Protecting Data with a Unified Platform

by Dan Sullivan


Data is an increasingly valuable asset to businesses, governments, and other organizations; protecting this asset is an increasingly complex challenge. An essential requirement of any data protection operation is to ensure that data can be recovered in the event of accidental loss or intentional destruction.

Protecting the full range of business data can become costly and time consuming unless a unified approach is applied to data protection regardless of platform, data type, or location. This guide outlines the benefits of a unified data protection solution and how a unified approach can be used to protect business data, ensure availability, and streamline business operations.

This guide examines five topics that span the range of issues IT professionals face today with regards to data protection: employing backup, recovery, and data protection; addressing data protection in dynamic environments, ensuring data availability, streamlining data migration; and considering issues with data protection in the cloud.


Article 1: Unified Platform for Data Protection

IT professionals are facing a range of challenges to protecting their organization’s data. The complexity of IT systems coupled with growing data volumes and dynamic business environments are driving the development and deployment of unified data protection solutions. Unified solutions will not eliminate the challenges, but they can help mitigate the effects of the changing IT environment by providing a comprehensive, single point of access application for addressing a wide range of data protection needs.

Article 2: Data Protection in Dynamic Environments

Businesses operate in a constantly changing environment. Demands for products and services shift over time. Organizations respond to the actions of competitors and collaborators. Innovation creates new opportunities and sometimes threatens existing ways of doing things. The impact of these changes is not limited to the confines of the executive suites filled with people trying to chart a course through the changing environment. The impact of these changes can permeate an entire organization. IT departments, in particular, are required to respond to these changes. Regardless of what else changes for IT professionals, there is always a need to protect data and ensure operations can continue.

Protecting against data loss in such a dynamic environment requires attention to multiple issues: business drivers behind these dynamic environments, distribution of business data over multiple devices, application-specific requirements for backup and recovery, and business and technical constraints on data protection options. This article will discuss these issues with particular attention to how they affect data protection strategies and methods.

Article 3: Preserving Data Availability

Businesses run on data. Remove data from today’s business, and you remove a critical part of a complicated operation. Part of data protection is ensuring data is available when it is needed, where it is needed, and in the format it is needed. A backup copy of your financial ledger is useful, but if it takes hours to restore that ledger to a server running your financials applications, then your operations that depend on that data are essentially blocked for that span of time. This article, the third in this series, considers: the need for data availability, methods for ensuring data availability, and the need for adaptability in data protection strategies.

Article 4: Streamlining Data Migration

When you think of data availability, recovering lost data is often the first thing to come to mind. Data availability is more than ensuring you can recover lost data; it also includes ensuring that data is where it is needed, when it is needed, and in the form that it is needed. Considerations also include the need to migrate data from one system or platform to another. Data migration comes in many forms, from moving applications from one OS to another to replicating data from transactional systems to analytic applications. Fortunately, the same tools and sound practices used to ensure data can be restored after a data loss are useful for data migration. This discussion of data migration includes a discussion of the: growing need for data migration in enterprises, challenges to data migration, and sound practices for efficient and effective data migration.

Article 5: Data Protection and the Cloud

Enterprises are adopting cloud computing strategies to control costs and enable more agile business service delivery. There are a number of ways to use cloud computing and storage in your business, but regardless of your implementation details, it is important to consider data protection for your cloud-based applications. The cloud also offers a new option for offsite storage of backups. In addition to onsite backups on tape and disk, businesses now have the option to store backups in the cloud. This final article in the series examines how cloud computing changes the data protection landscape.