Data Protection: IT Luxury Goes Mainstream

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The Disconnect between IT Publications and Real-World Needs

Have you ever glanced through an IT publication and thought, “Who do they think they’re talking to?” It’s like receiving a glossy brochure for a luxurious car or a pitch for a new yacht. Do they even understand me? I know where to find the best deals at the gas station. Where’s the information that fits my budget?

The good news is that eventually, most technology becomes accessible to a broader market. It just takes time. By then, it’s usually more functional, automated, and ready for prime time. So the wait is worth it.

Disaster Recovery Technology: A Favorite Recent Example

Years ago, storage-based replication was prevalent among those with extensive storage area networks (SANs) in their data centers. It served its purpose for those with massive amounts of storage. However, with the advent and widespread use of virtualization, VM backups became more affordable. Hourly snapshots significantly reduced the risks and uncertainties. Yet, the costs and timelines for recovery remained high.

Why is that? Well, if the primary systems are irreparably damaged, most smaller organizations don’t have spare hardware lying around. Spare equipment is expensive and challenging to justify. Additionally, they often lack secondary data centers. Investing in new hardware and additional data center space takes time. So, while having a recent backup is helpful, it doesn’t fully solve the disaster recovery problem.

Companies with substantial IT budgets typically have secondary sites and redundant hardware in addition to backup software. True disaster recovery remains a luxury item.

Affordable and Accessible Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

But then two significant developments occurred. First, the ubiquitous cloud emerged as secondary data centers for disaster recovery purposes. By eliminating the costs and delays associated with secondary hardware, everyone could have a backup plan.

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Secondly, there was a software shift. Backups still involved significant data loss and restoration time. Moreover, spinning up a backup virtual machine took considerable time. That’s when new replication software came into play. This software continuously sent updates to a secondary site and quickly spun up partially dormant VMs, resulting in a fundamental improvement.

By combining this software, whose prices are dropping, with a cloud target in a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) model, business continuity became cost-effective. It is now within reach for most IT teams.

A Broader Economic Shift in Technology Domains

Data protection is just one domain that has undergone a significant economic shift for smaller organizations. Converged infrastructure, various cloud services, automation tools, and security software have all followed suit. This transformation is due to the rise of as-a-service pricing models and the realization that the majority of technology consumers are not limited to the top 1% of companies.

Perhaps one day, while perusing an analyst report or your favorite IT publication, you’ll think, “Wow, they truly understand my company’s needs.” Until that day comes, keep your eye out for cost-effective solutions that might surprise you.

Data Protection

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