Welcome to our blog post on the importance of data resilience and its significance for organizations in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. In this article, we will explore the essential capabilities of resilient storage solutions, discuss the benefits of implementing a data and cyber resilience strategy, and introduce IBM’s Data Resilience portfolio as a trusted solution. Join us as we unravel the key aspects of data resilience and its transformative impact on organizational resilience in the face of evolving data protection challenges.
What is Data Resilience?
Data resilience ensures that your data remains available and uncorrupted, even in the face of threats and during the recovery process. It combines advanced data reduction technology with instant recovery capabilities, empowering organizations to combat threats effectively while swiftly working towards recovery. Unlike traditional backup and recovery solutions, data resilience takes a comprehensive approach, addressing the limitations of legacy methods.
To achieve data resilience, organizations must adopt a “multi-layered approach” that encompasses both hardware and software aspects. By deploying an infrastructure that supports data resilience requirements at both levels, organizations can effectively protect their data. Software-defined storage solutions offer the flexibility to integrate new features seamlessly, without the need for additional storage devices. These solutions work in conjunction with existing hardware, accelerating data-intensive workloads while conserving capacity and computing power.
By embracing a multi-layered approach to data resilience, organizations can significantly enhance their data and cyber resilience strategies. Later, we will explore these benefits in detail, highlighting how such an approach strengthens overall organizational resilience and helps mitigate risks effectively. But first let’s take a look at the difference between the “Backup and Recovery” strategy used today and the “Data Resilience” strategy required to face the challenges of tomorrow.
Understanding Data Resilience:
In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, organizations must go beyond traditional backup and recovery approaches to embrace the concept of data resilience. While backup and recovery solutions have been widely used, they may fall short in addressing the future challenges organizations face. Let’s explore the key differences between the backup and recovery approach commonly used today and the data resilience approach that organizations need to proactively face these challenges.
o Backup and Recovery Approach (Today): Data is continuously replicated, ensuring data availability. However, this approach also replicates logical errors, potentially perpetuating corrupted or compromised data.
o Data Resilience (Future): Data resilience involves scheduled point-in-time copies that are stored in an isolated and secure location. This isolation helps ensure that logical errors and compromised data do not propagate through the replicated copies.
- Error Detection:
o Backup and Recovery Approach (Today): Immediate detection of system and application outages is a key feature of backup and recovery solutions. However, this approach may not effectively address other data consistency issues that can impact data integrity.
o Data Resilience (Future): Regular data analytics are performed on the point-in-time copies to validate data consistency. By conducting data analytics, organizations can proactively identify and rectify any data integrity issues.
- Recovery Points:
o Backup and Recovery Approach (Today): Typically, a single recovery point is established, which may be compromised. Organizations may face challenges if the selected recovery point contains corrupted or incomplete data.
o Data Resilience (Future): Data resilience enables organizations to establish multiple recovery points. This flexibility allows them to choose the most suitable recovery point based on the specific situation, reducing the risk of relying on compromised or incomplete data.
o Backup and Recovery Approach (Today): In the backup and recovery approach, all systems, storage, and tape pools participate in the same logical system structure. This interconnectedness may allow logical errors or malicious intruders to propagate across the infrastructure.
o Data Resilience (Future): Data resilience emphasizes the use of air-gapped systems and storage, creating a physical and logical separation that prevents the propagation of logical errors and malicious intruders. This isolation enhances the security and integrity of the data.
- Recovery Scope:
o Backup and Recovery Approach (Today): While backup and recovery solutions aim to provide continuous availability and disaster recovery capabilities, their ability to support forensic, surgical, or catastrophic recovery can be limited.
o Data Resilience (Future): Like backup and recovery, data resilience aims to provide continuous availability and disaster recovery capabilities. Additionally, data resilience enables organizations to perform forensic analysis, surgical recovery, or even complete restoration in the event of a catastrophic incident.
By understanding the distinctions between the backup and recovery approach used today and the data resilience approach required for the future, organizations can recognize the importance of adopting a proactive and comprehensive strategy to protect their data assets. With data resilience, organizations can ensure data availability, integrity, and security while effectively mitigating risks and addressing potential challenges in the dynamic digital landscape.
Why Do Organizations Need Data Resilience?
As we have seen, in today’s digital landscape, organizations face evolving data protection requirements and challenges that necessitate the adoption of resilient storage solutions. Resilient storage is crucial for several reasons:
Firstly, the increasing volume of data generated by organizations presents a challenge for traditional IT budgets. Resilient storage solutions address this issue by efficiently managing and handling large data volumes, ensuring data remains available, intact, and accessible.
