Data protection and rapid recovery key to running the always-on business

Most businesses today are “always on” — but the systems needed to support 24/7/365 availability are not always up to scratch.

June 5, 2014

Most businesses today are “always on” — but the systems needed to support 24/7/365 availability are not always up to scratch, says Veeam Software Southern Africa regional manager Warren Olivier.

“Even quite small businesses are having to grapple with what it means to be available around the clock,” says Olivier. “It’s a reality banks and big retailers have dealt with for years, but as more and more small retailers move online they’re having to face it as well. Then there are hospitals, municipalities, mines, airlines, media companies, security companies: There are very few parts of our economy that aren’t operating 24 hours a day.”

“Even if there are only a handful of people on the midnight shift, that still means critical systems need to be available,” notes Olivier. “But backup and data availability tools have not necessarily kept up with the needs of the always-on business.”

For example, he says, “there is no longer any such thing as regular downtime or backup windows. You can’t shut a system down for a few hours overnight while you back it up — in many cases, being down for even a few minutes can be disastrous.”

As well as the challenge of making systems and data always available, Olivier says there’s now also much less tolerance for data loss. “That creates a dilemma for some IT managers: On the one hand backing up and protecting data is more important than ever, but on the other hand it’s getting more and more difficult to do unless you have the right tools.”

“The modern data centre is virtualised, complex and absolutely critical to the business,” says Olivier. “It’s absolutely essential to choose a data protection and availability tool that’s specifically developed for virtualised environments. Such a tool should allow backups that have no impact on production, and for every backup to be tested so that data recovery can be guaranteed.”

In addition, says Olivier, modern data protection tools need to ensure than when outages do happen, recovery time is fast and data loss is minimal. “High-speed recovery combined with near-continuous data protection, both currently offered in Veeam Availability Suite v8, are the best way to manage the risks inherent in running an always-on business.”

“Many businesses are living with a gap between the level of system availability they want, and what they think they can afford,” concludes Olivier. “Traditionally, high availability meant investing in fully redundant systems which is very expensive. But virtualisation has slashed those costs — and tools like Veeam Availability Suite v8 have made the always-on business a reality and easy to manage.”

The new features in Veeam Availability Suite v8 will be demonstrated during the Veeam on Tour event in Johannesburg on 27 May, in Durban on 4 June and in Cape Town on 5 June.

For more details, see http://go.veeam.com/veeam-on-tour-customer-south-africa-en/