.

“We needed a solution that’s simple and intuitive because my teammates have to be able to jump in at a moment’s notice to troubleshoot issues. Two of the replacements we considered (Commvault and Veritas NetBackup) were not easy to understand or easy to use, but Veeam met every requirement, and it proved its value quickly. Our top priority is protecting the data supporting our county’s public safety services… Veeam helps us stay on top of data protection and one step ahead of ransomware.”

If you’re interested in seeing how Veeam can help you keep your business up and running, watch this on-demand demo from Emilee Tellez, Veeam Product Technologist.

The post Top Considerations for Modernizing Backup in 2024 appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

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