6 Must Have Features for Your Data Protection Solution

Blog, Cloud Disaster Recovery, Hybrid & Multi-Cloud
March 10, 2021

Data protection solutions are not all created equal. 

In this guide, you’ll discover six must-have features for a data protection solution that meets your business needs.

Let’s dive in!

What is a Data Protection Solution?

A data protection solution consists of the people, technologies, and operational processes that your organization uses to prevent data loss and ensure the security, integrity, and availability of enterprise data.

Data protection solutions in 2021 have three key components: data back-up, data access, and disaster recovery. 

Data back-up is the ongoing process of replicating your data and storing it in a secure location where it can be retrieved or recovered if the original copy is compromised in a data loss event. Disaster recovery is the set of processes for regaining access to data after an unscheduled service outage that disrupts data availability. Finally, data protection solutions allow organizations to set pre-configured data access policies, including role-based access controls that determine who may access which data.

Now let’s take a closer look at six must-have features for your data protection solution.

6 Must-Have Features for Your Data Protection Solution

Automated Data Back-Up

Automated data back-up is a capability that allows your organization to replicate data from your local network and systems to a secondary location with minimal human intervention. There are several reasons why it makes sense to automate the back-up process:

  1. Saving Time Seamless faster operations – Automating the data back-up process is a major time saver. Some organizations rely on human IT operators to perform data replication tasks and transfer data copies off site, a process that can take several hours each week. Automating data back-ups with the right data protection solution can save an organization hundreds of man-hours per year.
  2. Reducing Human Error – Automating data back-up substantially reduces the potential for human error or simple carelessness that can impact the success of your data protection efforts. 
  3. Meet RPO /SLA Requirements  – Organizations with stringent RPO requirements may need to replicate data frequently to avoid the possibility of data loss that damages the business. Automation makes it far more cost-effective for organizations to perform the frequent back-ups needed to meet challenging RPO targets.

Data Deduplication

Data deduplication is a feature that reduces how much disk space you need for back-ups by eliminating duplicate copies of your data in storage. If you’re backing up your data on a monthly, weekly, or daily schedule, deduplication can significantly improve your storage utilization and help drive down the TCO of your data protection solution. Some enterprise storage platforms can deliver up to 50x data deduplication, driving significant cost savings as your data expands.

Here’s how it works:

Each time you perform a data back-up, a software algorithm analyzes the new data and compares it to your previously stored back-up data to identify any duplicate data chunks and byte patterns. When duplicate data is identified, it is not replicated – instead, the duplicate data is replaced by a reference to the originally saved instance of the data. This process prevents the redundant storage of data and makes your data protection solution more cost-effective and storage efficient.

Clearly Defined RTO and RPO

No data protection solution is complete without clearly defined objectives for recovery time and recovery points. Here’s why these objectives matter for success in data protection:

A Recovery Time Objective (RTO) indicates how long an application or service can go offline without significantly harming your business. You might have some applications with an RTO of 24 hours or more, while others require a near-instant recovery to avoid negatively impacting customers. Categorizing applications by their RTO helps ensure that your data protection solution meets the needs of your business.

A Recovery Point Objective (RPO) indicates how much data your business can afford to lose in a disaster scenario. RPO objectives are measured in time – the time between your most recent data back-up and a data loss event. 

If you schedule a back-up every day at midnight, you’ll have a maximum of 24 hours between your most recent back-up and any data loss event – that translates to an RPO of 24 hours. Shorter RPO targets can be achieved by scheduling more frequent data back-ups. If you can’t afford to lose any data (RPO of 0), you’ll need continuous data replication between your on-site servers and off-site data repository, as well as a reliable failover service to ensure zero data loss and 100% availability.

RTO-Optimized Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery configurations vary in cost depending on the speed of recovery that’s required for each application. As part of your data protection solution, you should establish a disaster recovery plan that’s optimized to cost-effectively meet your recovery time objectives. 

For applications that can tolerate significant downtime without impacting the business, organizations can leverage a cold standby configuration that retrieves back-up data from cloud object storage and re-creates the primary site over a period of 4-12 hours or more. For applications that must be restored instantly, organizations can maintain an active secondary site with the capacity to scale up resources in case the primary site fails.

Multi-Cloud Capabilities

In 2021, organizations are increasingly dependent on the public cloud for data storage and compute resources that support mission-critical applications. While public cloud vendors do provide scalable and cost-effective access to IT infrastructure, they’re far from being immune to service interruptions and unplanned outages. 

That’s why a complete data protection solution needs multi-cloud capabilities: the ability to access data back-ups and recover data into multiple public cloud providers. This capability helps organizations avoid vendor lock-in and ensures that critical data can be recovered to a different public cloud when a major cloud provider suffers an unplanned outage.

Runbook Procedures Guide

A data protection solution is more than just technology: it also includes the policies and procedures that govern the use of that technology, and the people who operate the technology. To ensure that these elements work in tandem, a comprehensive data protection solution needs runbook documentation.

A runbook is a document for system admins and NOC engineers that outlines routine procedures and contingency plans for IT operations. An up-to-date runbook should include step-by-step plans for determining and executing the most effective response to an unplanned service or application outage. When an outage occurs, system administrators should be able to consult the runbook to determine next-steps before taking action to restore data and application services.

The runbook is a living document that can be updated and amended over time as your organization develops more sophisticated and efficient methods for recovering services in case of an interruption. 

Faction Multi-Cloud Data Solutions

Faction Inc. provides the industry-leading data protection, back-up, and disaster recovery capabilities that organizations need to secure their most sensitive data and application workloads. 

With Faction Cloud Control Volumes (CCVs), organizations benefit from a durable and persistent cloud-attached storage service that can be used to recover data and workloads directly into the public cloud. Multi-cloud capabilities, tiered data recovery options, and power deduplication features make Faction a flexible and cost-effective choice for protecting and recovering your cloud data and applications.

Ready to discover how Faction can help you protect and recover your data in the cloud?

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