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How Resilient is Your Data in this Always-on World?

By Daniel Witteveen, Director, Cloud Managed Backup & Data Virtualization, IBM Resiliency Services

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Daniel Witteveen, Director, Cloud Managed Backup & Data Virtualization, IBM Resiliency Services

The volume of digital data being created every day is astounding. The ‘Digital Universe’ as its often described, comprises of everything from our ‘selfies’ and cell phone videos to ATM transactions is doubling every other year.

Data is coming to us from everywhere. There is structured data such as email, purchase orders or inventory and a growing volume of unstructured data including audio, video, and social media feeds. This makes for a very big and very complex enterprise. That said, we can reason that data has become the primary currency of business.

Complicating this further is that we’re now mixing systems of record-holding information like compliance information, supply-chain data or customer records–with systems of engagement through things like mobile apps to create the dynamic interactions which customers have come to expect today.

CIOs now have a tremendous challenge in a world where we presume data should always be available on any device, protected, compliant with regulations, and meeting the business resiliency obligations of their stakeholders. This is compounded in the world of cloud where you might not always be the steward of your own data.

Its significance for the CIOs

It means a major shift from just storing, b ac k ing up and protecting data to a world where data must always be accessible. This is the primary concern of all the CIOs and business line leaders to whom I speak with, no matter the industry or size of the organization.

This shift requires a more agile and resilient foundation. Cloud can be an attractive choice for virtualization and resiliency, particularly because it can help bridge the gap of costs versus risk and enable organizations to achieve the desired always-on resiliency.

Organizations may want to backup or replicate data in a cloud-based model or at another location and use that protected data for multiple use cases such as recovery, development and test, analytics, or backup. No longer should replicated or copy data sit idle waiting for recovery. Nor should anyone need to have multiple copies of production data to handle each use case. This way you are able to effectively manage your storage infrastructure and in some cases reduce the total amount of storage, you now need within your organization.

Cloud computing is driving new business models and with that new revenue streams. These are often dependent on availability to data, assets and your infrastructure around which you define your cloud strategy. Extend the same strategy to data backup, protection and recovery based on tiers of data, criticality, regulations, and other considerations. Backups or continuous data replication to the Cloud provides opportunity to offload capital assets and move to more predictable, consumption based model that's tied exclusively to your volume of data protected.

Organizations must consider what happens if your data is unavailable and how quickly you need it, particularly with so many IT systems deemed to be critical today. Just as tolerance for downtime has decreased dramatically, tolerance for data loss in the event of an outage has virtually disappeared, going from 24 hours to zero. Cloud reduces the recovery times from hours and days down to minutes as dependence on tape reduces.

As today's data challenges mount, CIOs need to be able to leverage technological innovations to achieve the agile foundation that is the requirement of today’s “always-on” business. Not only is business resiliency a requirement, it is becoming a competitive advantage and essential to every organization.

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