Secondly, the evolving cybersecurity landscape demands robust data protection measures. Organizations face sophisticated cyber threats that can lead to significant financial losses, reputational damage, and legal consequences. Resilient storage solutions provide enhanced security features and protection mechanisms, defending against data breaches and cyberattacks.
Thirdly, organizations need to safeguard their data from various risks, including natural disasters and human errors. Resilient storage solutions offer features such as data replication, redundancy, and off-site backups, ensuring data durability and providing recovery options in case of data loss.
Moreover, many organizations operate in diverse IT environments, encompassing data centers, virtualized setups, hybrid cloud deployments, and more. Resilient storage solutions are designed to support and protect data across these heterogeneous environments, ensuring consistent data resilience regardless of the infrastructure.
Additionally, quick recovery is essential when data-destructive events occur. Resilient storage solutions facilitate faster recovery times through snapshot-based backups, instant restores, and continuous data protection. This minimizes downtime, enabling organizations to maintain business continuity.
By implementing resilient storage solutions, organizations surpass traditional backup and recovery approaches, achieving comprehensive data resilience and effectively addressing the evolving data protection requirements and challenges they face.
The Benefits of Data and Cyber Resilience Strategy
Implementing a data and cyber resilience strategy with the help of data resilience solutions offers several significant business benefits. These solutions empower organizations to handle exponential data growth, diverse workloads, and mixed environments effectively. They also enable quick recovery from data-destructive events and improve the efficiency of analytics and development processes. Let’s delve into each of these benefits in more detail:
Better Performance and Lower Costs: Data resilience solutions provide features such as space-efficient snapshots, compression, deduplication, and object storage. These capabilities optimize storage infrastructure, minimize storage consumption, and ensure that large data sets remain easily accessible without impacting performance. By reducing storage costs, organizations can allocate resources more efficiently and maximize their return on investment.
Continuous, Efficient, and Effective Business Operations: Data resilience solutions go beyond backup and recovery functions. They become a source of business efficiency and innovation by leveraging secondary storage. With a centralized dashboard for monitoring and management, these solutions streamline operational tasks, offer insights into storage utilization and data protection status, and facilitate troubleshooting. They also provide comprehensive protection for different workloads across various environments, simplifying operations and enhancing overall efficiency.
Reduced Risk and Unified Protection across Hybrid Environments: Data resilience solutions are designed to mitigate cybersecurity threats such as cyberattacks and ransomware. They incorporate features like automatic ransomware detection, security notifications, and data encryption. By physically or logically air-gapping data and securing it on object storage, these solutions enhance data resilience and safeguard against cyber breaches. Additionally, leveraging tape storage as backup repositories adds an extra layer of protection. In hybrid cloud environments, a comprehensive data resilience solution unifies workload protection and extends across the entire IT infrastructure. This unified approach automates backup frequency, data retention, and data reuse, ensuring consistent and reliable protection regardless of the data’s location.
By embracing a data and cyber resilience strategy and deploying resilient storage solutions, organizations can achieve better performance, optimize costs, ensure continuous business operations, reduce risks, and navigate hybrid environments more effectively. In the upcoming chapter, we will explore the essential capabilities of resilient storage solutions that facilitate the realization of these benefits within your organization.
What You Need in a Resilient Storage Solution
When selecting a resilient storage solution, it’s crucial to consider specific capabilities that ensure your storage infrastructure can provide data resilience and support your broader cyber resilience strategy. The following key capabilities should be considered:
- Identity and Administrative Security: Protecting your security applications and guarding against compromised credentials, malicious insiders, and system misconfigurations is paramount. Ensure that the storage solution allows for controlling access and rights to data while effectively combating malicious activity at the application level.
- Identification and Monitoring: Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), proactive monitoring of your IT environment becomes possible. AI and ML-powered solutions enable the identification of suspicious activities and the scanning of data pools for ransomware or malware, enhancing threat detection and response.
- Encryption: Data encryption plays a vital role in bolstering security. By encoding data at rest and in transit, encryption ensures that unauthorized parties cannot comprehend the information. Only those with the encryption key can access and convert the data into a readable format.
- Multiple Layers of Backup: Even with encryption in place, backups are necessary as an additional fail-safe measure. Performing frequent backups and storing copies in isolated environments is critical. Storage snapshots can be secured in a vault, allowing for instant recovery once the threat has been eliminated. Backup copies can also be moved to secondary storage, other servers, or the cloud. This capability enables point-in-time recovery, restoring data from a backup taken before the data-destructive event occurred.
