Checklist for Selecting the Best Data Protection Appliance for Your Enterprise

By Nikhil Korgaonkar, Regional Director, Arcserve India & SAARC
Enterprises are under huge pressure to manage the unstoppable data growth while protecting complex workloads from IT disasters. Now whether those IT disasters are caused by an error in the system, hardware malfunctioning, or cyberattacks, enterprises are using all kinds of sophisticated technologies to protect their critical business assets. What’s important is an organization’s readiness to bounce back and recover data in case of a system failure.
Enterprises today should realize that IT disasters can’t always be prevented and having data protection and data recovery strategy is important. For instance, a turnkey data protection appliance is one such solution that provides a gamut of benefits in one place – data backup, disaster recovery, and cybersecurity. When shopping one for your enterprise, it is a smart move to ensure that the chosen appliance contains all these features. Such an all-inclusive solution delivers a central interface for backup processes, tools, and infrastructure. It reduces complexity by removing the need to source individual components and consolidates hardware and software into a single platform. Such simplified sourcing results in fewer potential vulnerabilities, faster recovery, and higher availability of data.
Just as all fingers are not equal, different appliances come with variations in the features they offer. It is, therefore, advisable to first identify specific problems the appliance needs to take care of before committing to one. Here are four common use cases for data protection appliances and the capabilities to look for in potential platforms to find one that matches your business objectives best.
Plugin the loopholes to deal with unplanned disasters
2020 was a crucial year: It forced organizations to re-evaluate their disaster recovery plans and identify factors that could lead to data disasters if something unplanned happened. Lack of attention to network security, loopholes in digital infrastructures, and poor cyber hygiene were seen as some of the weak points that organizations should rectify.
Now, it is commonly accepted that disasters can come in many forms from ransomware to natural disasters to global pandemics, and it’s essential to be prepared for anything. Investing in a robust data protection appliance is a smart move toward protecting the organization. Whenever disaster strikes, it secures the enterprise’s data and systems can be up and running in no time.
When identifying the right appliance for your enterprise, look for the following features:
  • Turnkey backup, disaster recovery, high availability, and cybersecurity capabilities
  • High-availability options for continuous data protection
  • Bundled flash-accelerated storage, robust server processing, high-speed networking, and heterogeneous data protection software
  • Support for on-site, off-site, and cloud workloads
Cyber Security is Important but Data Protection is Cardinal
Cyberattacks have taken the scale of targeted campaigns that can blanket entire corporate networks of critical infrastructure providers such as hospitals, government offices, and financial institutions. In June 2020, the cyberattack on the National Highway Authority of India servers made headlines across the country. What’s important to note is that while the ransomware attack did happen, it led to no data loss. What most organizations tend to overlook is that the attack itself is not the major problem, the loss of data is. The cost of a data breach is high and going up year by year. A Ponemon Institute report of 2020 will help understand this context better. In India, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $2.0 million, up by 9% from 2019 at $1.83 million.
It is vital to understand that preventing cyberattacks is not the end and means but what these attacks are actually targeting. Most often, these cyberattacks intend to disrupt data by:
  • Disabling data access,
  • Stealing enterprise data,
  • Rendering an organization’s data useless
  • Publicly exposing sensitive companies or employee data which follows a legal and PR nightmare
  • Selling customer data on the DarkNet
  • Blackmailing on sensitive data
  • Doing repetitive attacks on the same organization once they identify its security loopholes
While cybersecurity is a top priority, the defense mechanism therefore must focus more on rescuing data than preventing the attack itself. Organizations in highly regulated industries such as BFSI and those with known security vulnerabilities should look for an appliance that has:
  • Combined cybersecurity and data protection
  • Threat prevention and removal capabilities
  • Artificial intelligence and a deep learning neural network
Factor in for 100% uptime of services and infrastructure
When Google services faced a downtime of around 45 mins in December 2020, there was a major uproar around the globe; #googledown began trending on Twitter in no time. When organizations of Google’s scale and resources can face disruption to their services, what prevents smaller organizations from having longer and more frequent downtimes? Today’s consumers demand nothing less than 100 percent availability for applications. Any downtime, planned or unplanned, does not go down well with them. And then if there’s data loss as well, the stakes get exponentially higher.
With such sky-high customer expectations and a no-mercy attitude, it’s crucial that organizations have data protection strategies that allow them to restore business operations and recover critical systems, applications, and data quickly and help preserve revenue, productivity, and reputation.
For minimal downtime and happier end-users, look for an appliance with:
  • Integrated endpoint protection
  • High-redundancy hardware
  • On-site hardware support
  • Proven data protection software
Prepare for protection as data grows in the organization
Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that by 2025 the world will need to store 200 zettabytes of data in the cloud. This explosive data growth shows no sign of slowing, which means enterprises will need to be prepared to handle it.
Scalability is a critical component of data protection, so it’s essential to select an appliance that can grow with the organization. Next-generation appliances are designed to protect large datasets (think petabytes) and complex workloads from IT disasters and cyberthreats.
To ensure disaster recovery and backup capabilities that will scale indefinitely, companies must look for an appliance with:
  • Automated data restore capabilities
  • Easy expansion options
  • Global source-based de-duplication
  • Cloud-native capabilities that integrate on- and off-site disaster recovery
  • Multi-site replication and tape integration
One cannot say much about the year 2021, especially in terms of challenges for enterprises. However, there appears to be some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, which hopefully will signal more stable business days ahead. Data protection appliances can take some of the uncertainty out of the equation by simplifying data backup and disaster recovery with an all-in-one, consolidated solution. To ensure the organization gets the maximum benefit from an appliance, the tips above will help to identify the capabilities that match your specific business objectives.

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