At least 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day, according to IBM. That’s a lot of data, and it all must be stored somewhere. This escalating demand for data storage is a major driver of cloud adoption and a conundrum for IT departments charged with data security, data management and ensuring data availability.

“Storage is the biggest challenge that faces any business today,” said David Hill, Global Technologies at Veeam Software. “It’s growing exponentially.”

 According to Hill, the primary use of cloud infrastructure services today is data storage and security, which includes backup and disaster recovery. He recently spoke in Data Protection Considerations for Multicloud Environments about the challenges of data and application protection in multicloud and hybrid IT environments.

Hill pointed to a study by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) that shows 46% of companies use the cloud for data backup and archiving, 36% for disaster recovery and 30% for primary storage of files. In comparison, only 30% run production applications in the cloud.

Many companies don’t do enough to protect their cloud data and mistakenly believe that security is the responsibility of the cloud provider. In fact, while cloud providers do have some security responsibilities, the customer bears the primary responsibility for securing its data and ensuring backups in case of data loss.

Data security and availability

An IT department needs to ensure that data is both protected and available whenever needed, even during an outage. However, with data distributed across multiple cloud and on-premises environments, that is a complex challenge. Traditional backup and recovery solutions aren’t built to cope with hybrid infrastructures, usually can’t provide full data recovery and are rarely scalable enough to keep pace with data growth.

To help IT departments manage data across virtual, physical and cloud environments, data management solutions are appearing on the market. One example is a central data management console with features such as capacity planning, resource optimization and automated backup and replication.

Strategic Guide to IT Security

In addition to implementing a data management application, Hill advised organizations to adopt a five-stage upgrade of their data management and security capabilities. These five steps are as follows:

  1. Ensure reliable backup and recovery. Start with the basics—reliable backup capabilities for all your data, as well as a process for restoring it in case of an outage, data breach or cyber-attack. This stage may require adding more storage devices, storage services or adopting new methods of storage optimization.
  2. Aggregate data management processes. Consolidate data management and protection processes under one management application or console.
  3. Increase visibility into performance and storage requirements. Better insight into resource availability and workload requirements enables faster response to the changing needs of applications and data.  
  4. Orchestrate workloads and workflows. The availability of software-defined infrastructure—which makes it possible to spin up virtual servers and expand storage instantly--also enables IT to orchestrate data workflows and workloads as needed to improve performance, security and availability.
  5. Automate management and data protection processes. IT systems are increasingly able to manage themselves. Automating data backups, workload relocation, failover and other such tasks frees IT departments from manual activities, so they can focus on other IT priorities.

With hybrid and multicloud environments becoming the norm, IT departments need advanced data management and protection solutions that can shift data and workloads quickly between environments to optimize performance and ensure data availability. This calls for updating both data management processes and technologies. Yesterday’s backup and recovery solutions can’t support today’s multicloud data requirements.

Watch our webinar on data security in multicloud environments

To learn more about the evolution of data management and multicloud computing, watch the full webinar Data Protection Considerations for Multicloud Environments and read TierPoint’s Strategic Guide to Cloud Computing.

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