- Air Gap and Isolation: To further safeguard data, implementing air gap and isolation measures is important. While tape storage may have longer recovery times, logical data isolation protects data from modification or deletion. By restoring data from unimpacted and isolated copies stored in tamper-proof repositories, organizations can mitigate the impact of cyberattacks.
- Automation and Orchestration: Automation and orchestration streamline data recovery processes. These tools introduce consistent processes and automated workflows, reducing complexity and ensuring efficient recovery when it is most needed. Quick restoration of data allows organizations to resume normal business operations before significant damage occurs.
- Rapid Recovery: Achieving rapid recovery involves the ability to instantly mount data volumes, support native file formats, and provide a searchable catalog of virtual machines (VMs), databases, and files. Instant data volume mounting eliminates the need for data hydration and conversion, minimizing downtime and enabling immediate access to backup data. High-performance recovery solutions also facilitate data isolation and recovery across hybrid cloud environments and offer all-in-one data protection, simplifying operational recovery, data reuse, and long-term retention.
- Self-Service Data Access: A self-service portal empowers business users to create data copies for analytics and other business purposes. It should incorporate limited, role-based access control (RBAC) and SLA-based policies to streamline and secure access to backup data. Role-based access restrictions ensure that only authorized individuals can access specific data, while REST APIs simplify integration with applications and tools. This combination of capabilities enhances the speed and effectiveness of development, testing, analytics, and serves as a crucial component of cyber resilience strategies.
- Metadata Management for Unstructured Data: Efficient metadata management tools are essential, especially as the volume of unstructured data continues to grow. The solution should provide consolidated visibility into stored data and offer rapid ingestion, consolidation, and indexing of metadata for billions of files and objects across on-premises and cloud environments. It should enable automatic identification and classification of sensitive information, differentiation of mission-critical business data, and provide fast and efficient search capabilities for data scientists, IT teams, and business users.
- Data Resilience for Containers: As containerized applications gain prominence, organizations require resilient storage solutions that support DevOps processes, container orchestration platforms, and volume snapshots for persistent container data protection services. Look for self-service container backup and recovery via APIs, such as Kubernetes kubectl, which allows fast adoption for application developers. Native integration with Kubernetes ensures complete data recovery through a data resilience solution that manages both persistent volumes and Kubernetes resource metadata.
By carefully evaluating storage solutions based on these considerations, organizations can make informed decisions to implement resilient storage infrastructure that effectively protects against data-destructive events and aligns with their broader cyber resilience strategy.
IBM’s Data Resilience Portfolio
DataSkill highly recommends IBM’s Data Resilience portfolio for organizations seeking robust storage solutions that provide comprehensive data protection and cyber resilience.
IBM Storage Protect offers extensive data resilience for physical file servers, virtual environments, and various applications. It supports scalability to manage billions of objects per backup server and includes built-in data efficiency capabilities, enabling cost reduction in backup infrastructure. Additionally, data can be migrated or copied to tape, public cloud services, or on-premises object storage, leveraging existing investments for long-term data retention and disaster recovery.
IBM Storage Protect Plus is a versatile data resilience solution designed for protecting and recovering virtual machines (VMs), databases, applications, file systems, Software as a Service (SaaS) workloads, containers, and cloud environments. With its easy deployment options as a virtual appliance or container application, the agentless architecture simplifies implementation and maintenance. The solution offers automated data protection processes through Service Level Agreement (SLA)-based policies, encompassing operational backups, data replication, and data retention. Role-based access control (RBAC) and application integration enable secure self-service, facilitating faster access to the right data for analytics, development, and testing purposes.
IBM Storage Copy Data Management optimizes the availability of data copies to meet the needs of data consumers without unnecessary duplication or storage waste. It facilitates application-aware snapshot and replication management, orchestrating automated copy processes and workflows to ensure consistency and reduce complexity.
DataSkill highly recommends IBM as a trusted provider for data resilience solutions. IBM offers simplified user experiences and leverages analytics to enhance backup and storage management, enabling data-driven decision-making and optimized strategies. With continuous innovation, IBM addresses evolving backup and recovery needs, while ensuring reliability and security. By partnering with IBM, organizations benefit from cutting-edge technology, streamlined operations, and the confidence of working with an industry leader. DataSkill believes that, IBM’s commitment to innovation, reliability, and security empowers businesses to unlock their data’s full potential, ensure continuity, and navigate the dynamic landscape of data resilience with confidence.
By leveraging IBM’s Storage solutions, organizations can experience heightened operational efficiency, reduced downtime, and increased agility in managing their valuable data assets. To learn more about IBM’s Data Resilience Portfolio and access a complimentary PDF, visit www.DataSkill.com/Spotlight.