Last year’s sudden and large-scale switch to remote work provided the impetus for digital transformation for organizations that had not yet begun that journey. For those that had, it shortened the timeline. These transitions consequently changed how organizations do storage and backup. It’s important to understand how the appropriate storage solution is the make-or-break element in your backup and disaster recovery plan – particularly in the current hybrid and remote work landscape.
The shifting cloud landscape
Though the bulk of organizations have participated in migrating to the cloud to some extent, many are relying on a hybrid approach. Enterprises may want to maintain their primary data storage on-premises for reasons including performance, security, and compliance. The public cloud, though, offers compelling services that can enhance this on-premises data.
Use cases for hybrid cloud are expanding, changing the way enterprise IT leaders think about data management and data protection. Enterprises are implementing hybrid cloud architectures to take advantage of cloud archive services, to maintain full copies of their on-premises data for disaster recovery, to protect against ransomware attacks, to take advantage of cloud service bursting, and more.
When organizations use hybrid cloud services, they maintain more control over their private data. An organization can store sensitive data on a private cloud or local data center and at the same time make use of the robust computational resources of a managed public cloud. A hybrid cloud relies on a single plane of management, unlike a multi-cloud strategy that forces admins to manage each cloud environment separately.
Changes to backup and recovery
If organizations don’t have strong backup and recovery infrastructure, they are in jeopardy of losing their most valuable assets – their data. Data loss affects businesses directly when assets can no longer be leveraged or indirectly via loss of customer confidence and regulatory fines and penalties.
In the long list of things that remote work has changed, we can add how storage and backup is done. If the majority of a workforce is remote now, how do you back up laptops? How do you back up phones? Previously, employees would go to an office, and their laptop and other devices would get backed up there – but now that's not the case. And with remote work in place for the long haul for many companies, backup methods have to change.
With so many employees working from home comes the increased risk that company information will be lost or stolen. If an employee is at home, for instance, and they lose a file on their computer – but they’re used to having their computer backed up by the company – how do they restart that backup? If they have to go through IT, that seemingly simple act can take weeks.
Backup and recovery DIY
To manage backup needs in a work-from-home world, companies need a more flexible approach – a way that individuals can do backups in a self-serve way without having to deal with centralized IT. In this way, people can protect their data themselves.
It’s important to have authentication hard-wired into the storage solution; after all, storage and backup are designed with security and data protection in mind. Unlike other storage solutions, object storage gives you your own keys and your own passwords, and you only see what you should see. It's very well protected. It's very siloed so that employees can only do what the company wants them to be able to do, but they only have the minimum access they need. So, object storage can help organizations have a more fine-grained authentication and security, more so than a typical file storage solution.
Using a solution with object storage also creates the possibility of providing your employees with the kind of self-service backup and recovery they need in a remote world where speed is of the essence and efficiency is front and center.
A number of factors necessitated the migration to the cloud, including the pandemic’s remote work mandate. It makes sense that the hybrid storage approach would become popular, as organizations naturally want to keep certain kinds of data close to the vest for security and/or compliance reasons. Performance is another consideration when it comes to where data should be stored.
Companies must consider multiple elements when designing a storage approach suitable for today’s needs. That includes deciding how to manage backup and recovery in the age of remote work. When employees work from their home networks, cybersecurity risk increases. One way to reduce this risk is to give employees the ability to safeguard their own data. Object storage enables this outcome – and does so quickly and efficiently. Take the points outlined above into consideration when deciding how to configure your cloud and storage needs.
Giorgio Regni is CTO of Scality.