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When nearly 3 in 5 businesses are anticipated to leverage cloud storage by 2022, why not fully commit to cloud for backups and archives too?

Truthfully, It’s not easy to break up with your legacy backup, disaster recovery, and archival methods. It’s easier to stay in a relationship for far too long simply because it’s all you’ve known. 

However, every team deserves a storage relationship that fits like a glove.

So, ask yourself: does your backup solution meet the simultaneous needs of your DBAs, IT, and frontline staff, without being a pain in the… wallet…. to care for?

Despite what you might believe, the total package is out there. Let’s help you figure out if you’ve outgrown your old ball-and-chain.

1. Dropping the costs

First, let’s address the PB-sized elephant in the room: backing up heaps of unstructured data likely costs you big-time. Most businesses ultimately have separate copies of data for production, backup, and disaster recovery.

Let’s rethink this. What if production didn’t have to be separate from your backups and archives?

Intelligent hybrid cloud alternatives allow you to bring everything under one roof, while still getting the accessibility and speeds of your local systems.

 By breaking down your entire network’s file system into three key segments, you can have an agile, scalable system that’s ready to scale with you.

Cost-efficient enterprise hybrid cloud file systems start by using: 

  1. Low-cost, high-volume HDD cloud storage for keeping tons of actual files and their contents.
  2. Segmenting out the lightweight metadata — for the “file browsing” process — to smaller, speedy SSD local storage at every worksite across the world.
  3. Local dynamic caching of files and contents — with a focus on high-use and recently created files — on flash media at every site.

Starting with a central, one-and-only copy of all your data, you can have confidence that all your data will fit in the cloud.

Due to the unchanging or immutable state of data (more on that later), you can trust this authoritative copy to have a reliable workflow for any of your redundancy needs.

Specifically, if you need to roll anything back for archive reasons, incremental snapshots of all this data are globally available. These can retain file history down to the minute if needed.

File browsing using globally distributed metadata gives each member of your team the same view of the entire organization’s data. 

Finally, since all changes sync in real-time, local performance meets cloud usability at roughly 70% of the cost of your current methods.

Immutable global snapshots with Panzura
Snapshots can be taken on a user-defined schedule, as frequently as every second.

2. Better performance

What happens when your backup, archive, and disaster recovery solutions each have their own home? A lack of communication, which is the last thing you want in a long-term relationship.

Legacy archive systems, like tape and nearline disks, are far too siloed to give the accessibility and availability that you deserve. Meanwhile, the local NAS backups preferred by today’s database administrators pack better performance — but at a higher cost.

The trouble is it’s exhausting to get them to talk to each other, and when they’re not in sync, you run the risk of legal issues or not being able to bounce back from a really bad day.

Let’s recall that hybrid cloud file system approach once again: we’re segmenting our approach to storing, browsing and accessing files.

With all files in one remote home, that global metadata is a handy tool to have nearby. Navigating the files comes at the local speeds they’d expect because the file browsing process is literally being done locally.

Caching steps in to quickly overcome latency and serve files from the cloud with ease.

The result? The long-distance hybrid cloud relationship actually feels closer than the legacy one where nobody talks.

3. Resilience in the face of ransomware and malware

Ransomware could probably be deemed one of the biggest homewreckers of modern enterprises to date.

Having a solid plan for brushing off this financial and operational poison is essential. Unfortunately, you’re probably partnered with a temperamental storage setup that’s easily tweaked into submission.

Savvy hybrid cloud file systems know how to stay stoic — or immutable — in the face of pressure.

By design, your actual files can never be irreversibly encrypted because they can never be overwritten. Each immutable storage file is broken down into data chunks or blocks. Any edits made don’t destructively replace the file data, but instead create new blocks.

When ransomware comes to town, you’re prepared to shake off the newly created “infection” blocks and revert to the healthy ones. Snapshots once again come to save the day with a near-zero recovery point objective (RPO). Restoring your files can occur at any time, anywhere, and at any file level — from a single picture to an entire file system.

Never paying a ransom for recovery is not only a great feeling but also helps cut the attackers’ funds for throttling future attacks. 

Finally, you never have to worry about your global metadata being damaged. Even if the hardware entirely fails at a site, the other sites carry that failover load for maximum availability.

4. No more redundant backup and DR processes

Repeating yourself is a sign of not being heard, which is the last thing you want from a good partner.

Yet repetition is exactly what’s demanded of you when you’re working with legacy backup and disaster recovery.

Today, you’re probably bridging a local NAS for production, to another local NAS for high availability backup, to a remote NAS for disaster recovery. Each of these are also probably a pain to keep on the same page when working with hundreds of sites internationally.

What you’d probably prefer in your relationship is a great memory. Say it once, it’s remembered forever.

The baked-in snapshots and hardware failover of hybrid cloud file systems give definitive trust in your authoritative storage. Any single point of failure or unwanted change cannot take down the greater picture.

Cloud providers already replicate your data at least 3 times, in 3 geographically separate locations, as part of what you pay for your cloud storage. Rated at 13 9s of durability — or 99.99999999999% — makes cloud storage a worthy partnership you can rely on.

Ultimately, committing to the right partner yesterday does not mean they’re right for you today.  Giving a new cloud backup relationship the chance to bloom could be the beginning of a whole new, brighter chapter in your business.